BRIDGTON — Todd Morton wanted the perfect outdoor screen to watch movies next to a bonfire and under the stars with friends at his Woods Pond camp.

Inflatable offerings took 30 minutes to blow up with a compressor and didn’t seem rugged enough. Telescoping tripods blew over with a stiff wind.

He hit his wood shop and built a business.

The Wireless Outdoor Cinema Company launched in the spring of 2020 after a year of experimenting with the right setup.

For 15 years, Morton, 49, had commuted from Bridgton to an internet marketing job in Burlington, Massachusetts, three days a week, nearly three hours each way.

After a massive layoff four years ago, “I took a break,” he said. “I knew I wanted to do something different in my career, and get more in tune with building again, being outside. This idea just kind of laid into that at the right time. I love what I do. I’m growing it.”

Step one was deciding screens on the market didn’t fit his movie viewing vision.

“I know from past experience, getting an inflatable mattress or inflatable swim float, they have a short shelf life before a little tear or leak happens within the seams. I’m thinking, ‘This is going outside . . .'” Morton said.

In addition to the wind issue, expand a telescoping tripod stand past 10 feet, and in his experience, it “can’t hold the weight of the fabric, and it sags right in the middle,” Morton said.

Step two was deciding projector stands on the market didn’t fit that vision either.

“The projector fit perfect on there, and the tripod stand really allowed you to find the different heights and angles to adjust once it was on there,” but there wasn’t room for anything else, he said.

Like a DVD player, laptop, receiver or tuner.

“I would bring out milk crates, I would bring out a Home Depot bucket and I would make sure that it wasn’t sitting on the ground,” Morton said. “It didn’t look aesthetically pleasing to the eye with that setup and that’s when I started to think, ‘Well, maybe I can design an outdoor projector stand that would hold all of these components and make it act almost like an entertainment system that’s inside your house where you have to never remove everything, it stays plugged in, and when you’re ready to watch movies, you just carry this projector stand out with all of the equipment to get it set up in front of the movie screen.'”

He sells frames between 8- and 12-feet wide to fit 96-inch to 150-inch diagonal screens. Once the frames are set up outdoors, they’re built to stay out year-round but remain moveable around the yard. Screens hang on a grommet system and take less than two minutes to attach, Morton said.

Frames and projector stands are built out of a lightweight cedar in his wood shop and take two to three days. Sales so far have been within Maine, but he’s able to travel within a four-hour radius to New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont to deliver and setup.

Packages, which include projectors and equipment, in wired and wireless versions, start at $2,399.

Next month, he plans to start selling how-to manuals and blueprints for customers to build their own frames and stands.

Especially with a fire pit nearby, they’re good for year-round outdoor viewing, Morton said.

His favorite two movies to watch under the stars are “Lost Boys,” “which brings me back to being a teenager hanging out with my friends and family watching Halloween movies,” and “Tombstone,” “which brings me back to my youth watching western cowboy movies with my dad.”


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