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Possible Medford drive-in movies awaiting City Council approval

The Medford Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department is awaiting the Medford City Council to approve a drive-in movie showing at US Cellular Community Park. Medford City Council will speak about the idea during Thursday's meeting.

Posted: May 6, 2020 4:48 PM
Updated: May 7, 2020 9:49 AM

MEDFORD, Ore---The Medford Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department is asking the Medford City Council to approve a drive-in movie showing at U.S. Cellular Community Park. The Medford City Council will speak about the idea during Thursday's meeting. 

The Recreation Division is asking for permission to move forward with at least one movie showing. If the pilot show does work, department director Rich Rosenthal says it could become a weekly event.

The movie showings would happen in the parking lot adjacent to field No. 7 at the park.

According to Rosenthal, a recent survey of past customers found that 98 percent of respondents were supportive of the drive-in movie theater idea.

The Recreation Division says that health and safety is a top priority, and this is done in an effort to provide a positive and safe activity for the community in a time of great stress and worry. 

"We are trying to make stuff happen for our residents here in Medford, as we are all in the same boat," said Rosenthal.

Rosenthal also said that with approval, the first showing could be as early as May 15th or 16th. 

Listed below is Medford Parks, Recreations, and Facilities' outline for the movie showings:

  • The location of the event will be at U.S. Cellular Community Park, in the parking lot between Fields 6 and 7. There is a single entrance and exit to the complex; therefore the flow of traffic can be easily controlled by Recreation staff.
  • The event would be limited to 75 cars, which allows an 8-foot parking space buffer between vehicles. Participants would register in advance, and staff will check in each car at the point of entry.
  • In advance, attendees will be told that they must remain in their cars, unless to use restroom facilities. Attendees with pick-up trucks will not be allowed to sit in the truck bed.
  • Department staff will serve as "social distancing" officers, reminding people of that directive. The sound system for the movie will include an FM transmitter that will allow people to listen from their cars. This ability will also allow staff to communicate with all cars at once if needed.
  • The Department will have park bathrooms containing four men's and four women's stalls available. The restrooms will be serviced every half hour.
  • The event will no have food or beverage concessions, but registrants may bring their own.
  • Staff would be equipped with masks, gloves, and proper sanitation supplies.

Rosenthal tells NewsWatch 12 that the greatest expense for the event would be to rent an FM transmitter. The entire event would cost around 1,000 dollars. However, the department has also been approached by Rogue Credit Union as a possible partner for the event. 

The Medford City Council will consider the request during a virtual City Council meeting on Thursday, at 6 p.m.

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