Bring the popcorn; DJ’s Outdoor Movies will provide the theater
The father-daughter team of Ray and Darby Joy Martinez are giving a whole new meaning to movie night with their new Steamboat Springs business, DJ’s Outdoor Movies.
“It’s been really awesome,” Ray said.
Last year, he hired Darby Joy, who will be a senior at Steamboat Springs High School in the fall, to help him with his existing business, HD Solutions, and this summer, he is offering his daughter some insight into what it means to be an entrepreneur through their new venture.
Customers can hire DJ’s Outdoor Movies, and Darby Joy, Ray and other staff members will show up and set up everything needed to screen a movie. This can happen at a backyard get-together, a large party or an event. The staff stays there to make sure everything is working properly, and when the gathering ends, the crew takes everything down and packs it away.
“The idea was that I was going to work with (Darby Joy) for one show and show her how to set it up, and then during the second show, I was going to coach her, and by the third show, my plan was to let her do it by herself, with her boyfriend or an employee,” Ray said. “Essentially, I’m going to turn this over to her, and she will run with it, and she’ll manage it. I’ll be there for support, but this is her baby.”
On Thursday nights this summer, DJ’s Outdoor Movies will be part of the Snow Bowl Steamboat’s movie night. Starting July 8, people can bring their chairs and blankets to Snow Bowl’s front lawn for movies starting at sunset. The cost is $5.
The father and daughter launched their new business with a show at the Emerald Park Fields last Friday for Grand Futures and the Routt County Youth Council, which showed “Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse” as a treat for children and their parents who had just wrapped up the school-year. Young Bloods Collective paid the cost for the rights to show the movie.
“It’s been fun working with my dad,” Darby Joy said. “It’s been a real learning experience.”
Ray had been thinking about DJ’s Outdoor Movies, inspired by his daughter’s name, for a couple of years. He purchased the 16-foot wide by 9-foot tall screen, high-definition projector and JBL sound system just before everything was closed down by COVID-19.
The pandemic pushed his plans back a year, but as restrictions that allow people to gather continue to ease, he thinks the timing of his new venture is perfect.
“I have a friend that does this in Denver, and he makes a good chunk of change on the side, so I thought why not try it up here,” Ray said. “We are just rolling it out now, and we are pretty excited about it.”
And the delay caused by COVID-19 had a silver lining: It created an opportunity for Ray and Darby Joy to work together, again.
“So last summer, I worked for my dad as like an audio/video technician. I was pulling wire and setting up televisions, so I kind of got like an insight into audio and video world,” Darby Joy said. “Then this year has been kind of like an extension of that, because we have to connect the speakers to the screen as well as like the projectors. It’s been fun learning how to do all of that, as well as talking to customers and dealing with advertising.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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