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Free flicks in Fairview this summer

Officials think free event will draw citizens together
by: File photo, Joe Gall

FAIRVIEW - City officials are getting ready for a reel good time this summer.

The City Council on Wednesday, March 21, gave its blessing to a proposal for a free movie series for residents, who can vote on what they want to watch.

Councilors had a few concerns, including parking and cost, about the series, which will run each Saturday evening in August. Joe Gall, Fairview city administrator, said the four nights would cost $7,000, or $1,750 a night.

Sponsors, not tax dollars, will foot the bill, he told the council. He touted the movie series, dubbed Flicks in the Park, as a way to bring the community together. He said a similar event in Beaverton, where he worked before coming to Fairview, drew 'an amazing turnout.'

Michael Sadorus of Big Screen Productions presented the idea with Gall. The Beaverton movies grew from initial gatherings of 250 people to crowds of 2,000, he said.

'It brings the community together,' Sadorus said. 'This is a groundbreaking opportunity here in Fairview.'

Gall, who hopes the series will become an annual event, said movies would be shown on a large inflatable screen at the community park near City Hall and at Pelfrey Park.

Councilor Barbara Jones said both sites have parking issues. Gall and Sadorus said hopefully people would walk or bike to the venues. Gall also said there would be plenty of signs directing motor-bound attendees where to park.

'We don't know how big the event will be,' he said. 'Parking is something we'll have to think about and plan for. If it's successful, it'll have to be addressed.'

Jones, who chairs the committee for the Chili on the Green event, said she also didn't want to flood potential local sponsors with requests. To avoid that, Gall said he would likely make overtures to a different set of backers, possibly regional or national companies, for the movie series.

'We're not going to go after the same folks,' he said.

Councilor Lisa Barton Mullins wondered who would police the event to enforce seating regulations and alcohol issues. Booze will be banned at the films.

'Who will educate people and say, 'Oops, you have to put that bottle of wine away?' ' she asked.

Sadorus and Gall said such issues tend to work themselves out, though city staff members and police officers will likely be mingling with the crowd. Advertising for the event will also stress the rules.

The movies would begin around dusk, 8:30 or so. The films will be PG or G-rated - 'It's a family event,' Gall noted. Starting May 1, residents will be able to vote for their preference on the city's Web site, www.ci.fairview.or.us. The winning films will be announced in June.

Councilor Larry Cooper applauded the effort.

'I think it'll be a wonderful experience,' he said. 'I think it's probably good to encourage them to proceed ahead.'