All Angels Church has abruptly moved its popular Friday Night Movie series back to its own property after a fracas with a resident who opposed holding it on the town Circle.
“We are going to move Movie Night back to All Angels,” Councilwoman Jennifer Ator said at Monday’s meeting. “In light of all the issues that were raised, we went ahead and made a decision to move it back.”
All Angels Movie Night was not on the agenda, so no official discussion took place. However, just two weeks ago, the city council voted 4-0 to continue co-sponsoring Movie Night at the Circle even though one resident balked at any city involvement whatsoever due to an alleged Constitutional conflict.
“The Movie Night committee decided to stop hosting the event on the Circle and move it back to All Angels in light of the concerns voiced by some of the residents,” Ator wrote Monday in an e-mail to the Gazette. “The cost to the city, together with the negative publicity, made it unrealistic to continue on the Circle.”
Nery Owens, 66, chided officials at the Nov. 26 council meeting that paying police officers $15,000 from city coffers was unacceptable. But Police Chief Pete Baan quickly clarified that the total for all five Movie Nights would not exceed about $3,000.
The city has co-sponsored Movie Night with All Angels since 2005, with the church paying for the movie screen rental as well as for some publicity. The Movie Nights, held seasonally on the third Friday of the month, draw between 200 to 300 residents per showing, according to Ator.
The location of the next movie night, on Dec. 21, featuring “Polar Express” and “12 Men of Christmas” was officially changed on the city’s website on Monday from the Circle to the church.
“I am disappointed that it is not being held on the Circle,” said Mayor Zavier Garcia, who expressed dismay that the location was being moved. “I would love for it to continue being held on the Circle as a community event, which is what we as a council voted unanimously to support.”
A message left for Owens on Monday about how she felt now that movie night had been moved from the Circle was not immediately returned. Other than Owens, no resident has spoken on the matter before the council.