2013-03-07 / News

The big screen is coming to Mechanic’s Park

By Molly Lovell-Keely Managing Editor

BIDDEFORD – It looks like a Kennebunk company is going to bring a series of movies to Mechanic’s Park this summer so residents and visitors can view them on a large screen, under the stars.

The Downtown Development Commission allocated $1,125 for Video Creations to set up the movies for five Thursday nights in July, starting at 8 or 8:30 p.m.

Lee Cote, an owner of the company and Biddeford native, presented the plan to the commission Monday night at city hall. Cote and his company take care of licensing for the movies, which will include “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Goonies,” “Jumangi” and “Wedding Singer.”

Cote envisions an ’80s-themed night for “Wedding Singer” and the person with the best attire would win a gift certificate to a local business.

Cote says licensing procedures are different for each company.

“With ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ we’re able to get a discount because we’re able to do it in two locations. Others will ship you the movie and you ship it back. Sometimes (a company) will say it needs to be shown in one location,” Cote said.

A Video Creations technician will set up and break down the sound system and nearly 15-foot screen for each movie night.

“(The screen) packs up into a gym bag,” Cote said.

Video Creations, located in Shoppers Village on Route 1 in Kennebunk, has worked with Stripers Restaurant in Kennebunkport for four seasons and has scheduled an eight-week movie series for this summer. This year will be the second season the company has worked with the town of Kennebunk and will begin its six-week series Tuesday, July 2.

“We’re hoping to make this an annual summer series in Biddeford for many years to come,” Cote said.

Thanks to the Downtown Development Commission’s contribution, Cote said there are two $225 sponsorship opportunities left for each of the five movies. In addition, the Courier has agreed to sponsor a slot.

Cote said the commission’s contribution is the largest sponsorship the company has received right out of the gate.

“This is very exciting,” he said.

Cote said sponsors will have an opportunity for their logos to be on promotional material and social media sites advertising the series. Cote also said there’s an opportunity for sponsors to be part of a preview/trivia section that Video Creations puts together, similar to what mainstream movie theaters do before a main showing.

Member Dennis Anglea said he could gather volunteers to clean up Mechanic’s Park after each event, including Joyful Harvest Neighborhood Center. Member Brian Mawhinney, president of Biddeford Youth Football Association, said he would also like to get his group involved. Cote said Joe McKenney, who owns a photography studio on Main Street, has offered to be involved as well.

It was also suggested that the commission look into portable toilets for each of the family oriented events.

Economic Development Director Dan Stevenson said events similar to this have been popular in towns such as Freeport and Bangor.

“You can’t even fathom what can be done. It will drive (people) into downtown,” he said.

Interested sponsors can contact Cote at 985-5105 or email lee@videocreations.tv.com. Want to comment on this story? Login to our website at courier.mainelymediallc.com and let us know your thoughts.

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