Naples outdoor movie night goes before planning board


By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Why would anyone go indoors to watch a movie when the summer evenings are so nice?

Why choose between two activities?

This summer at Kent’s Landing, people might be able to take in some fresh air and a free movie at the same time.

The Town of Naples would like to offer free family movies on a few Friday nights at the Naples Town Beach and Kent’s Landing, according to Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak.

That could happen if the plan is approved by the Naples Planning Board during its meeting on Tuesday, and after the town acquires the licensing required to show movies.

In addition to being free of cost, the proposed movie nights will be open to the general public.

Typically, only residents of Naples and their summer visitors are allowed to use the beach. But, an exemption will be made for the movie nights, Paraschak said.

The impetus for the family movie night is two-fold. It is about “providing an event for the public, and keeping people on the Causeway,” Paraschak said.

The plan is to hold the outdoor movies on two Fridays in July and two Fridays in August, he said. The rain date would be the following Sunday night.

The first movie is slated for July 1, which falls on a Friday and kicks off the Fourth of July weekend.

The lineup of family-friendly movies includes: Shrek, Madagascar, Rio, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

“We chose Rio because of the Summer Olympics,” Paraschak said.

The showings will not be like a drive-in theater. Instead, “people can bring blankets and chairs to sit on the lawn. The movie screen will be close to the bathrooms so people can sit on the hill and watch the movie,” Paraschak said.

“We don’t know yet. But, we will invite nonprofits like students from the high school or Project Graduation to sell popcorn and stuff like that so they can raise money,” he said.

The Town of Naples “will go before the planning board on Tuesday night to talk about showing movies at Kent’s Landing,” he said. “This will be on planning board’s agenda, falling under outdoor entertainment. Obviously, we want to run it by the planning board so there are no issues.”

The noise should not be too much of an issue since the showings are only four times this summer, and most of the movies are under 90 minutes, Paraschak said.

In order for the free movie night to happen, the town will also need to purchase the licensing, he said.

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