The return of outdoor downtown movie nights is part of the plan for the Center Street Marketplace Park this summer.

The space — formerly known as the Center Street alley — underwent a lengthy reconstruction process that concluded last year, and this will be the first full summer since it reopened. Recreation Superintendent Kim Peters said last week that her department expects the space will host a variety of events, including a trio of movie nights planned for July, August and September.

Similar events were held several years ago in the downtown parking pit.

“With the way Center Street is built, with the shadows, we might be able to have a movie start before 9 p.m.,” she said.

Peters said she has already raised the $4,000 needed to purchase a projector, large screen and sound system, which the department will be able to use for movie nights at the Giorgetti building and White’s Pool as well. The department will also have to cover licensing for the films.

“The misconception is if you do one for free, you don’t have to pay licensing fees to show a movie,” she said. “That is not true.”

Peters said licensing costs between $250 and $400 per movie and depends in part on expected crowd size. She said she does not know the park’s capacity. Also, she said she would likely do some sort of online survey for input on film choices, but that all three movies would be “family-oriented” — though the department might pick a somewhat more mature film for a teen movie night at Giorgetti.

Peters said the exact dates have not been chosen and that she would work with the Downtown Rutland Partnership to avoid scheduling the movies for the same weekends as Friday Night Live.

Meanwhile, Peters said she is in talks with GE about letting the company use the park for a “wellness activity,” and that it will be available for corporate picnics and similar functions. The Recreation Committee is supposed to take up a proposed rate structure for such events in the coming weeks and then send it to the full board of aldermen for approval.

Peters said there have been discussions of returning Winter in August to the location, but that no decisions have been made.

“We’re trying to take it light this first year, see what the flow is, see how the grass grows back,” she said.


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