Friday, December 29, 2006

Whatever Happened to "First Night"?

A reader email reminded me that an former Silver Spring tradition, "First Night Montgomery" seems to have disappeared and wondered why it never returned to the "new" Silver Spring. This event used to be held annualy in downtown Silver Spring but was moved in 1999 to the county fairgrounds in Gaithersburg due to construction in Silver Spring. It remained there until 2001, but not only did it not return to Silver Spring as might be expected, it was never again scheduled at any venue.

Now that Silver Spring has been redeveloped and has a great open space (Between Georgia and the end of "The Turf") that has proven to work great for other large events, it is surprising that First Night hasn't been resuscitated and returned to its original home. Does anyone know any details on what became of First Night? Such an event in Silver Spring seems a lot more practical now than it ever was in its original incarnation, so what's keeping it from coming back? I would even consider going to it for New Year's. The fairgrounds, not so much.

Other notes from around Silver Spring:

- Did you know that Silver Spring is home to a three-time national champion football team?

- On Wednesday, a man suspected of "assaulting a York City Police officer by dropping a ceramic flowerpot on his head" in York, PA was arrested in Silver Spring. I thought that only happened in the movies and cartoons.

- The Washington Times has a profile of David Kussner, manager of the Majestic 20. Apparently, the Majestic is the best performing theater in the entire Consolidated Theatres chain.



19 comments:

Silver Springer said...

Majestic was rated 38th in the country about six months back. I'm sure it's rated higher now.

Anonymous said...

Whenever we end up going to the Majestic we always have a lousy experience. It almost always relates to rude guests not only refusing to silence their phones, but actually answering them and having conversations! Either that or people will just loudly talk during the movie... The last time I was there was to see 'Memoirs of a Geisha' and I almost walked out of there. We either go to AFI or hike over to Landmark Bethesda.

Anonymous said...

FIRST NIGHT!
It really should be something we revive. I've been to them in many different venues and agree that S.S. would be great now. Should we contact Susan Hoffman? Someone else to help start the ball rolling? What would it take to make one happen for next year?
Love to have more discussion on this.

Rfustero said...

If downtown Silver Spring residents want a First Night- show some community spirit and unity and have a First Night.

Are you so dependent on the County Goverment that you can not plan your own First Nighter-
Welcome to the New Silver Spring- we can not function on our own- so we need the County to plan for us-

Wake up people it is called community involvement-

Anonymous said...

Hooray for Silver Spring for proving that a good movie theater can prosper here! I hope all of us keep on spending our money at home and showing that stores, restaurants, movie theaters and offices can be successful in Silver Spring. I would add that if you are unhappy with your movie experience at the Majestic (which I will admit has also happened to me), you now know the name of the manager to contact.

WashingtonGardener said...

First Night did not work because of dwindling attendance and the "crowds" were never close to expectations.

One big factor in why people did not show was the stank-ass weather -- it was freezing rain the two years I went when it was in downtown SS. You basically RAN between the indoor performance venues and froze in the tents. This year there is more cold and rain in the forecast. It makes for a miserable evening. With no control over that, we'd have to look at making it all indoors - hoping the new Armory is the answer to that.

Second reason is it was marketed as a First Night family thing - in other words: No Alcohol. But then the acts were definitely adult and so was the crowd when I went. Don't mistake me, I don't think we need a drunken street party -- but I do think it needs to be planned as either a family-friendly OR an adult-centered event -- can't be all things to all people or it is bound to disappoint them all.

Sponsorship was lacking - RFustero - where will the money come from to put this on? At least the county put up the bucks up front. Where is the profit or incentive for any business to participate in this? Either they charge attendance fees high enough to cover all costs or the county kicks in or you find some businesses with deep pockets.

Rfustero said...

washington gardner-- I live in a gated condo community-- We do not have a First Nighter, but we do have an annual Christmas Party for the community.

The money comes from the community, and from some of the contracters who do business with us(Landscapers, Management company,etc) we also have a number of memebrs in the community who volunteer their time- we had a musician this year, and we had a member of the community cater the party- he too lives in the community.

At our annual pool Party, we had a resident donate his time- he is also a resident of the community.

So you you see the money can come from the residents who live in Silver Spring and who would like to have a First Nighter- it is not about the money it is about the belief and the faith in ones community.

Rfustero said...

the member who donated his time for the pool party was a professional DJ- the food was also peovided by residents and again some of contracted business that we are involved with.

silver spring penguin said...

I'd like to see Ellsworth Drive tricked out into a Times Square-like event. Ten minutes before midnight, everyone crawls out of the bars. Ten minutes after midnight, everyone crawls back in. It's how the Times Square tradition survives through rain, snow, cold, terrorism threats. It's only 20 minutes outdoors.

Re: community funding, an open block party would cost more than a closed-community pool party. There are permits to acquire, security to hire, insurance out the yinyang, and sanitation services for all that confetti.

And the cost of confetti.

Rfustero said...

Never the less an open block party is still feasible with community volunteers, donations of services(possible tax breaks) and minimal County involvement.

The restaurants can provide food, entertainment can be any local bands who might be willing to volunteer their time or take less in pay etc. etc.

There can also be fund raising events for such plans. Permits, sanitations and other legal matters can be the only County expenses.

Debbie Cook said...

I had always thought that the county did first night in Silver Spring to liven it up a night, promote and to draw attention to Silver Spring. At the time it was held here - there were still not many people going out at night. Now there is a healthy nightlife, people out on the streets at night and lots of attention for Silver Spring. So, no need for the County or Businesses to spend the money.

amberbangkokescort said...

Are you therefore captivated with the County Goverment that you just can't set up your own initial Nighter-
Welcome to the New Silver Spring- we will not operate on our own- therefore we'd like the County to set up for us-
Wake up individuals it's known as community involvement-
http://amberbangkokescort.com/

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