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March 26, 2019 1:13 am

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Free Movie Night Coming Back Aug. 17 Thanks To Laura Durham & Mill Pond Realty

Meant as a local economic stimulus as well as a throwback to the period the City of Saugatuck hosted the nationally recognized Waterfront Film Festival, the Free Movie Night at Coghlin Park will be back for its second-annual event this summer.

The Saugatuck City Council unanimously approved the event at Monday’s meeting, contingent on the submittal of a certificate of insurance.

“We are really looking forward to it again,” said Laura Durham, president of Mill Pond Realty, which sponsors the free public event on Friday, August 17.

“It was well attended our first year—anywhere between 225 to 250 people showed up—and we are anticipating another great year,” said Durham, a long-time supporter of community and fundraising events throughout the local area.

“We are promoting and encouraging folks to bring their own food to the park, pick it up from the many wonderful local restaurants we have,” she said.

Mill Pond Realty has selected The Greatest Showman as the film to show, a movie that has won an award and nominations at the 2018 Golden Globes Awards.

This year’s Free Movie Night will take place on a Friday as opposed to a Saturday so as to not compete with other summer events, said Durham.

“We’d like to thank the sponsor (Mill Pond Realty-Laura Durham). I think it’s a great event,” said Saugatuck City Mayor Pro-Tem Jeff Spangler.

With regards to the Waterfront Film Festival organization, it has gone through several changes.

Film industry and entertainment professionals created the festival in 1999 as a venue for independent filmmakers to showcase their work to discerning filmgoers.

In 2013, the organization moved to South Haven despite city officials’ pleas with organizers not to do so because of the losses local businesses would suffer.

Organizers claimed they made the move in order to provide an opportunity for other towns in the West Michigan region to economically and artistically benefit from the festival.

In either case, the event was canceled in 2015; instead of hosting a festival, Waterfront Film partnered with Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize to put together a film competition.

In its latest move, the organization has moved to Holland where it has repurposed an auto shop into a multipurpose studio, hosting year-round screenings and events.

Free Movie Night Coming Back Aug. 17 Thanks To Laura Durham & Mill Pond Realty

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