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NIDC Kicks-off 2011 Movies Under the Stars

The Movies Under the Stars series in Morris Park has come a long way since it debuted a decade ago with films being shown on a reel-to-reel projector.

However, over the past several years, thanks to funding from Councilman Jimmy Vacca, the outdoor film series has become state of the art.

“It was very low rent, very small scale,” said William Foster, executive director of Neighborhood Initiatives Development Corporation, the organization that runs Movies Under the Stars. “Now we have a digital projector, a large screen and a solid sound system so that the audio and the visual work together,” Foster said.

Cinema fans can see new technology, as well as some classic flicks at the 2011 Movies Under the Stars series, which kicks off on Friday, June 10.

Opening night features the Karate Kid 2 at Bronx Park East and Waring Avenue. The series consists of eight nights of movies at six different outdoor locations through out the northeast Bronx.

“Movies Under the Stars is one of my favorite events to sponsor each year because it brings families out to our parks and other public spaces to enjoy a fun and free activity,” Councilman Vacca said. “NIDC does a great job running these movie nights and each year I’m encouraged by how many parents come out and enjoy a night out in the neighborhood.”

Aside from the Bronx Park East location, movies will be shown at Bufano Park, Loreto Park, the Bronx River Houses, Ambrosini Field on City Island and Villa Maria Academy. In previous years the series was held at only three locations.

Foster says crowds have also been increasing, averaging about 200 people on good-weather nights in 2010.

“I think that one of the reasons that our turnouts are getting bigger each year is word of mouth,” Foster said. “Parents are really happy that they’re able to share activities with their kids and they are always expressing that to the staff that’s running the event.”

This year’s film selection has a decidedly family-oriented feel. It will include Gulliver’s Travels, The Last Airbender, and Toy Story 3, in addition to the 1986 Ralph Macchio classic being shown on opening night.

The NIDC’s overall mission is to provide safe and stable communities for children. It holds homework help sessions, youth volunteer programs and summer camps.

“Our goal is to bring families together,” said Foster. “That’s what builds community.”

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