A slate of free movies is just another bit of family fun in the works at Genoa’s Veterans Memorial Park this summer.
Big Dipper owner Martin Clement offered free movies last year at the rear of the Washington Street building as part of the 10th anniversary of his business. The ice cream parlor property is adjacent to Veterans Park.
“It was a last minute thing last year but it was well received,” Clement said. “We’re planning on doing two a month, six movies this year June to August. They’re free movies, all PG. It’s kind of for the kids.”
The first film will be shown June 8 and the others will be held every two weeks afterward.
Clement said an inflatable screen is used.
“It’s like those bouncy house types the kids like. It has a motor that you plug in and it keeps it inflated,” he explained.
His daughters will help him choose the movies and plan to post the schedule on Big Dipper’s Facebook page.
“They’ll be handling all of that. I’m not really a techie,” Clement said, adding Mayor Mark Williams approached him about working with the village to make the event a more pleasurable experience for families.
In the 2012 season, movie-goers set up lawn chairs and blankets on the gravel parking lot behind the shop. This year, Clement said, the village will allow them to set up in the grassy area of the park not far from the Big Dipper.
Clement, who retired two years ago from a railroad company, knows about the search for inexpensive family fun. He has eight grandkids.
“This is the third year we haven’t changed our prices – even though everything I get keeps going up,” Clement said.
But he knows the economy is just as hard on working families throughout the area. “Look at the way the gas fluctuates. A few weeks ago it was $3.39 and now it’s $3.79. Everything you have extra goes into the tank. But maybe that one week you have an extra $20 in your pocket and, hopefully, you’ll be able to patronize my business and others.”
As temperatures rise slowly past the 70-degree mark, Clement expects foot traffic to also be on the rise.
And when the quarry opens over the Memorial Day holiday, the pace really quickens around the place, especially at 3 p.m.
“That’s when they kick the kids out of the quarry for a break,” Clement said.