Pass the popcorn: Family movie night rolls on

Ortonville – In the community wide crusade to provide safe activities for area children, Village Manager Paul Zelenak has come up with a classic the whole family will love.
A safe old-fashioned family oriented night at the movie in a fun, safe, and controlled environment.
The plan is for families to bring kids, in pj’s if they wish, and spread out blankets and chairs on the grounds of H.T. Burt and Harvey Swanson Elementary to enjoy drive-in style entertainment of the past.
Zelenak said the movie will be G-rated, designated to school aged children and families, with perhaps a pre-movie cartoon,? he said.
‘I know people are starving for more events for young people and because of the enthusiasm I received about the idea, I started to move forward on making it happen,? said Zelenak.
While Ortonville Night at the Movies has been in the research stages since early November, 2002, Zelenak said the event would not have made it past the planning stage without the support of the Oxford Bank.
‘The main organization to make this happen is the Oxford Bank with a $1,000 donation toward the event,? Zelenak said.
?’Without Oxford Bank I couldn’t have moved forward on this,? he said..
With official support from both H.T. Burt and Harvey Swanson Elementary, Zelenak proposes to bring back a piece of families, past by setting up a movie projector and a 20 by 40 foot movie screen on the grounds behind the combined schools.
‘Both schools have agreed that there is enough room for several hundred people with enough parking room for 225 cars and additional parking within walking distance,? said Zelenak.
Zelenak said he has spoken with the parental organizations from Belle Ann, H.T. Burt and Harvey Swanson. Three have committed time to running the concession stand, and varied financial donations.
Concession stand profits will go to the parent groups from all three organizations.
‘They all think it is a great idea to have an event just for the children,? said Zelenak.
‘Because this is for the children I’d like to see them and the schools benefit from this.?
‘It’s not for anyone else but the kids,? he said.
While the entry fee of Night at the Movie is planned to be free, the cost for equipment rental with set up and take down, plus screen and movie is in excess of $2,500.
‘This is not a village or township event, but a community wide event for kids and families, similar to the fireworks,? said Zelenak.
Still in need of more than $1,500 to make it happen, Zelenak credits Oxford Bank as the underwriters of the event and has gained unanimous support from members and business owners at the Ortonville Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, May 6, and support from The Citizen Newspaper.
Oxford Bank has set up an account for the event in order to take personal or public donations (checks should be made payable to The Village of Ortonville), or take donations to the village office.
‘In the future I would like to see more than one movie night, and for it to be a downtown event for families to go,? Zelenak said.