This Open Air Cinema owner in Montana proves outdoor movies can make for a great side business

Barrett Canning has been running his Firefly Outdoor Movie Company since 2013. Based out of Billings, the largest city in Montana, Barrett says he thought "it would make a great side business along with my full time job."

Firefly Outdoor Movie Company at work

"I'm not exactly sure how I thought of outdoor movies, but I did.  I began researching the topic and brainstorming ideas for a side business that could add to my retirement fund, since it was behind."    

Please describe your typical client groups?

- City parks and recreation groups.

- Local Schools

- Church events

Who do you normally source content from for your outdoor movie screenings?


What was the most challenging situation during a screening that you recall?

- The most challenging has been finding a dependable Bluray player with external controls.  My original pro system came with a PS3 as the Bluray player and I got tired of that pretty quick trying to figure out how to fast forward, rewind etc.  I'm still looking for the perfect durable replacement, I think I have gone through 6 or so Bluray players. Seems most that are available now don't last very long and they only have a remote for all the controls.  I prefer to have the controls on the unit itself in case there are remote issues or if the batteries are dead in the remote and I don't have replacements.  

What was your most memorable screening last year?

Our usual peak season for outdoor movie events is June/July. We do two shows a year at a local amphitheater in Glendive, Montana at Makoshika State Park.  Those are always the most fun. Great set up for a movie.

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