ENTERTAINMENT Free films outdoors gain in popularity

Town One Streetscapes initiated movie nights and now rents out equipment.
POLAND -- One group's idea for free summer entertainment is catching on in other areas.
Town One Streetscapes started Yellow Creek Theater, where free movies are shown to the public this summer under the U.S. Route 224 bridge in the village.
Other communities approached the organization about how they could offer similar programs in their towns. Youngstown showed a movie last week, and Boardman Park started weekly Saturday night movies last weekend.
The Poland group started out renting the equipment but then decided to borrow money to buy it.
"Each of us in Streetscapes signed a personal note for it," said Larry Warren, president of the group.
Streetscapes saw the opportunity of working with the other communities as a way to pay off the note. They charge a fee to those entities to use the equipment and set up for the event. That money, along with revenue raised by different companies sponsoring the Poland movie nights, will be used to pay off the cost of the projector and other equipment.
Streetscapes also pays a royalty to show the films and rents a limited number of chairs for attendees to use at each Friday night showing.
Movies started in Poland over the July Fourth holiday and have continued each Friday evening since. Showings usually draw between 100 and 150 people, Warren said.
Now showing
Tonight's feature, which will start at about 8:30 p.m., is "To Sir, With Love," the 1967 classic starring Sidney Poitier as an engineer hired to teach a class of undisciplined high school students.
"We're sticking with the classics," Warren said.
The weekly movies will continue as long as weather permits, he said.
This week's feature at Boardman Park, "Casper," is to start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Maag Outdoor Arts Theatre. Admission and parking are free, and attendees should bring lawn chairs or blankets.

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