Thanks to a new initiative called Love the Centre, Hamilton's CBD has been receiving lots of love and support in recent weeks after being nearly abandoned during the Covid red light setting.
With the move to orange, the initiative was launched by Hamilton Central Business Association (HCBA) and Hamilton City Council to give people more reasons to come back into the CBD.
Free outdoor movies on a big screen in Garden Place have been pulling in the crowds with Disney's Tangled (yes, the Rapunzel story) this Saturday, May 14 being the final one - for now.
HCBA general manager Vanessa Williams said: "The turnouts have been a testament to the level of vibrancy in the city centre. City centres should be social places and we are aiming to give people more reasons to come and enjoy it."
The idea for the outdoor movies came from CBD business owner Dave Murray. He sells vegan soft serve, lemonade, soft pretzels and popcorn for the movies from his Atticus American Treats shop in Garden Place.
He says it has been tough since the red traffic light setting was announced. He was looking for a way to bring people back to the CBD.
"I have three kids and we do movie nights at home... Working in the shop I am staring at the yellow frames in front of the [Central City] library every day, so I thought it is a good place to put up a screen."
He says the movie that drew the biggest crowd was Disney's Encanto. "The kids met the characters before the movie."
This Saturday, kids will also have the chance to meet Rapunzel from Enchanted Entertainment in Garden Place, at 5.30pm before the movie.
People are asked to bring their own blankets, seats and warm clothing, Williams says.
Although it is the last movie, for now, she said: "Maybe we will do it every year, it is proving so popular and positive."
As part of the Love the Centre initiative, there has also been an O-week for tertiary students who missed out on the scheduled O-week because of Covid earlier in the year.
Another event was a progressive dinner taking participants to experience some of the city's top eateries.
"There's always something to do, see, eat, drink and love when you visit Hamilton's city centre," said Williams.
You also have the chance to win a morning tea shout for your workplace: Just share a photo of your local central city coffee spot to Instagram using #lovethecentre to be in to win one of 10 $100 morning tea shouts.
Love the Centre will continue next Saturday, May 21 with a range of live music in Garden Place and Victoria on the River in celebration of NZ Music Month and a Creatives Market.
For more information check out the dedicated website or HCBA's Facebook or Instagram pages.
What: outdoor movie screening of Disney's Tangled
When: Saturday, May 14, 6.30pm to 8.30pm (meet Rapunzel from 5.30pm).
Where: Hamilton Garden Place