By Maria Saporta
The “Screen on the Green” will go dark this year.
Yvette Bowden, president and CEO of the Piedmont Park Conservancy, wrote in an email that the park will not be hosting the film series in 2012.
The outdoor “Screen on the Green” was almost canceled in 2011 because Piedmont Park had not been able to secure a lead sponsor for the event. Then a few weeks later, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed held a press conference to announce that there would be a 2011 season after all — thanks to sponsorships from Delta Air Lines and Georgia Natural Gas.
Asked why the 2012 Screen on the Green was being canceled, Bowden replied: “primarily sponsorships.”
But then she added that the Piedmont Park Conservancy has decided instead “to focus on fundraising for the expansion” of the park. She also said “the park is already VERY busy.”
For several years, the Piedmont Park Conservancy has been implementing a 53-acre expansion on the north end of the park. The expansion has opened new paths and boardwalks along Clear Creek, and the plan is to complete that expansion almost to the intersection of Monroe Drive and Piedmont Avenue near Ansley Mall.
The conservancy has estimated that the total expansion would cost about $72.5 million. The first phase, which represented about $44 million of the total, is nearly complete, but Bowden has said it still needs a couple of million of dollars to complete new access points to Monroe Drive and Ansley.
The “Screen on the Green” has been a summer tradition since 2000 (it did take a year or so off because of the drought in the city that led to many events being canceled or taken out of Piedmont Park).
At one of the movies in 2010, the crowd did get a bit out of control with several fights and general rowdiness. The nearby communities became upset because they did not believe there had been adequate security in the park.
There were no such incidents in 2011.