The lights were dim, a projection screen was hung from the high ceiling, and guests were purchasing popcorn and settling into their seats. As the beginning of the movie “Madagascar 3” approached, Miss Wanda B noticed more and more people filling the rows of seats arranged center of the room. The gymnasium at the K.D. Moore Community Development Center was already filling up.
“I was counting people coming in,” she said. “I’m amazed how many people turned out!”
Like Miss Wanda’s granddaughters, most at the movie night on Friday, March 1 were children and their family interested in gathering to watch a fun, light-hearted kids movie, complete with popcorn. The film is hosted by the K.D. Moore Community Development Center, an affiliate of the Clarkston First Baptist Church which is located alongside the church near downtown Clarkston.In all, 75 people of all ages would gather this Friday night, laughing happily and looking forward to be entertained by March’s monthly movie night. Miss Wanda B was with her two granddaughters, Breanna and Trochelle, ages 5 and 9, who attend the after-school program at the First Baptist Church in Clarkston. Together they packed into three back-row seats.
The Community Development Center started hosting movie nights in January of 2013, on the first Fridays of every month. After assessing community needs through a survey, Christin Taylor, program director of the Community Development Center, learned that by a large margin, “Family Engagement” was the most requested need that people wished to be addressed.
“We recognized that this was a need and we wanted to meet that need,” she said. “So we try to make it a family-friendly movie, and we try to entertain the kids.”
The first movie, ‘The Amazing Spiderman’, shown in January, drew 45 attendees. As word spread through the community, the next showing, of the Pixar movie ‘Brave’ in February, saw an increase in turn-out from the refugee community. In total, 50 people attended the second movie night in February.
Taylor has held this position for three years. She said it is gratifying to see people come together thanks to her organizing efforts. “It takes a desire to do what I do,” said Taylor. “People ask why I do what I do and it’s because I have a passion for making a change in the community.”
Terrence Franklin, a deacon of the Clarkston First Baptist Church, attended with his wife for the first time this month. He said the gym, built in 2009, was a great facility and presented a tremendous opportunity for growth.
“It’s a great place with great fellowship. Hopefully we are welcoming and people will come back,” he said.
The K. D. Moore Community Development Center also runs an after school program Monday through Friday until 6 p.m., and an all-day Academy from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. They also provide a GED program with afternoon, evening and night classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and a weekly fitness program Monday through Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Movie nights are hosted on the first Friday evenings of every month through June, starting with “Courageous” on April 5th, “Hugo” on May 3rd, and “Dr. Seuss’s ‘The Lorax’” on June 7th. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 7:00 p.m., with popcorn and a drink available for $2.50. For more information contact Christin Taylor at (404) 292-5686.
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