Eureka Springs, Arkansas: Lucky 13 Outdoor Cinema Brings Back Outdoor Movies This Summer

Photo Credit (all photos): Lucky 13 Cinema. Charlotte Buchanan hopes 13 will be a lucky number for the outdoor cinema this year. In a Citizen interview last week, Buchanan said she has definite sponsorships for eight outdoor movie shows, and two more likely sponsors. That leaves three dates without sponsors, with time running short to promote the upcoming season. "It will happen," Buchanan said with conviction. "People want it." Even though the first of this season's outdoor movies will not air until three months from now, Buchanan has concerns about nailing down the schedule. She would like to be sending out schedules already, and she feels valuable opportunities slipping away. "Time is ticking," she said. Last year, outdoor films ran every Sunday evening at dusk, from June 11 through Sept. 3. The movies were projected on the side of the Basin Spring Bath House Building on North Main Street. Although the movies could not start until dusk, the fun began much earlier, with musicians and other family-oriented entertainment. Outdoor Movies in Eureka Springs, ArkansasBuchanan explained the costs of renting the movies, paying entertainers, and the other production costs that add up so quickly. "I want to keep the cost of admission low," she said, so she can not recoup expenses by increasing prices. The Lucky 13 Starlight Cinema has survived on sponsorships, most of which come from businesses who see this event as a positive contribution to Eureka Springs on a day which is traditionally very slow. Last year, the City Advertising and Promotions Commission also contributed $3,000 to the outdoor cinema, and Buchanan hopes to receive a similar commitment this year. As the website proclaims, the movie gives tourists "another great reason to stay over another night in beautiful Eureka Springs." The CAPC has contributed sponsorships for two of the four years of the outdoor cinema, but Buchanan would like to see the cinema budgeted "like any other festival." She cites the "bang for the buck" provided by the outdoor movie event, and the festival atmosphere which ties in so well with the image of Eureka Springs. "People should call their CAPC commissioners if they think this is important," Buchanan said. The CAPC will next meet on Wednesday. Buchanan shows her love for the outdoor cinema as soon as she begins talking about it. "We're sharing our town," she said. "We get people shoulder to shoulder who might not otherwise spend time together." Buchanan acknowledges that not everyone would like every movie, but with the variety of the schedule, "we'll have something for everyone." And she stresses the unusual nature of the outdoor cinema, which "invites the kid in us to play!" Outdoor Movies in Eureka Springs, ArkansasAs a practical note, Buchanan points out that the cinema helps support local musicians, and the concession sales last year helped to support Main Stage, which grossed about $6,000 for the season. The cinema clearly succeeded in drawing audiences, with attendance as high as 500 for The Chronicles of Narnia. The cinema was tied in with the Sunday Market, which Buchanan is selling. The Sunday Market will run from May through the first week in October, and Buchanan described the two projects as "integral to each other." She said both events help focus attention on merchants on North Main Street, and they also help encourage people to spend an extra night in Eureka Springs. Buchanan said her election to the City Council led her to sell the Sunday Market, to avoid any questions of conflict of interest. She does not see any conflict in operating the outdoor cinema, as long as she keeps everything out in the open. "I want transparency," she said. The outdoor movies will run at least until Labor Day, and maybe a week beyond. The start of the season's schedule may depend on how many sponsors come forward, but Buchanan hopes for a full slate of 13 dates. The movies scheduled for this year include "Dream Girls," "Pirates of the Caribbean-the Black Pearl," "The World's Fastest Indian," "Raising Arizona," "Kinky Boots," "Night at the Museum," and "Raiders of the Lost Ark." The first installment of the series will be a "sleepover" event for kids, with "How to Eat Fried Worms," "Monster House," and "School of Rock." Another Sunday will have a double feature with "Cars" and "Bullitt." "You can't buy inspiration," Buchanan said, as she explained what the outdoor cinema means to her and to the community. Her sense of purpose is infectious, and she uses a theatrical reference to encourage everyone to believe in the future of the outdoor movie series. "It's just like Tinkerbell: you have to clap if you believe!" Source: The Citizen. Read full article here:

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