When Dave Riepe helped his friend Jon Hegeman launch Boulder's first outdoor cinema program, he wasn't counting on the wacky venture becoming his day job. But outdoor movies are more addicting than you might think. "I thought I was just going to do it for the summer, and 11 years later I'm still here," Riepe says. Since then, outdoor cinema has exploded in Colorado, with Boulder Outdoor Cinema (BOC) blazing the trail.
BOC was the first outdoor cinema in Colorado, created back in the days when the notion of hauling your couch to a parking lot while in costume just to watch a cult fave or a classic film seemed a bit bizarre. But this being Boulderwhere nothing stays bizarre for longfolks caught on pretty quickly.
Riepe tells the story of a man and woman who arrived at the outdoor movie screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail dressed as a king and queen and hauling two toilets, i.e., thrones.
"They sat on these toilets through the entire movie," Riepe says. "I could not believe it."
In another instance, a group of kids drove up with a bunch of sod and created their own grassy patch in the parking lot, showing incredible ingenuity. Most people just bring living room furniture to the outdoor film.
"We see couches all the time," Riepe says. Couches. Coffee tables. The ultimate in what BOC staff refer to as "urban campsites."
Despite the parking lot's seating capacity of 900which they have, on occasion, filledRiepe encourages those who want to set up special seating arrangements to arrive a bit early so they can scout out an ideal spot for the outdoor movie. But while Boulder residents are getting ready for another summer of film-watching frivolity, the rest of the state is trying to get in on the action.
"I was getting calls from cities up and down the Front Range asking if we could bring this to them," Riepe says. "Over the past few years, we've been able to come up with the capability to take it to their locations."
That technology includes a giant, inflatable movie screen that is staked to the ground then filled up with air. "It's bigger than a house," Riepe says of the inflatable screen.
Armed with this technology, Riepe, who hails from Detroit and has a background in live-event production, took outdoor cinema on the road. What began as a lark and a possible summer job has morphed into his full-time job and a bona fide businessa business that supports eight staff members during the summer months and entertains thousands in more than a dozen Colorado communities.
Riepe says traveling with outdoor cinema is somewhat like touring with a rock bandexcept that the "talent," i.e., the films, won't trash hotel rooms, get arrested or end up in rehab.
Fort Collins, Golden, Commerce City and Colorado Springs have paid Riepe and BOC to produce events, and currently Riepe and his staff are preparing for a 14-show, 11-park tour of Denver Parks and Recreation parks.
"It started as a labor of love, and hopefully it will stay that way," he says.
For more information about the outdoor movies, go to www.boulderoutdoorcinema.com, or call 720-317-7498. Buy tickets at the gate. All outdoor films are shown in the parking lot behind the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th St. B.Y.O.Tbring your own throne.
Source: "Cinema under the stars" by Pamela White -Boulder Weekly. Read full article at: http://archive.boulderweekly.com/052506/summerscene.html