News 12 at 11, June 29, 2007
AUGUSTA, GA-- Movies under the stars. An Augusta tradition at the Golf and Gardens has run its last film as the gates are scheduled to close tomorrow night (June 30) for good.
It was a sad night tonight for everyone at movies under the stars. For both loyal fans and new fans who were there for their first and last time.
"It's very relaxing. It's like a vacation on the beach." says young fan Makayla White.
"I want to scream because I'm so excited!" exclaims Victoria LaPierre, in town visiting her grandmother and experiencing the show for the first and last time.
It's the type of evening filled with family fun that can be found in the movies, but tonight (June 29) it's in Augusta at the Golf and Gardens.
Families from as far as Massachusetts here in Augusta spending time together: Playing, laughing and watching as Dorothy tries to make her way back home.
But for now it seems there's no happy ending waiting over the rainbow for this Augusta landmark.
Sharon LaPierre is Victoria's Grandmother. She lives in North Augusta and is a returning fan of the movies under the stars. "Absolutely devastated. I live three minutes away and it's such a wonderful family thing to do here in Augusta."
"Breaks my heart. Absolutely just breaks my heart that we're losing it because i think it's just fabulous." adds Mildred Blackburn.
But governor Perdue didn't find the gardens as fabulous, nixing its funding from the state's 2007 budget in may.
Last ditch efforts to save the Golf and Gardens over the last few weeks have failed. So unless a miracle happens over the next 24 hours or so, when the gates close tomorrow night at 9 o'clock, this time it will be for good.
But what is to happen to the gardens' flowers is still not clear. Citizen groups have pledged money to help keep up the gardens temporarily,
but to properly maintain them, half a million dollars would be needed every year.
"It's a shame. Since we have water restrictions maybe they could use some of the water saved for those plants. I'd be a good use for it." adds Augustan Milton Allen.
Sharon LaPierre has her own idea. "You know we need to start a website and everyone from Augusta and North Augusta could contribute 20 dollars to save the golf gardens. Once a year if we all did that we could keep it open. I'd head up the committee."
News 12 tried contacting the Golf and Garden's Board Chairman and Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver to find out any new information to save the gardens but our calls were not returned.
Movies Under the Stars will continue at the Columbia County Amphitheater. The schedule resumes July 13Th there where the movie Goonies will be shown.