TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- Consumers in parts of Oklahoma will not have to travel to Venice, Italy, or Cannes, France, to experience a film festival, because Reasor's will stage one right in their neighborhoods.
Reasor's, based here, next month will launch its first outdoor film festival in the parking lots of six of its stores, according to Paul Richardville, the retailer's director of video/photo. The chain will play six different family-oriented DVDs every Tuesday and Thursday night for three weeks at two different stores each week, he said.
The movies include digitally remastered versions of MGM's "The Wizard of Oz," Warner Home Video's "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment's "Stuart Little," Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" and "Emperor's New Groove," and DreamWorks' "The Road to El Dorado."
"We want to get [the customers] DVD-knowledgeable and have them see the remastered works," Richardville told SN. He said he has seen similar festivals around local colleges, and a scene depicting a movie theater in the park in the recent hit "The Wedding Planner" refreshed the festival idea for him.
The film festival will run Oct. 2 to 25 at the stores here, in Owasso, Jenks and in two or three locations in Tulsa, Richardville said.
Depending on which side the picture looks best, the films will splash across the side or the front of the store. The screen will span 20 feet by 30 feet and the movies will run with a complete sound system, equipped by Amarch Corp., based in Houston.
Richardville noted that 25 square yards of parking lot space will be available for filmgoers to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to the festival.
While he acknowledged that the free festival was created in part to drum up business on two slower nights of the week in the video department, Richardville said Reasor's also created it to give back to the community.
"We want to have it as a community gathering," he said. "You can't go wrong thanking customers -- the most important thing is the thank-you to [them]." The festival will also have giveaways, games, video membership tables and free Pepsi, which is "helping out" with the project, according to Richardville.
Richardville said the festival's supermarket tie-in will be a natural sales boost to the food retailer.
"We're going to have a [15-minute] intermission so customers can enter the largest concession stand," he said.
The film festival will be promoted in Reasor's in-store circulars. Depending upon the success of the program, he said the retailer may also host another one in the spring.