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drive in thefield

The Town of Lansing Planning Board set a public hearing and declared itself Lead Agency on a pop-up family-oriented drive-in movie theater proposed for the RInK/FIELD parking lot. Catering by Luna owner Kevin Sullivan told the Board that of the sites his company had explored the most suitable parking lot for the project is at the Lansing Community Recreation Center (LCRC -- TheRINK/TheFIELD).

"We're trying to keep people employed and, trying to find every creative way we can come up with during this crisis to do that." Sullivan said. "We connected with Ross and the team up at the Lansing Community Recreation Center and proposed the idea. We had been looking around the City of Ithaca for pots and working with that, We were having trouble finding a suitable parking lot that had enough spaces that we could pay adequately enough, have enough space. So we ended up talking to Ross and he thought it would be a great use of that property while we're closed. (We also talked about) the possibility of kind of a long term, occasional weekend thing, if it is a popular thing for the community."

Sullivan said he anticipates about 50 cars and a temporary screen that would be erected for each showing. That would still leave 70% of the spaces available when LCRC reopens, though that may be moot if LCRC and movie hours are not at the same time. The application says two showings are anticipated, with the drive-in opening at sunset, and a second showing running approximately between 10:30 pm and half past midnight. Movie-goers would park facing the screen and hear the sound over their FM car radios, so there would be no sound that could annoy neighbors.  Light from the screen would also be shielded from neighbors because the screen will be erected in a grassy space facing The FIELD building.

Sullivan said that the amount of space for parking and being able to make the drive-in safe for movie-goers and passers by makes the location desirable. The screen will be erected on the south side of The FIELD building, and staff with orange vests and hand held lights will direct cars out of the parking lot.

"The space is the key and also finding a spot where we can actually face the screen away from the road," Sullivan explained. "That's a big safety concern, to make sure that cars driving down the road don't decide to tune in for 10 or 20 seconds as they're driving and end up in the ditch. So we've chosen our spot carefully so our screen placement is aimed away from the road."

Planning Board members expressed some concern about the sturdiness of the framework holding the screen, but said that would fall under the discretion of Code Enforcement Officer Lynn Day.

Board members set the public hearing for Public Hearing for Monday July 13th rather than waiting for the next scheduled Planning Board meeting to potentially allow the drive-in to open before too much of the summer season has gone by. Unless there are major objections or issues that require lengthy board consideration board members anticipated they would vote on approving the site plan immediately after the hearing.

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