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Its showtime for Guyton residents
City council gives go-ahead for first family movie night
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Guyton residents looking for something to do may not have to go very far this summer.

Guyton City Council approved a family movie night, set for May 29, at their meeting Tuesday night. Council members OK’d a blanket authorization for a movie rental with a company that handles rights for public showings.

The movies — “Kung Fu Panda” and “Iron Man” — will shown on a projector from a DVD player after the sun goes down, Alderman Jeff Lariscy said.

“Right now, it’s just once,” he said of the family movie night. “Other than that, it’s going to be a fun time in the park.”

Lariscy said he doesn’t anticipate charging a fee for the movies, which will be shown on the grounds of the civic center just after dark. He has arranged with Effingham County Recreation and Parks for use of its popcorn machine, and the South Effingham High School Interact Club asked to sell soft drinks as a fundraiser.

The city’s blanket authorization with Swank Motion Pictures allows the movies to be shown without running afoul of copyright laws, according to Lariscy. The public performance license means the city won’t have to fork over $250,000 if they infringe on the copyright.

Lariscy also said that the window to show Disney movies will close before the family movie night. The studio has a major release planned for the summer and doesn’t want its other movies shown at such venues to compete with its movies in the theaters.

City council members also vowed to work with Douglas Kirkland of Our Children/Youth Organization to develop activities for children throughout the summer. The activities may last beyond summer.

“School’s about out. We want to have something for the kids to do,” Kirkland said. “I think this is something that is really, really needed.”

Kirkland said the group also wants to start mentoring programs and has talked with Cathy Zipperer at Effingham County High School and Effingham school Superintendent Randy Shearouse. Kirkland added that there is a list of volunteers ready to help out.

“Not all kids have someone at home who is in their best interest,” he said.

Kirkland also inquired about using the civic center and about using a ping pong table and board games. He also said they want to set up a reading room.

“Once we get the kids there, our goal is to take it to another level,” he said. “As it stands now, we have nothing but a park.”

The group is trying to get information out about the program and has been in touch with local churches about it.

“It is something that is very needed in our community,” Alderman Brenda Lovett said. “When we don’t have anything for our young people to do, we leave them with nothing but trouble to get into.”

City Attorney Ramona Bartos noted that Statesboro has a similar program, involving the school system in Bulloch County, and Savannah has a much more elaborate program in place.

Lovett said the group has asked local youth what they want to do in such a program.

“We need to move forward and change some of the mindsets of our young people,” she said.