We have been showing films at The Meadow Amphitheatre for the past two years, with marginal success. The program has been refined nicely so that the staging area and trails leading up the the field have been very appealing. The sound system has, for the most part worked well, with an occasional snafu. We have been able to offer a nice selection of concessions, with plans to incorporate a fresh popcorn machine.
Well, this year I have decided not to show any films or to produce any programs at the stage.
Construction on the stage in Tamanend Park began in 2008 and we managed to produce a number of programs there with some degree of success, having had a few audiences which approached 75 people. We introduced Cinema Under the Stars in 2010 and made the investment in supplies, equipment and labor to present a very nice program of summer-time films in the park. At most we had 30 people attend a film, but more often than not we could count the attendance on one hand. The films we showed had to be paid for, regardless as to whether or not anyone showed up. This in itself is enough of a discouragement from continuing. The amount of effort involved in setting up is too much for any few people to bear alone on an ongoing basis.
We were willing to endure this low attendance for the sake of building an audience, but now I find that both myself, and those others people who have offered their help, are no longer willing to go through the amount of effort and expense for such little response. This is not to say that we cannot show films again.
If we find that someone or some organization would like to wholly sponsor a film showing, then we will be able to do that. That means that one film showing will cost $500 and the sponsoring group will also need to provide a minimum of two people (preferably more) to assist in set-up, operation and strike. The sponsoring organization will be responsible for promotion and the film must be scheduled one month in advance of the showing. Other details will be discussed when you make an inquiry to me at email@example.com.
Regarding this decision on my part: I must focus my resources and energy on building our stage musical "The Gnomes of New Hope" and producing the film version of this show. In addition, I am giving my attention to repairing/restoring my vehicles (three of which are work vehicles used to aid in producing the theatre/film projects), re-establishing a new studio facility, and building a mobile version of the stage we built in Tamanend Park. All of these project have a much higher priority for me that programs in Tamanend Park, which have been lightly received with very little assistance from the community.
In an effort to assure that the programs at The Meadow Amphitheater can continue, I am encouraging the reconstruction of the stage out of stone, so that the facility can endure for a much longer period of time without major maintenance issues and so that it may be available to persons in the community as an additional stage facility. This is required due to the fact that the existing stage is made out of wood and will not endure the weather for much longer. If you would like to be involved in this effort, speak to me or the park office about this. AG
Tamanend Park is located at 1255 Second Street Pike in Southampton, Pennsylvania (at the intersection of Maple Avenue halfway between Street and Bristol Roads).
Show times take place at dusk, which starts around 9:00pm but as the summer wanes, the times become earlier as the sun sets earlier, ending at around 6:00 pm.
The trails are illuminated with solar lights so you can feel confident that the lights will lead you to The Meadow Amphitheatre. If you arrive earlier you can check out the stage before it gets dark. This might help you feel better about where the films are shown because they are not right next to the parking areas. You will need to walk a little ways into the park. It is very enchanting and a lot of fun!
I suggest you get there a half an hour before dusk/dark. You are welcome to picnic in the Meadow while we set up for the film and you may end up getting a performance from the stage.
We have a concession stand where we sell canned soda, bagged chips, pretzels and popcorn. This year we tried ice pops and candy which worked well. For next season we hope to have purchased a popcorn machine.
We also sell insect repellent in case you forget to bring some, but the insects are really not that bad because we have tiki torches with citronella which seems to work pretty well.
We have a raffle which you can view on the IMS Virtual Studio and there is a countdown clock for the next film at that site also.
There are more pictures of the set-up for Cinema Under the Stars and you can also view a slide show presentation which will help you to locate the stage or find directions. To see this slide show go to;
The IMS Virtual Studio or The Shakespearean Journal.