A&E » Arts

It’s time for movies among the mountains

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What: Pic-Flicks

Who: LUNA

Where: Meadow Park Pool and Lost Lake Park

When: Every second Thursday starting June 26

When you live in a resort like Whistler that's bursting with bars, pubs and nightclubs, it's hard to get into the habit of going somewhere else once the sun goes down. But in an effort to keep the kidneys clean and hangovers on hiatus at least once in a while this summer, the brains behind those We Are Whistler Late Night gatherings have cooked up something new for the over 19 age group.

LUNA is the community initiative’s new name, standing for Late and Unique Nighttime Alternatives, and from Thursday, June 26 for the next couple of months, we’re all invited to go to the Pic-Flicks – majestic films shown in unusual locations on the big screen. Swim, socialize, sit on a blanket, or even have a picnic in front of a magical mountain and movie backdrop.

The first Pic-Flick will be a screening of the cult scary classic Jaws, to be shown at the Meadow Park Pool. Grab your floaties, flippers and friends for the $2 screening starting at 10 p.m. sharp. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… it’s a good thing sharks don’t like chlorine.

July and August’s Pic-Flick offerings will move to scenic Lost Lake Park, with screenings also scheduled to start at 10 p.m. Here’s the lineup:

July 3: Koyaanisqati — Brought to you by the makers of Baraka, this film is a stunning visual masterpiece that is a must-see for everybody.

July 24: Baraka — This visual smorgasbord shot in 24 countries will amaze and inspire like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Aug. 7: Run Lola Run — This German artistic film is rich with colour, sound and funky fashions backed by techno beats.

Aug. 21: Amelie — This kooky French film exudes cuteness. Everybody falls in love with Amelie.

Cost of the Lost Lake Pic-Flicks has not been finalized as LUNA organizers are waiting to see what sponsorship dollars roll in from local businesses in the ensuing weeks, but expect it to be a minimum donation of $2 per patron.

LUNA co-ordinator, Tessa McLoughlin, said "the events are all about providing young people, especially locals, with a cheap choice other than the bar scene." She said a similar program that’s been running in Banff for several years has reduced youth crime substantially.

RMOW bylaw supervisor Sandra Smith went to the Rocky Mountain resort last year to look at ways of dealing with Whistler’s late night issues and saw first-hand how the Banff community was combating petty crime.

"We saw that Whistler didn’t really offer any alternatives for seasonal workers and local youth and from the meetings we subsequently had with Whistler Healthy Communities, it seemed like a great solution to some of our problems," Smith said.

The joint initiative between RMOW and Whistler Community Services kicked off almost a year ago, under their previous name, We are Whistler Late Nite, and proved to be a staggering success straight away.

"In less than six months, with no real budget or promotion, we have attracted more than 300 people so far," said McLoughlin.

Fast earning a reputation for being a good, clean fun night out, Whistler’s over 19s (and in particular, seasonal Intrawest staff) came out in droves. They’ve been disco skating sober Xanadu-style, singing along straight to the Rocky Horror Picture Show and playing beer-free bingo this past winter.

"People living in staff housing can’t really socialize in their rooms so LUNA is giving them other venues," said Smith.

"We want to make Whistler not just a great place to party for the working holiday crowd, but also a safe, affordable and more socially integrated experience for them, perhaps trying things they may not do back home," added McLoughlin.

Local businesses are encouraged to get involved in LUNA’s concept in order to make it a regular, on-going initiative. Donations can range from cash to supplies, to volunteering, promotional materials, clean-up and venue space – as well as letters of support.

"We are applying for a government grant in October in order to keep LUNA alive all year round, so we need the community at large to not only come out to these events but support them from an organizational perspective as well," said McLoughlin.

"It really is a win-win situation for everyone. The employers win as their staff are going to be able to have a great, cheap night out and not be hung over the next day. The employees win because it’s something different and sociable and the community at large wins as crime and drunkenness will be reduced, providing a safer environment for all."

Anyone interested in providing assistance to LUNA can call Tessa McLoughlin at 604-902-0670.

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