Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Roll The Film at This Local Orlando Garden

A popup movie theater screen hosts a selection of favorites for guests. (Grace Olsen)

Harry P. Leu Gardens hosted one of its many movie nights on November 3, showing 1987’s “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”. “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” was directed by John Hughes and tells the story of two men, Neal Page and Del Griffith, who are trying to get back to Chicago for Thanksgiving. The two encounter multiple roadblocks while on their travels.

“When picking for Thanksgiving movies, picking a movie for November, it really came upon me. I really wanted a Thanksgiving movie. So I did research, and, of course, ‘Planes, Trains, and Automobiles’ came up,” said Tracy Micciche, Leu Gardens Marketing and Events Coordinator.

Movie nights happen seven-to-ten times per year, depending on weather. “(Horticulture), event, and office staff all work together to make (Movie Night) happen,” Entertainment Facility Services Associate Emma Allen said. “We’ve got to prep the speakers, the projector, you have to blow up the projecting screen, and lots of extension cords being taped down so nobody trips on them, and we place a lot of signs to direct guests in the gardens.”

Guests are allowed to walk around the gardens before the movie if they would like and are encouraged to bring a picnic for their snacks and drinks, as well as chairs to sit in during the movie.

“It’s fantastic, people just come and they have the opportunity to bring in their own food and drink, they come with friends, they come with family, and it’s just a relaxing evening,” said Jennifer D’Hollander, Leu Gardens Executive Director. “It adds the opportunity for us to show people that we’re more than just a garden. We can be a place for movie night, we can be a place to learn about horticulture, but we can also be a place where you can get married, or be a place where you can listen to a jazz concert, or go to a movie… It gives everyone an opportunity to find something that they want to come to and enjoy.”

Movie night at Leu started in 2005, and the tradition honors a past resident of the property.

“Movie night was designed based on Helen Gardner Pell, who actually lived on property. We pay homage to her, because she was a silent screen star, and the first woman to own her own production company,” Micciche said.

Helen Gardner, and her husband Duncan Pell, owned the property from 1902-1906.

Tickets for a movie night run between $5 and $7, and are free for members.

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