Lewiston police officer Joe Philippon, organizer of the police summer movie nights, holds his son, Jackson, eight months, in front of the new program poster developed by Rinck Advertising. Because of more community support, the movie program for children and families will be better this year than last, Philippon said.

LEWISTON — Lewiston Police Department Lt. David St. Pierre is voting for “Zootopia.”

Officer Joe Philippon’s choice is “Star Wars Rogue One.”

But early voting shows that “Moana” —- a Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh movie — is leading, followed by “Finding Dory” and “Sing.”

With summer fast approaching, Lewiston police are again sponsoring outdoor movie nights, the first one June 28. The movies, popcorn, and pre-movie family activities are free.

This year, the Wednesday night movie events will be bigger and better, Philippon, the community resource officer and movie organizer, said. Thanks to more support from the community, there’ll be more fun activities before the shows.

And now through June 7, police are asking for the public’s help in deciding which movies to show. Voting is at the Lewiston Police Department’s Facebook page, or: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JC9K5YX.

“The response is unbelievable,” Philippon said. The voting was first posted at 2:36 p.m. May 24. By 9:30 p.m. “we already had 388 votes.”

Movies will be shown on June 28, July 12 and 26, and Aug. 9 and 23 in different neighborhood parks throughout the city.

As of Tuesday, the top five choices were: “Moana,” 59 percent; “Finding Dory,” 53 percent; “Sing,” 49 percent; “Secret Life of Pets,” 40 percent; and “Beauty and the Beast (1991),  36 percent.

The votes for sixth place are “Zootopia” at 32.9 percent vs. “Lego Batman” at 32.8 percent. It’s not looking good for “Rogue One,” at 31.6 percent.

Last year was the first year of the Lewiston Police outdoor movie nights. “A lot of momentum was carried over,” Philippon said. “More people want to get involved.”

Rinck Advertising donated time to redevelop the program’s image with a new poster that features Philippon. TD Bank is again helping to fund the movie portion of the project, Philippon said.

Help has also come through contributions and volunteers from the Elks Lodge, L-A Harley-Davidson, Center Street Dental, Wal-Mart and Maine Community Foundation.

More donations and volunteers mean police are able to schedule activities  families can plan on. Last year there were some activities, but nothing consistent. “We had no money for it,” Philippon said.

Jake MacGillivary of Rinck Advertising said his company got involved because it wants to promote community projects that make positive impacts on families and children in Lewiston. “We were happy to help Officer Joe create a fresh look for his summer movie events,” MacGillivary said.

On the movie nights, activities will start at 6 p.m. and range from sports to animals to the arts, including coloring and juice by L/A Arts, Mr. Drew and His Animals Too, a jump house and obstacle course,  a 10-person photo booth and games organized by the Lewiston Recreation Department.

This year Pinky D’s Food Truck will sell food, while volunteers will hand out free popcorn and water. The movies start at dusk.

The movies will be held: June 28 at Simard-Payne Memorial Park; July 12 at Holy Family Church field; July 26 at the South Lewiston ball field; Aug. 9 at the Pettingill School Park; and Aug. 23 at Drouin Field.

Families appreciate the free and fun summer fun and movies, Philippon said.

“Last year a gentleman came up to me. I don’t know his name. He said, ‘Thank you. I’m a low-income parent. I don’t have financial means to do anything special with my daughter. Thanks to you guys we have some fun and get to do something.'”

The summer movie nights are also the kind of activity experts recommend to improve police and community relations.

It allows youth and adults to meet police officers in positive situations, compared to police responding to a crime or unhappy situation.

“It’s getting away from me lecturing about crime,” Philippon said. “It’s a good, positive icebreaker to be around each other. Too often we’re in bubbles,” he said.

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Lewiston police are asking people to vote on which movies they want to see for the summer movie nights that begin June 28. The program has gained more community support this year, organizer Officer Joe Philippon said, including the poster created by Rinck Advertising. The poster features Philippon with children. A list of movies and voting is on the Lewiston Police Facebook page.


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