CANTON — After learning details Thursday night from resident Phyllis Ouellette, who suggested the town hold a movie night at the ball field, selectmen unanimously voted to do so.

Two selectmen who have their own businesses — Chairman Donny Hutchins and Malcolm Ray — liked the idea so much they agreed to cover the licensing fee of $275 to $375 to bring in a movie — perhaps a Disney film, or a Pixar animated movie like 2014’s “Big Hero 6.”

It will be held Aug. 8. The movie has yet to be selected.

Ouellette’s other idea was to open Whitney Brook Trail to snowshoeing and Nordic skiing. Ray asked her to get together with him so they could go over it with the Parks and Trails Committee.

She said she did a lot of research on the movie idea and found instructions for a do-it-yourself movie event from Swank Motion Pictures Inc. of St. Louis, Mo.

“The two big stumbling blocks that come up if we weren’t charging an admission fee would be a licensing fee of $275 to $375 for a one-time showing,” and no electricity at the ballpark, Ouellette said.


That fee, she said when asked, is charged due to movie copyrights.

“Why can’t we just make our own movie?” one selectman asked to laughter.

“It’s no wonder movie theaters are closing,” Hutchins said of the fee.

Ouellette said she thought that fee was only for movies that have just been released and not movies that have been out for a while and are on DVD, but that was not the case.

“So (the licensing fee) is a big stumbling block, but you guys know the community better than I do, so maybe we could get donations from businesses that will pitch in to do that, but the second stumbling block is there is no electricity out there,” Ouellette said.

“There will be,” Selectman Brian Keene said.


Ray said there is money in the Recreation Committee’s account that could be used to wire electricity at the ballpark.

Other necessities are volunteers, a laptop computer to run the movie DVD, ladders, a projector, a white tarp or movie screen, speakers, zip ties and tables, she said.

Keene disagreed with Ouellette’s measure of the total amount of light outputted by the project, saying it should be more than 1,000 lumens.

“I wouldn’t even do 1,000 for this room,” Keene said of the Town Office meeting room. Pointing to the room’s projector, he said it is 3,000 lumens.

“I have two identical ones to that in town that could possibly be used,” he said.

Ouellette rattled off other ideas, such as having children coming to watch the film dress up like characters in the movie, such as pirates if “Pirates of the Caribbean” is chosen, or royalty if “Frozen” is picked, for example.


Hutchins, whose business is Hutchins Custom Woodworking, and Ray, who is the managing partner at RoadSafe LLC, whispered to each other. Then Hutchins said they will split the cost to cover the licensing fee.

“Now she’s going to get the $375 one,” Selectman Robert Walker Jr. said. The room erupted in laughter, prompting Hutchins to say that he and Ray agreed to split $400.

Keene said he would handle getting a projector and speakers.

“So I guess we’re going to be putting on a movie,” Ouellette said.

Keene told Ouellette to send information to him when she gets it all together so he can figure out how to advertise for it, possibly getting families to come from other towns.

“I guess we’re going to the movies,” Hutchins said.

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