Residents watch “Beetlejuice” in the parking lot of Veterans Memorial Park Oct. 9 on a new inflatable movie screen purchased by the city with help from the Activities Committee and Cool City Committee.

Residents watch “Beetlejuice” in the parking lot of Veterans Memorial Park Oct. 9 on a new inflatable movie screen purchased by the city with help from the Activities Committee and Cool City Committee.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


New screen to bring fun to St. Clair Shores for years to come

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published October 16, 2020

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — Thanks to help from the St. Clair Shores Activities Committee and Cool City Committee, the Parks and Recreation Department is the proud new owner of an inflatable movie screen and sound system that will enable it to show movies in the park, the parking lot, or wherever it chooses.

“This was approved way before COVID,” said Parks and Recreation Director Henry Bowman. “Both committees approved it earlier this year but then, because of COVID, it took a long time to get everything.”

The inflatable screen cost just under $6,000 and the projector and sound system, which includes an RF transmitter that can broadcast a signal to local radio stations, also cost just under $6,000, he said.

Although the equipment was purchased with the idea of having summertime movies in the park, Bowman said they decided to use it for the first time Oct. 9 for a drive-in movie in the parking lot of Veterans Memorial Park. The event was limited to just 100 resident’s vehicles in order to allow for social distancing.

“We’re trying to spread them out and setting up rows, giving space out in front of the cars in case people want to sit out in front,” Bowman said, adding that the equipment also includes outdoor speakers, so there’s going to be different ways people can get the sound.

In the future, he said they hope to show movies at the pool, at Blossom Heath Park, Kyte Monroe Memorial Park and other locations throughout the city.

“This is going to allow us to show more movies out to the community,” Bowman said. “This was really bought, not for drive-ins, but for doing movies in the park.”

Activities Committee Chair Elizabeth Munger said they were excited to be able to give local families a great experience.

“We definitely have more planned. Fun things like ‘Jaws’ at the pool, or ‘Field of Dreams’ at the baseball diamond, ‘Frozen’ on the ice rink,” she said. “(To) be able to offer free or low-cost events for families and kids to enjoy, we’re excited about that.

“We’re excited, going forward, the opportunities that having that will bring.”

Mayor Kip Walby said the city had rented a screen in the past to show movies in conjunction with Park-It during the summer concert series.

“It’s going to make it much better in St. Clair Shores now that we own this equipment. If it wasn’t for the Activities Committee and Cool City Committee ... we wouldn’t have the funds to be able to put this on,” he said during the Oct. 5 City Council meeting.

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