The city of Bangs has a few seasonal events planned following the purchase of an outdoor theater system.
Early City Councilman and Park and Recreation Board President Toby Bowers said the purchase is part of an effort to bring a sense of community to the small town and believes enjoyment for years to come.
“We haven’t purchased it yet, but we were given the money,” Bowers said. “It was an idea we had. We’re just trying to better the quality of life for our citizens a little bit. We went to the Bangs [Municipal Development District] Board and they granted us the money to purchase an entire outdoor theater system. It’s the screen, the projector, the sound system — the whole works.”
Barring any additional expenses, Bowers said the system will cost approximately $3,000 and will be used for a bi-monthly movie in the park night at the Bangs Community Event Center, which also houses the baseball and softball fields. He said the first event will likely take place in October and Bangs resident Carroll Wells has already volunteered to run the concession stand. Wells’ efforts will help the city offset the cost of purchasing a license to publically show a fill, which he said could cost from $250 to $400.
“You can’t just go down and rent a movie to play. You have to purchase a license from a licensing company,” Bowers said. “You purchase the license to show the movie in public. There are two different licensing companies – Criterion and Swank are the two, big companies and they represent different studios, which also represent different movies. It’s anywhere from $250 all the way up to $400, depending on the age of the movie and what studio has the license.”
Bowers said the community event center is a perfect location because of its oak trees and grassy knolls and open spaces.
“It’s huge for a community the size of Bangs,” Bowers said. “Especially around bigger cities, you’re starting to see a lot of people moving into small communities. We’ve always kind of been a neighbor to Brownwood and everything everybody wants is just 8 miles down the road. We’re really wanting to begin to develop things that keep people at home and have things at home to do so they don’t have to travel elsewhere.”
Bowers said there is a stigma surrounding many area parks and recreation departments in that they only serve youth athletics. With events like a bi-monthly movie in the park night, it allows them to fully utilize the space the department has and show the community some of the amenities Bangs has to offer.
“A lot of people don’t realize our parks and our pavilion at the community even center is available for public use — parties and things of that nature,” he said. “We also have a pavilion in the downtown park for the same thing … For the first [showing] we’re looking at the middle of October. I believe Oct. 20 was what we decided, but a lot of that depends on getting the licenses secure for the movie we’re going to play and making sure the theater system gets in on time.”
He hopes to have another event in December, but will focus his time and effort in getting the initial movie in the park night off the ground before looking too far ahead.
“When we have events, the community really does pull together to support those no matter what it is,” Bowers said. “… We just want to be able to keep things going throughout the year and with the movies in the park we can keep citizens aware of what’s going on.”