The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

August 12, 2012

Inflatable outdoor screen: A breath of fresh air at library for local movie buffs

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Staff Writer

CONNEAUT —  The rest of the nation has drive-in theaters, but leave it to Conneaut to offer the area’s first blow-up movie experience.

The Conneaut Public Library recently purchased an outdoor screen that requires only puffs of air to showcase films. An internal compressor inflates the big screen in a matter of minutes, much like Christmas decorations that are perched on lawns. When partially inflated, the screen can be quickly clip to the frame.

Library staffers unveiled their screen last week at “Movies Under the Stars” held at the Conneaut Community Center for the Arts. It will reappear Thursday night at Township Park for the 9 p.m. world premiere of “Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed,” one day before the official start of the D-Day Conneaut event. The screen returns to the art center on Aug. 22 for the animated feature “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.”

The screen, with its 12-foot viewing area, fits into a duffle bag for easy transport, said Kathy Pape, library executive director.

A “brainstorming” session with the CCCA resulted in the movie night idea, Pape said. The next step was to find a screen large enough to accommodate outdoor viewing but able to be raised and lowered with a minimum of effort, she said. A screen that inflates was the perfect solution, Pape said.

If people respond to the film series, more movies will be scheduled in 2013, Pape said. “(The screen) is something we’re going to use a lot,” she said.

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