The Warwick Public Library has transformed its large meeting room into a movie theater, complete with movie-size screen, a red velvet rope and an impressive sound system.
The library began showing films last summer but recently updated its movie license and improved the movie experience by upgrading the room to project movie-sized films in HD.
Community Services Librarian Wil Gregersen said he had the idea to show films at the library because of his time spent at the Barrington Public Library.
“Barrington was an old school, so it had an old gymnasium that they turned into a theater,” he said. “It had a giant screen and built-in seating. Since I worked there, I had to show films; and when I came here, I wanted to do something similar.”
The library shows movies for all ages. All showings are free and open to the public. The “theatre” can hold up to 103 people. While no food or drink is provided at the library, eating and drinking are allowed and even encouraged.
“They can feel free to bring popcorn, candy or sodas and turn it into a real movie night,” said Gregersen. “At our last showing, people brought lunch bags full of popcorn.”
The library recently switched movie licenses, which has allowed them to show more diverse movies. Since Movie Licensing USA offers a group discount, this was also a cheaper option for the library.
“I and a group of other librarians arranged that all the libraries get together and we negotiated as a group, so we’re all saving a bunch of money,” said Gregersen.
The library is also working to make seeing the films possible for a larger number of people.
“Once a month we will show a film at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.,” said Gregersen. “We have people who don’t like to drive at night and people who have to work but still want to see the film. We want to give both groups a chance to come.”
The library will begin showing its True Stories – Real Drama on the Big Screen series on Aug. 2 with the movie “Moneyball,” followed by “Julie and Julia” on Aug. 9 and “The Social Network” on Aug. 16. The movies will be shown at 6:30 p.m.
The movies are free but people are urged to register. Register online at warwicklibrary.org or call 739-5440 ext. 4. For more information, call 739-5440 ext. 221. The library is located at 600 Sandy Lane.