The big screen is coming to a community near you, and it’s outside.
By Cole Benz
In an effort to reach out to their co-operative communities, Rhonda Fitterer and Ron Rhodes of Consolidated came up with the idea of hosting free outdoor movie nights in six different towns around southwest North Dakota.
“I wanted to reach out to our co-operative communities, just going out to our communities, instead of them always coming to one central location, like our main office in Dickinson,” Fitterer said.
The communities include New England (July 12), Dunn Center (July 19), South Heart (July 26), Bowman (Aug. 2), Richardton (Aug. 9), and Mott (Aug. 16).
The movies area all animated, family-friendly shows, and New England will be viewing one of Disney’s latest releases Moana. The movie start time will be 7:30 p.m.
Mott will be showing The Croods and start time will be at 7:30 p.m.
“I don’t want anybody to feel like this is not an appropriate show,” she said.
Fitterer added that she didn’t want to exclude anyone by showing a movie not suitable for all ages.
When they were first discussing their options, Fitterer suggested the movie idea and eventually purchased a 14-foot outdoor, inflatable screen. The screen blows up and similar fashion to that of a child’s bouncy castle, and can be inflated where there is power and space.
“We can essentially set it up wherever it works best, as long as we have power,” she said.
It will be a treat for the communities, but it will be extra special for those communities that don’t have a movie theater in their town, Fitterer said.
But for those cities that do have a theater, Fitterer said they reached out to the local proprietors and made them aware of what they were wanting to do. They essentially didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes and overlap business.
Consolidated also opened up these evening for local community organizations to do some fundraising.
Fitterer said that during the early part of the planning process, they called groups and asked if they wanted an opportunity to earn money for their group. So at 5 p.m. the New England Lions Club will be hosting an extra Burgers in the Park night, while the Slope County 4-H club will be offering concessions during the movie.
Mott will also be holding a Burgers in the Park night, hosted by a local group. Burgers will begin at 5 p.m.
“It was really easy just contacting local officials within the cities, and just saying we’re looking at doing this,” she said.
They got a resounding amount of positive feedback.
More information on what movies will be playing and which towns will be hosting can be found on a Consolidated’s website, www.CTCTEL.com.