Summer drive-in to fund firefighters


CLARK MILLS — Two local businessmen are bringing drive-in movies to the Mohawk Valley, and along with the Clark Mills Fire Department will host a family-fun movie night in June at the Clark Mills Field Day grounds on Main Street.

Anthony Pacilio, of Utica and Darryl Hogan of Clinton, have partnered to create GypsyFilms-CNY. A company Hogan said he hopes it will help to alleviate some monotony for families who’ve been confined at home these past months, as well as support the essential workers of the Clark Mills Fire Department.

“Since drive-in movies were cleared to open by Governor Cuomo on May 15, we thought we could kill two birds with one stone,” Hogan said. “it helps people to get out of the house, and benefits a good cause.

With the cancellation of the annual Clark Mills Field Days canceled this year, due to coronavirus/COVID-19 concerns, the CMFD has been looking for new ways to fund its operational expenses.

“We have a couple of new things we’re working on,” said CMFD Fire Chief Gary Spaven, who is referring to a recently held bottle and can drive, a door-to-door envelope campaign, and a new Sunday meals event. “We’re hoping our community will enjoy an evening out with their families, and it certainly helps to break the burden of losing the field days this year.”

Hogan said the idea is to bring back old-style, nostalgic entertainment, like when he was a kid, but also, to keep it safe in the world of these COVID-19 conditions we all live under now.

“We’re asking everyone to please wear a mask when not in their vehicle,” Hogan said. “We also expect people will continue to observe social distancing when using the portable restrooms or to visit the concession vendors.”

According to Hogan and Spaven, all-volunteer workers will wear masks and gloves and follow proper sanitation guidelines. They will organize to help attendees in parking cars at a safe distance from one another, as well as creating markers for guests to stand at a distance when in line for restrooms, food, and drink.

Sandwiches, burgers, and other snacks will be available from the Brake from the Grind farm to truck food van. Plus, Squeezers Lemonade will be there to help wash down bags of popcorn from the popcorn machine where the Clark Mills junior fireman youth group will be assisting customers.

The fire department’s adult members will also be on hand to help with traffic control, managing social distancing, and making sure the event doesn’t get overcrowded.

“We feel by putting the screen in the parking lot of the American Legion next door to the field, we can make room for about 100 cars,” Spaven said. “The donation to attend the event will be $20 per car.”:

Hogan said he just wants everyone to have fun.

“See a show, have a snack, and enjoy a night out,” Hogan said.

The two-night event is scheduled for Friday, June 26, and Saturday, June 27. The gates will open at 6:30 p.m. with the movie “The Great Outdoors,” starring John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, and Annette Benning, beginning at sunset. Saturday’s film will be announced on the company Facebook page in the coming week.

Tickets will be available online via a link posted on


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