Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Islanders Turn Out for Movie in the Park

Photos by Scott H. Shook | Herb Evelyn, Peggy Evelyn, Patti Evelyn, and Robert Evelyn. The Evelyns, after being timesharing owners on the Island for decades, have relocated to Marco Island from the greater Miami area.


Moviegoers prior to Friday’s Movie in the Park.

Samantha Malloy, the city’s Manager of Parks, Recreation, and Culture, had the perfect confluence of the right movie, the right weather and the right setting for Friday night’s Movie in the Park. 

Malloy and her cohorts showed “Ghostbusters,” a flawless choice for Halloween-eve. The weather was perfect, and the crowd was happy to be together in a spacious, openair setting. Malloy made sure things were safe as she personally seated attendees, using a tape measure to assure at least six feet separated the moviegoers. 

Malloy admits that she is looking forward to acquiring a new movie screen and is actively pricing out a replacement. 

“The new one will be similar to the one we have now,” Malloy explained. “It’s got a few rips and tears—but it’s been good to us. The new one will have a better sound system—we’ve had some challenges with that.



Park worker Pat Kuhn is in the Ghostbusters spirit.

“We’re so excited to have an event,” Malloy said as she welcomed a family to the park. “It’s a beautiful night, people are looking for something to do, and of course, the movie is awesome, right?” 

Malloy said the gathering crowd was already bigger than their last movie night. 

“It’s exciting to see everybody come on out,” Malloy said, “We’ve been missing the public. The staff has been upbeat and excited about it. This is what we do. This is what we live for. We need the people to come out, so we can see them and have a good time. I think it’s a nice community event, and it’s free. The environment is great. Plus, we find a lot of times the adults will sit and watch the movie and kids will go to the playground—so we turn on the lights in the playground. We usually have someone overseeing that area. We just have a great time.” 

“We’ve been here when it’s freezing cold and we have on winter coats and mittens, drinking hot chocolate,” said attendee Nancy Lambert, from Green Bay, Wisconsin. “It’s a fun environment, you get to sit outside. A lot of times the kids are running around and playing while the movie is going on. It’s a real family atmosphere, and it’s fun. What a beautiful evening to be outside. And it’s free—it priceless, actually.” 


Eamon Burt catches a pass from his mother, Meredith Burt, before the start of the Movie in the Park Friday night.

Samantha Malloy uses a tape measure when seating moviegoers to assure social distancing.


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