Movies in the Park drove an estimated $664,000 into the Downtown economy during the summer of 2015, according to the event performance report prepared and released today by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI).

The report, based on surveys administered at each event night, presents an overview of the audience demographics, economic activity and attendee satisfaction associated with Movies in the Park (MITP), an outdoor film series that presents movies in Ah-Nab-Awen Park on six different evenings from June thru August. The event is organized by DGRI in partnership with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and the City of Grand Rapids.

Movies in the Park is a low cost event that delivers a big return to Downtown Grand Rapids,” said DGRI President/CEO Kristopher Larson. “The events are free for movie goers to attend and this year, based on consumer spending, it generated a $441 return for every $1 we invested to produce the series.”

Additional survey highlights include:

  • Attendance at MITP 2015 totaled approximately 31,700 people, a 67 percent increase compared to 2014.
  • The diversity of the MITP 2015 audience increased approximately 29 percent compared to 2014, with the largest gains in multiracial, Asian, Hispanic and Pacific Islander attendees.
  • Similar to last year, approximately 51 percent of attendees came from within the City of Grand Rapids. MITP 2015 achieved a slight increase in the percentage of attendees coming from the near suburbs compared to 2014.
  • Total consumer spending at MITP increased 51 percent – from $439,000 in 2014 to $664,000 in 2015.
  • The net MITP production cost to DGRI decreased 96 percent – from $34,000 in 2014 to $1,500 in 2015 – due to the growth in event sponsorships.
  • Overall, movie goers rated the event a great experience, with an average of 9.1 out of 10 positive rating.

Click here for the full summary of event performance results. (PDF)



DGRI’s methodology is peer reviewed by university faculty specializing in economics and promoted by the International Downtown Association. The survey instrument was a 10-question intercept survey administered by trained DGRI volunteers and Downtown Ambassadors. For MITP 2015, DGRI collected 1,389 total surveys, or an average of 231 per event. Based on MITP attendance, a total of 94 surveys per night is the threshold to achieve a statistically valid sample at a 95 percent level of confidence.