Rain doesn’t dampen drive-in movie crowd

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    A movie-goer stops to visit a family in a pickup truck Saturday during the Kaua‘i Family Movie Night at the park near Grove Farm headquarters in Puhi.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Finn Rule, all of 15 months, comes to check out the news hound Saturday during his first movie at the Kaua‘i Family Movie Night drive-in at the park near Grove Farm headquarters in Puhi.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    A family sets up a quick tent as a hedge against showers Saturday during the free Kaua‘i Family Movie Night at the park near Grove Farm headquarters in Puhi.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    A movie-goer unwraps his burger while waiting on the start of the film Saturday at the Kaua‘i Family Movie Night at the park in Puhi near Grove Farm headquarters.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Mia Thorp, Norven Balisacan and Mason Thorp are not worried about the threat of showers Saturday while preparing to hunker down for the Kaua‘i Family Movie Night at the park near Grove Farm headquarters in Puhi.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Hailey Ramos shows how to get rid of a Shaka Burger Saturday as Joanne Tomacder and Damien and Aubrey Sagucio watch during the Kaua‘i Family Movie Night at the park near Grove Farm headquarters in Puhi.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island Alice Luck of the Kaua‘i Planning & Action Alliance reacts to their sweet parking space Saturday during the Kaua‘i Family Movie Night at the park near Grove Farm headquarters in Puhi.

PUHI — Finn Rule, at 15 months old, was enjoying his first movie Saturday night at what Juno Apalla described as “the first drive-in movie event this month,” at the park near Grove Farm headquarters.

“This is his first movie,” said his dad, adjusting the blankets against the deluge that wet down the sea of cars ahead of “Big Hero 6” at the Kaua‘i Family Movie Night. “The theater closed down, so this is his first movie. It’s a good thing I brought his front loader or he’d be bothering me all night.”

The Kaua‘i Resilience Project, in partnership with the Kaua‘i Community College Office of Continuing Education and Training and the KCC Performing Arts Center presented the drive-in movie that was limited to 100 cars and filled up fst.

“We sold out in a matter of hours,” said Nannie Ann Apalla of the Kaua‘i Resilience Project. “We’ll be doing another movie (this Saturday) Sept. 26, but you need to be vigiliant because tickets become available Monday, Sept 21 on Facebook.”

Robbie Melton of the Small Business Development Center was one of the early arrivals, ensuring her space. She just happened upon an earlier drive-in at the Coconut Marketplace.

“I love these movies,” Melton said, this time bringing along a guest, Alice Luck of the Kaua‘i Plnning &Action Alliance, who was enjoying the free meal from Verde, one of the participating meal vendors offering one meal per car. “You have to get here early to get the good parking.”

Juno Apalla said the event was put together because of the high rate of suicide in Hawai‘i. September is also observed as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and Suicide Prevention Month on Kaua‘i as proclaimed by Mayor Derek Kawakami.

In making reservations, movie-goers were offered a free meal voucher from one of four food vendors, one per vehicle, with the option of ordering more meals from the vendors’ menus.

“This Kaua‘i Family Movie Night is for the ‘ohana, the keiki,” said Nannie Apalla. “We want the family to spend time together, eat a meal together and engage with each other.”

Kaua‘i County Councilmember Mason Chock was among the sea of movie-goers, noting that his company only recently picked up a 30-foot climbing wall that will be set up in the community as part of a Kaua‘i Resilience Project. The Kaua‘i Resilience Project also saw the completition of a suicide-awareness mural on the M. Tanaka Store building in Lihu‘e, and is readying for the second of three planned murals.

Matt Burris of Hale ‘Opio wanted more tickets Friday, but found out the movie was sold out.

“I guess that means I’ll be watching Facebook Monday when the tickets for the Kekaha movie become available,” Burris said. “We really have some families that wanted to go.”

The Apalla sisters announced that a free drive-in movie featuring “Onward” will screen this Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center. Gates open to vehicles starting at 6 p.m., with the movie scheduled to start following sunset, or around 7:30 p.m.

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