By KIM POINDEXTER
Concerns about unattended children wandering around the North End area of Tahlequah at night has prompted the Tahlequah Main Street Association to revamp its Movies in the Park Policy.
Drew Haley, TMSA director, said that for the past few movie events at Norris Park, adults have been unloading carloads of teenagers and leaving them without supervision.
“Some of these kids are around 12, and their parents are just dropping them off and leaving. We’ve seen them walking on the streets in that area,” said Haley. “We worry something’s going to happen to them.”
The growing tendency to use the community event as a baby sitter prompted Haley and his board to require adult supervision for all viewers under 18 years of age.
“That’s going to be the main difference,” Haley said.
This summer, beginning May 18, TMSA’s Movies in the Park schedule included nine titles; only one is remaining for the season. “Here Comes the BOOM!” will be presented Saturday, Sept. 21 beginning at dusk, and the new policy will be in effect.
Admission to Movies in the Park is still free, Haley said. Inclement weather could delay the start of the upcoming show and those in future seasons, or postpone them to later dates.
“You’re welcome to bring your own food and drinks, but concessions are also available,” Haley said. “No glass containers, and you have to pick up after yourself.”
Haley added that anyone disrupting the movie will be asked to leave.
The TMSA board will begin the selection process for the 2014 summer movie lineup in early spring. TDP Multimedia Editor Sheri Gourd, who is secretary of the board, said movies are leased through a commercial website, and TMSA must a pay a licensing fee to show the flicks. The cost to TMSA for each event averages about $350.
This year, a board-appointed committee submitted a number of choices to Haley, who made the final decision. Since Movies in the Park is a family-oriented program, Haley’s goal is to provide movies appropriate for children 10 years and younger.
Selections also depend on cost and availability, Gourd said.
“This year, for instance, Disney movies were available, although that’s not always the case,” said Gourd.
Gourd said TMSA welcomes public input on the schedule. Anyone who has a suggestion for the 2014 showings, which will likely begin in late May, can email tmsaok@ gmail.com, or post to the Facebook account www.facebook.com/tahlequahmainstreet. Donations to help defray costs are also welcome; for $25 you can become a friend of TMSA