Six ‘Inclusive’ Outdoor Movies Planned For Town Next Summer

BERLIN – The town is expected to again offer an outdoor movie series in 2016.

Following the inaugural program last year, the Berlin Arts and Entertainment Committee and the Berlin Parks Commission are partnering together to offer a six movie series in the coming year. Runaway Bride and Tuck Everlasting, two movies filmed in Berlin, are expected to be among those featured.

“It reinforces our brand,” said Patricia Dufendach, a member of the parks commission.

Members of both groups met this week to discuss issues they encountered last year, offering the free outdoor movies for the first time, and changes they’d like to see in 2016.

Heather Layton of the town’s arts and entertainment committee said the problem with showing children’s movies on the 21-foot outdoor screen was that because it couldn’t go up until sundown, it was too late for many young kids.

“It was bedtime,” she said.

Because of that, in 2016 the plan is to show movies that will appeal to both children and adults, such as Runaway Bride, Tuck Everlasting, The Goonies and Princess Bride. The final list of six movies has not yet been determined.

“We need to make sure the selection is inclusive,” said Robin Tomaselli, a member of the arts and entertainment committee.

Another issue discussed was the need for more promotion of the movies, which are set to alternate between Henry Park, Stephen Decatur Park and downtown Berlin. Group members said the Henry Park movies in particular would need to be advertised better.

Mary Bohlen, the town’s administrative services director, said yard signs promoting the outdoor movie program would be printed for the summer.  She said the committees could also approach downtown businesses to seek their help. She said if the shops were interested, they could even sell items related to the program, such as movie night picnic baskets.

Though the idea of allowing certain non-profit groups to set up at each movie to promote their groups and fundraisers was discussed, no decision was made.

“You want to keep it as simple as possible,” Bohlen said.

The parks commission is expected to discuss the movie program again in February.