Screen on the Green canceled this summer

Piedmont Park Conservancy announced Tuesday afternoon that the popular Screen on the Green free movie series would be canceled this summer, due to a lack of a sponsoring partner.

Since 2000 the intown park has hosted free outdoor showings of movies on Thursday evenings in June, entertaining audiences on the Meadow with screenings of such films as "Star Wars," "Casablanca" and "The Wizard of Oz."

Peachtree TV was last year’s sponsor, but Turner Broadcasting turned over the station’s management in January to Meredith Corp., which also runs CBS Atlanta. That same month, the station told the conservancy that it would no longer sponsor the event.

During last year’s showing of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” on June 3, a group of young people started fights and disrupted the movie in what was described as a “melee,” bringing the film to an early ending. Monica Thornton, vice president of marketing and development at the conservancy, said that incident had nothing to do with the cancellation of the series this summer, and that subsequent movie nights were without problems.

Thornton said the nonprofit group had three months to find another sponsoring partner, which wasn’t enough time. “The way budgets work, money in the quarter has already been allocated, which made it impossible for us to get the dollars we needed to pay the upfront costs.”

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She said the conservancy has several possible sponsors lined up for next summer.

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