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Movies and concerts headline Leland summer entertainment

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By Brian Slattery

LELAND—The entertainment has begun in Leland’s Municipal Park.

The Concerts in the Park series begins Thursday, May 30.

The town’s Movies in the Park series began in April, and the family-friendly movies are shown every other Saturday through June.

“Movies were one of the first things the town did,” parks and recreation director Niel Brooks said, adding they started before he joined the town in 2007.

“The movies (audience) have grown every season. They’ve both grown. We had a big jump in attendance last year,” Brooks said. “Depending on the weather, we had a steady 300 people for the movies last year.”

The concert series began four years ago, Brooks said.

Both the movies and concerts are set up right in front of the recreation building across the parking lot from Leland Town Hall.

“We hire a movie company that provides the screen and handles concessions. We pick the movies,” Brooks said.

“The most successful are the family movies. We try to get all the big animated movies from last year.”

Brooks said attendance for the concert series was about the same as the movies audience last year.

With a family focus, the movies don’t start too late in the evening.

“We don’t advertise a (show) time, just that ‘movies start at dusk.’ We tell (visitors) to look up sunset times, which is generally between 8-8:30 p.m.,” Brooks said.

The concerts will begin at 6:30 p.m.

“With the concerts, the area venues on the coast all work together on that with Brunswick County Parks and Recreation coordinating it,” Brooks said.

The local towns that host concert series will recommend bands to each other.

Brooks said Leland has a sound technician who doubles as a tour promoter who handles the band selections.

“He’s great. We can call him and give him the dates and he lines everything up for us,” he said.

The four remaining movie nights will present “Brave” May 18, “The Lorax” June 1, “Soul Surfer” June 15 and “Madagascar 3” June 29.

“That’s kind of the spring entertainment,” Brooks said.

The concerts run every other week beginning with “Jim Quick and the Coastline” May 30, “Coco Loco Party Band” June 13, “Gold Rush” June 27 and “The Imitations” July 11.

Brooks said the movie and concert big summer events are scheduled to avoid the blazing hot temperatures.

 “We try to do everything early in the summer because it gets so hot,” Brooks said.

“Historically, (for events) later in the summer, attendance goes down. We want to stay out of the dog days.”

While they do not host any events in August, Brooks said they use that month to game-plan for the annual Founders Day the second Saturday in September.

The town is also participating in the Brunswick Water Festival, a new event that will take place in the fall.

 

Brian Slattery is a staff writer for The Brunswick Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or bslattery@brunswickbeacon.com.