For over a decade, Tyler Parks and Recreation Department welcome the spring season with the return of the free “Movies in the Park” series at Bergfeld Park, located off Broadway and Fourth Street in Tyler. A massive projector screen is set up across the park’s amphitheater stage facing for upcoming movie nights playing on selected Saturday nights in April and May.
Glass Recreation Center Supervisor Ann Santana said that “Movies in the Park” lets East Texas residents enjoy a unique movie experience without the stress of spending money at a traditional movie theater.
“It gives the public a choice of free entertainment in a local park,” Santana said. “ … (Movies in the Park) brings people together not having to worry about ‘how much is this going to cost me for taking my family out or even (as) an individual’.”
Throughout the work/school week, students and families look forward to weekends to unwind and spend time with loved ones or friends. Santana said that she thinks people enjoy going to “Movies in the Park” because the outdoors can be a fresh breath of air in this fast paced world.
“My grandchildren get a kick out of going outside in the dark, in a park, watching a movie and also looking up at the stars. I think it has a calming effect for a lot of folks,” Santana said.
Tyler Parks and Recreation have shown more than 65 films since 2003, all rated no higher than PG by the Motion Picture Association of America. In October of last year, Bergfeld Park hosted over 250 people during the fall movie series, playing family friendly films like “Madagascar 3” and “Radio” with Cuba Gooding Jr.
Although the movie selections are family friendly, this does not mean that only families should go. “Movies in the Park” can be a date night for those with a significant other, or a group of friends starting a new tradition by attending the movie series.
Last semester TJC played “The Purge” in September at the Intramural field following an event earlier that day (Stay at TJC Weekend). Biology major Sherrie Jones attended and said that she enjoyed sitting outside and watching the movie with her friends.
“I never did anything like that before and it was fun,” she said. “There were a lot of people and it was only (at) TJC … I think they (“Movies in the Park”) have good movies playing and that will bring a crowd.”
Debbie Isham, special events/recreation manager for the city of Tyler said “Movies in the Park” provides awareness of local events for “little or no cost” while improving the well-being of the community.
“Movies in the Park” starts Saturday April 12 at 8 p.m. with “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.” Moviegoers are welcome to bring food or drinks to eat and sip on during the films. Bergfeld Park is located at 1501 S. College Ave in Tyler.