Do you remember the Stardust Theatre?
If you grew up in Seymour and are 40 or older, you probably do.
Families would pile together in the station wagon on a Friday or Saturday and head to the drive-in theater on the far east side of the city where Shops at Seymour is now.
Although the Stardust is long gone, the Seymour Chamber of Commerce wants to bring back some of the nostalgia of going to an outdoor movie and also provide families with free local entertainment.
That’s the premise behind the chamber’s new Stardust Movie Series.
The first show, sponsored by the chamber, is an animated film for all ages and will be at 8 p.m. April 30 at Burkhart Plaza in the 100 block of South Chestnut Street. There is no cost, and tickets are not required. Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on and snacks and drinks if they want, but alcohol is not permitted.
Due to the licensing contracts, the names of the films being shown cannot be advertised in the newspaper, said Chamber President Dan Robison. All movies, however, will be listed on the chamber’s website at seymourchamber.com and Facebook page at facebook.com/seymourinchamber.
Each movie will be sponsored by a different business, church or organization, which will get to choose the movie, date and location. Some sponsors also may offer refreshments.
For example, SpaceGuard Products is sponsoring the May movie at Crossroads Community Park in downtown Seymour, and the Jackson County Visitor Center is sponsoring a Christmas in July movie at a location to be determined.
Robison said the sponsorships pay for the licensing fee, which is $350 and $400 per title for one showing. The chamber is working with Swank Studios in California to secure the licenses to show the films outdoors.
“There is a cost, but we aren’t making money on this,” he said. “For our members, it’s at cost or actually less than our cost, and we are offering it to nonmembers for a premium price.”
Robison said they are looking for enough sponsors to show one movie a month. When it turns cold or if the weather prevents the movie from being outside, the 15-foot screen, projector and sound system can be moved indoors.
“That’s the great thing about the system being mobile,” he said. “We can pack it up and take it wherever we have electricity and show a movie.”
The chamber purchased the equipment last fall using a matching grant from the visitor center.
“It’s a professional outdoor theater,” Robison said. “What we sense from the community overall is that folks are wanting to get out and do things, but they’re certainly keeping their health front line, and so we think this is a great way to allow them to have something to get out and do and enjoy but in an environment that is safe.”
The movie series is not just for chamber members but is open to anyone to attend.
Part of the mission’s chamber is to improve the quality of life in the community, Robison said.
“We felt this would be a fun way to do that, especially with COVID,” he said. “Folks haven’t been able to go to movies or a lot of entertainment venues at all over the past year.”
Robison said the Stardust Movie Series also is an opportunity for chamber members to get more involved in the community.
“It’s a great way for us to help our members serve the community and improve that quality of life, too,” he said. “We’re helping our members create that entertainment for families.”
Naming the movie series after the Stardust was Robison’s idea.
“Anybody that has any recollection of the Seymour area back in the day remembers the Stardust drive-in,” he said. “So this is a fun way to make a historical nod at the old Stardust. Hopefully, this can be a way to carry on that Jackson County tradition.”
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What: Seymour Chamber of Commerce Stardust Movie Series (first movie will be an animated movie for all ages)
When: 8 p.m. April 30
Where: Burkhart Plaza next to the Seymour Chamber of Commerce, 105 S. Chestnut St., Seymour
Cost: Admission is free; bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on and snacks and drinks if you want; no alcohol is permitted
Information: Visit seymourchamber.com facebook.com/seymourinchamber
Sponsor a movie: Call 812-522-3681 or email [email protected]
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Stardust Movie Series
April 30 at Burkhart Plaza; sponsored by the Seymour Chamber of Commerce
May 21 at Crossroads Community Park, sponsored by SpaceGuard Products
July 9 at location TBD, sponsored by Jackson County Visitor Center
Aug. 20 at Crossroads Community Park, sponsored by Seymour Department of Public Works and Water Pollution Control