BRIDGTON – Todd Morton wanted the perfect outdoor screen for watching movies by a bonfire and under the stars with friends in his Woods Pond camp.
The inflatable tenders took 30 minutes to explode with a compressor and didn’t look sturdy enough. Telescopic tripods flew off with a strong wind.
He hit his carpentry shop and started a business.
The Wireless Outdoor Cinema Company launched in Spring 2020 after a year of experimenting with the right setup.
For 15 years, Morton, 49, had commuted between Bridgton and an internet marketing job in Burlington, Massachusetts, three days a week, nearly three hours each way.
After a massive layoff four years ago, âI took a break,â he said. âI knew I wanted to do something different in my career and be more tuned in to construction, to be outside. This idea has just been asked at the right time. I like what I do. I cultivate it.
The first step was to decide that the screens on the market did not match his vision of cinema.
âI know from past experience, by getting an inflatable mattress or inflatable bath float, that they have a short lifespan before a small tear or leak occurs in the seams. I say to myself: ‘It’s okay outside’. . . ‘ Said Morton.
In addition to the wind problem, extend a telescopic tripod beyond 10 feet, and in his experience, it “can’t support the weight of the fabric and it sags right in the middle,” Morton said.
The second step was to decide that the projector mounts on the market did not match that vision either.
âThe projector fits there perfectly and the tripod really allowed you to find the different heights and angles to adjust once it was in place,â but there was no room for anything else, a- he declared.
Like a DVD player, laptop, receiver or tuner.
âI would pull out crates of milk, pull out a Home Depot bucket and make sure it wasn’t resting on the floor,â Morton said. âIt didn’t look nice to look at with this setup and that’s when I started to think, ‘Well maybe I can design an outdoor projector mount that would contain all of the these components and would make it act almost like an entertainment system that is inside your house where you never have to take everything out, it stays plugged in, and when you are ready to watch movies you just have to transport this projector with all the equipment to set it up in front of the cinema screen. ‘”
It sells frames between 8 and 12 feet wide to fit screens 96 to 150 inches diagonally. Once the frames are installed outdoors, they are designed to stay outdoors year round but remain movable in the yard. The screens hang from an eyelet system and take less than two minutes to attach, Morton said.
Projector frames and mounts are constructed from a lightweight cedar in his woodworking shop and take two to three days. So far, sales have been in Maine, but it can travel within a four hour radius to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont to deliver and install.
Packages, which include projectors and equipment, in wired and wireless versions, start at $ 2,399.
Next month, he plans to start selling user manuals and blueprints for customers to build their own frames and brackets.
Especially with a fire pit nearby, they’re good for year-round outdoor viewing, Morton said.
His two favorite movies to watch under the stars are âLost Boys,â âwhich takes me back to being a teenager with my friends and family watching Halloween movies,â and âTombstone,â âwhich takes me back to my youth in watching western cowboy movies with my dad.
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