Pub­lic Out­door Movies OK’d

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - NEWS - By Lynn Kut­ter

FARM­ING­TON — City Coun­cil mem­bers gave the OK last week to al­low First Bap­tist Church on Rheas Mill Road to use the grassy area next to Farm­ing­ton Pub­lic Li­brary to show movies at night.

The first movie will be held on Satur­day, May 12, with ac­tiv­i­ties to start about an hour be­fore dark.

Way­lon Wil­hite, a church mem­ber, ad­dressed the Coun­cil about his pro­posal to pro­vide a free pub­lic show­ing of fam­ily-friendly, faith-based films on a 20-foot in­flat­able movie screen. Wil­hite’s first choice was to use Creek­side Park for the movies but it was de­cided the li­brary land would be bet­ter be­cause of more park­ing in the area.

Wil­hite said he and other church mem­bers would be re­spon­si­ble for movie li­cens­ing fees and would set up and clean up the area for each show­ing. He plans to show movies once a month at first to see how it goes. The church would have por­ta­ble toi­lets on site and also plans to sell con­ces­sions to help off­set some of its costs.

“This will give some­thing for the youth to do on Fri­day nights that is free,” Wil­hite told the Coun­cil.

His vi­sion is that peo­ple would bring their own lawn chairs to watch the movie and it would be like a “giant fam­ily cook­out.”

Wil­hite said the movie would start af­ter dark and last up to two hours. If the event proves suc­cess­ful, he said he would be will­ing to show movies more of­ten or as an­other idea, have a dou­ble fea­ture night, where a movie for chil­dren is shown first and then one for youth is shown after­ward.

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