Efforts to get a portable outdoor movie theatre for Lincoln County are being pursued by the Nevada State Parks in the County. Ben Johnson of Eagle Valley State Park spoke to the Board of County Commissioners. Johnson said after further extensive research and investigation “the theatre system is not so much the issue, as it is the movie rights.” One company he contacted offers a complete system with a three-year warranty on both the DVD projector, bulb, and 11 x 20 screen. Nevada State Parks told Johnson to apply for the theater system with possible help from the Western Elite Youth Fund which Commissioners manage. Another company that rents films, Johnson said, has an umbrella policy that will cover the parks for $1170, “which would allow us to rent from Red Box and Netflix and we can show movies in the parks. And we can handle large groups in our parks.” Movies cannot be shown free of charge at state parks, because there is a $5 per vehicle entry fee. However, he said, the same movies would not be allowed to be shown elsewhere in the county, “unless it was done as free movie shown away from a local state park, show the movie for free and have each person attending bring a donation of canned food, or something of that nature.” That makes showing the movie a benefit to the county and to the town, Johnson explained. Yet another company Johnson researched allows for the movie to be shown in places other than a state park, such as in Pioche or Alamo, “but somebody has to pay for the movie,” he said. Some of the movies could be purchased for around $300, perhaps more. Another matter of concern Johnson noted is having someone be responsible for the machine. “It’s expensive, and someone has to be responsible for it.” Andrew Porter, Cody Tingey, and Johnson could be responsible for the system when it is in their state park, but someone else needs to be responsible when it might be used somewhere else, for setup and showing, as well as tear down and getting it back to Kershaw-Ryan, the central headquarters for storage. Showing the movie at the park, Johnson said, would make it a safe place in case there was any kind of incident that needed to be handled immediately on site. Laura Oslund of the Nye, Lincoln, Esmeralda Coalition, said having movies at the state parks is a good way for the youth of the county, and their families, to get into the park and really start appreciating the area they live in. “We make it a family night,” she said. “It’s not a place to just drop your kids off and leave.” She said the Coalition showed a movie at Kershaw-Ryan Park last June with 125 attending, and still get requests for another time. She said she tried again in September, and was rained out, but still had to pay the $1,000 rental fee. Oslund said movie showings could also be tied to the Health Fair put on by the Grover C. Dils Medical Center in Caliente, or the fishing derbyies held at Eagle Valley State Park, or other local events. Oslund said the Coalition cannot buy the outdoor system because they are not able to spend over $999 for equipment. Johnson said for an additional $200, an FM transmitter can be obtained that will broadcast an audio signal to car radios of people who wish to maybe stay in their cars and watch the movie. Dave Hurd of Caliente, said the United Methodist Church in Caliente has purchased an indoor projector and screen for an indoor theatre with the intent of having a movie night once a month. “We have all the equipment, but haven’t installed it yet, and there would be no charge. The projector we purchased is supposed to be better than your average movie theatre and has 3D capability.” Hurd said later the church hopes to have the equipment installed by late May or June, with plans to have a monthly movie night with G and PG rated films. Commissioner Paul Donohue recommended giving $12,000 for purchase of the outdoor system. After further discussion, Commissioners voted to use $5,000 from Western Elite Youth funds and $7,000 from the Payment in Lieu of Taxes Fund for purchasing one of the available systems.
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