Main Street Coon Rapids, Iowa creates portable drive-in movie experience
An entire block of downtown Coon Rapids, Iowa, was closed Friday, August 7, 2020 and again on Saturday, September 26, 2020 to make way for pop-up drive-in movie nights that provided an unique and super fun event for the entire family.
The events are dubbed “Movies on Main” and are the result of several businesses and individuals working together to pull off an idea hatched by the Main Street Coon Rapids organization.
“It’s just the coolest thing,” said Katie Mason, Main Street Coon Rapids Executive Director.
Mason credited the MSCR’s Promotion Committee, led by Natasha Adams of rural Coon Rapids, for the initial idea for the temporary drive-in movie theater. She was helped by Jen Derner, Janelle Kracht and Jim Mohr.
“The screen itself is really neat on how it all came together,” continued Mason. She credited Alison-Brinker and Jason Owen at Accu-Steel Fabric Covered Buildings for donating the material fabric. “It is the same fabric they use for their hoop buildings. Jim Mohr of Mohr Construction worked with the DRAGO crew -- Kyler South, Brent Reineke and Lucas Richardson -- and they fabricated the frame for the screen.”
Mohr and the DRAGO spent over 60 hours building the screen and the expenses were covered by South Sign Company. The size of the finished screen is 22’x15’ and fits nicely on Coon Rapids Main Street.
“We have to use a telehandler to lift it into the air. It’s so high and heavy that a skid loader won’t do it. From the top of the screen to the ground, it ends up being about 40’ in the air,” Mason said of the screen that was positioned near the intersection of Fifth and Main, facing east. Parking attendants arranged vehicles between Fifth and Fourth Avenues to maximize the parking area. A low-power FM radio transmitter was used to broadcast the audio to FM radios on the parked cars.
Fifty-six vehicles and estimates of over 225 people attended the first showing in August. Vehicles lined up in four rows facing the movie screen. Some families brought pickup trucks lined with air mattresses so the kids could sack out, if necessary. Others sat in lawn chairs or in the back of their SUVs.
“The opportunity to use this system in the future is fantastic,” Mason continued. “This won’t be a one-time thing. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to the partnerships in this project.” Sponsored by the Main Street Coon Rapids organization in partnership with CR Public Library, ET Products, Drago SCI, South Sign Company and Mohr Construction, the event was an exciting way for families to gather and enjoy an innovative twist on the old-fashioned drive-in movie.
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406 Main Street, Coon Rapids, IA 50058 | 712-999-GROW | [email protected]