Citing security concerns, the event's organizer said Magnuson Park might not be right for family-friendly events.
Movie Night at Magnuson Park has been canceled in mid-season due to “security concerns that have evolved into public safety issues,” according to event organizers.
Doug Borneman, the president and producer of Epic Events, said on Tuesday that the decision to close the event was not an easy one, but the park seemed to be becoming an increasingly unsafe environment.
He said there had been several incidents that required police response over the now seven years of the outdoor movie event’s existence — and three incidents that he heard of last Thursday. He said he talked to the parents of two young people who were allegedly attacked at the park: a 13-year-old boy who was stripped of his shoes and backpack and a teen girl whose cellphone was taken after she was slapped.
“It seems Magnuson Park is not the safest on any night and it may not be right for family-friendly events,” he said. “We can secure the area of our event and most of the parking areas, but there is a lot of space and a lot of shadows.”
Police did not immediately provide information about the alleged events, and there were no recent movie-night incidents reported in the Seattle Police Department Crime Blotter, but event-goers on the Movies at Magnuson Facebook page discussed the issue.
“It may seem like an overcorrection,” Borneman said, “but we don’t want to attract people to an unsafe environment.”
There were five more screenings planned on Thursdays this summer. The canceled movies: July 27, “Willy Wonka;” Aug. 3, “La La Land;” Aug. 10, “The Lego Batman Movie;” Aug. 17, “Fantastic Beasts;” Aug. 24, “The Princess Bride.”