Teens look to create movie series

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WHS teacher Mark Ewing, center, is joined by Executive Committee students Jacob Tebbe, from left, Katya Kanter, Tori Hanson and Ashni Patel. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

A group of Westfield High School students is looking to create a safe alternative for teens on the weekend by starting a movie series. Four of the six WHS Executive Committee students made a presentation to the City Council about the costs and benefits of creating a movies in the park series in conjunction with the Westfield Parks Dept.

“Students have expressed a concern that there are not teen-friendly weekend activities in Westfield,” said Tori Hanson. “It’s fun and safe and convenient for everyone.”

Similar movies in the park series are already offered by neighboring Hamilton County communities like Noblesville and Fishers. Ashni Patel said the group would aid the parks department by selecting movies and helping to set up the evening activities. Patel said in a poll conducted by the executive committee of WHS students, 50 percent of students said they were interested and most were willing to pay $1 to $3 for a ticket. Patel added that the organization estimates 100 to 150 students would attend movie showings.

To host the movie series, the group recommended the city purchase a CineBox Pro System – a 20-foot-by-11-foot inflatable screen – for $15,999. The CineBox Pro System includes a projector, speakers and all other necessary equipment. It can also project video game systems and laptops. Jacob Tebbe said the theatrical-quality screen is lightweight and portable and can comfortably accommodate 500 viewers. For an additional $2,250 to $3,150, the city can purchase a high-definition or 3-D screen.

“The HD screen can show movies in the day time, which is especially important for double show times, which were very popular in Fishers,” he said, adding that the cost to rent a similar screen would cost $1,000.

Parks and Recreation Director Melody Jones said a corporate sponsor would be needed to help pay for the licensing costs of movie rentals. Jones said the price per movie would vary (based on title and crowd size), but most run between $200 and $400 with an additional $25 cost for Blu-ray movies, which offer a crisper picture.

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