Weather puts dampener on open air cinema

Photo of crowd and screen at the 'Movies in the Square' event.

Big screen entertainment came to the town square at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre on Saturday 16th September when local residents were invited to bring chairs and blankets to watch a programme of three feature films.

The free event, organised by the Willow Brook Centre with the support of Bradley Stoke Radio, had attracted great interest when it was first announced during the summer, but attendances on the day were a little disappointing, with several people saying they had been put off by the unseasonably chilly weather and the forecast of showers.

Poster for the 'Movies in the Square' event.

Those who braved the weather were able to take advantage of a 20 percent discount on Harvester takeaway meals, although a last-minute hitch meant that the promised drinks bar failed to materialise. The centre’s Tesco Extra store also supported the event, offering movie-goers a ‘bottle of water and a cookie’ deal for just 50 pence.

Unfortunately, licensing restrictions meant that two of the films on the originally advertised bill, ‘Boss Baby’ and ‘Mama Mia’, could not be shown, so these had to be replaced with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ and ‘Wonder Woman’.

Reflecting on the event, Willow Brook Centre manager Andy Wynn said:

“We were delighted to receive so much positive feedback on our Movies in the Square event. It was the first time that we had put on this type of event and we have learned some lessons for the future. We would love to repeat the event and are currently looking into options for summer 2018.”

Feedback from readers on the BSJ Facebook page

Sarah B: We had a fab time. Kids loved it, real community feel. Please do this again. Bit of rain doesn’t hurt anyone, just be prepared.

Ann N: Loved it – Beauty and the Beast was a big hit! The rain didn’t put us off … well done Willow Brook Centre. See you next time!

Vanessa W: We planned to attend but were put off by the weather. Fabulous idea, although I wonder why they didn’t do it in the summer.

Clare M: Had planned to attend but change of film plus uncertain weather were the reasons for us not attending. Great idea, would love to see more events like this locally.

More feedback (BSJ Facebook)

This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 33). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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One comment

  1. I wasn’t aware of this event, but would be interested in attending in the future. Perhaps some more marketing would have bought a bigger audience? Is there also a possibility for some of the local businesses to provide cover with their parasols in case of rain? In any case its a great idea keep it up!

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