October 18, 2021

What started out as a small idea, turned into something much bigger than expected in Waterloo Region all thanks to Julie D. Martin and her husband Roger.

The Red-Carpet Crew, a community group formed by the couple three years ago, is determined to bring the community together through film and music. With an incredible success during their first year in 2019, screening of The Greatest Showman, the couple was shocked by the outcome.

“On our first movie night, we hosted about 350 people,” Julie D. Martin said. “Which was an amazing turnout for the first time.”

Martin said the reason behind the creation of the group was to show appreciation towards their clients and the public. The group has run multiple events including Christmas open houses, movie nights at the movie theatre and concerts that take place every February at the Victoria Park Pavilion.

“One thing I’ve always loved was going to a movie in the park, so we decided to call this event Movie in the Parking Lot,” Julie D. Martin said.

The parking lot is located outside the Century 21 Realty building located on 300 Gage Ave., in Kitchener. There is a 35-foot screen, its stage built by Roger. The event usually takes place during the summer between the months of June and August, but changes were made due to the COVID-29 pandemic, and it was moved to Friday Sept. 17.

Large screen displayed at Music and Movie Night in Parking Lot in Kitchener, Ontario. Photo by Fayth Paul.

For the last year and a half, the government has addressed multiple stages of restrictions that were released to the public, affecting many events and businesses.

But not this one.

Music and Movie Night in a Parking Lot continued despite restrictions but in a safe manner.

“We had to limit the numbers a but last year and we changed the format slightly,” Julie D. Martin stated. “But we couldn’t host our concert at the Victoria Park Pavilion.”

The same rules applied this year except for limitations of attendees, and everyone was spaced six feet apart. Although attendance was not as full this year, it was still a great time for friends and family to get together.

“I thought it was very fun and enjoyable. It allows people to come together,” said Samantha Smith, a Kitchener resident. “It was worth the bug bites.” This was her first time attending the event.

This free event offers food, snacks and beverages. There is no charge.

The next event is planned for sometime next year, the date is unknown.

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