FARMINGTON — If John Moore’s plans come together, area residents can take a nostalgic trip to a drive-in movie theater in downtown Farmington next year.

“We’ll tap into the nostalgia of going to a drive-in,” he said last week.

Moore recently went before the Planning Board for permission to fill in an area behind his Narrow Gauge Cinema for a drive-in.

His request to bring in 5,400 cubic yards of fill met soil erosion control, stormwater management and flood hazard development requirements. The board unanimously approved the application.

But, the fill is only the start of the plans. Moore needs to purchase or lease a small piece of adjoining land and take the business plan to the Planning Board for a site review before a hoped-for opening around Memorial Day of 2017, he said.

For the 80-vehicle drive-in, Moore has a New York consultant to help with the “nuts and bolts” of creating the theater. The consultant owns five drive-in theaters and has the experience to help the plan develop.

Vehicles will access the drive-in on a narrow lane to the right of Narrow Gauge Cinema and exit on the opposite side, Moore said. An addition will be constructed to the back of the cinema for concessions and rest rooms. The movie will be projected onto the screen from the roof of the cinema.

Use of digital screenings makes the drive-in idea more manageable, Moore said. The land behind the cinema is also ripe for development.

It also made sense, as Mainers age, to bring back a summertime treat from years past. They can bring their grandchildren who probably know what a drive-in theater is but have never been to one, Moore said.

A business owner needs to stay fresh and avoid the “we’ve-always-done-it-that-way” attitude, he said. It’s necessary to keep evolving and grow your market in a different way, he added.

Moore has already started a new venue for screening movies this summer.

He and partner, Jen Bjorn, have developed the Stone Hearth Open Air Cinema on the patio shared by their businesses, Stone Hearth Cafe and the Greenwood Dining Room at 168 Front St.

On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:45 p.m. new films are shown on a special outdoor screen. The digital projection provides a really good picture, More said.

Live music is offered some nights before the movie, he said. Viewers can also enjoy pizza or gelato or just come for the movie, he added.

The restaurant closes before the start of the film, leaving a void for those seeking entertainment.

An open air cinema, especially for the short summers of Maine, is an idea that some may have only experienced at campgrounds or special venues. It will take time to build the market but it is already doing well, Moore said.

A fundraiser for the Western Maine Homeless Outreach is planned for Sunday, July 10, with a rain date of July 11. The movie “Independence Day: Resurgence” will be screened.

For the fundraiser, 60 tickets priced at $20 each are available for seating on the patio. Another 140 at $6 apiece are available for any movie showing at Narrow Gauge Cinema from July 10 through July 14.

Tickets are available from Ryan Goding at TD Bank in Farmington, from Chuck Ellis at KeyBank in Wilton, and from Tom Saviello at Front Street Mercantile in Farmington.

Moore said he expects to continue the outdoor cinema through Labor Day.

Moore was working on changes to his Snack Shack beside Prescott Field last week. The space will be used for concessions during University of Maine at Farmington games this fall but is not open this summer.

He intends to use the space to make creative desserts and gelato for the restaurant, he said. Desserts are now made by Meg Brown and gelato by Abby Dustin.

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