Tellico Kiwanis to host Movie on the Square on Friday - Citizentribune

The Tellico Plains Kiwanis Club will show a classic movie this weekend with hopes of creating a new town tradition.

The Kiwanis Club hosted its first free Movie on the Square event in downtown Tellico Plains last year.

“The Chamber of Commerce had recommended we try some pop-up events — something simple that could draw a crowd — so we did a movie night last year to see how it would go,” said Tellico Plains Kiwanis Club President Kent Mathews. “We had about 100 people come out, including the members of Kiwanis who were working it.”

The success was enough to make the Kiwanis Club want to host more Movie on the Square nights in the future. When planning for the next event, Mathews suggested a family classic — “Smokey and the Bandit” — for the next featured movie.

Truck inspiration

Soon after, when Mathews was driving down the road, a Purdy Brothers Trucking rig passed him.

“That’s when it hit me, wait a minute — having a trucking company come out with the movie being about truck drivers, I just thought that was a great way to tie it in,” he said.

Mathews contacted his friend Doug Surrett, president of Purdy Brothers/Loudon County Trucking, to discuss his ideas, and Surrett liked it so much the company agreed to sponsor the event.

Then, “Smokey and the Bandit” star Burt Reynolds died early in September.

“It just seemed fitting that we had chosen his most famous movie,” said Mathews.

The Tellico Plains Kiwanis Club will show “Smokey and the Bandit,” featuring the late Reynolds, during a free Movie on the Square in downtown Tellico Plains on Friday, Oct. 12, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Synopsis of film

According to IMDb, the synopsis for “Smokey and the Bandit” is as follows: “Bandit and Cledus are two truck-driving Southerners who accept a dare from big-shots Big and Little Enos to pick up a truckload of beer from Texas and return it to them within a specified amount of time. Picking it up is simple enough, but as they are leaving Texas, Bandit unwittingly picks up Carrie, a hitchhiking runaway bride who just left her groom, Junior, at the altar. Junior, however, is the son of Sheriff Buford T. Justice. And when Buford and Junior discover what has happened, they go on a high-speed pursuit across the Southeast to catch the Bandit.”

Company needs experienced truck drivers

Purdy Brothers/Loudon County Trucking will provide free popcorn and a drink to attendees (until supplies run out). In addition, the company will have a rig and recruiter on location beginning at 6 p.m. to answer any questions about the trucking industry and how to become an OTR (on the road) driver.

“They operate nationwide and are always looking for experienced drivers,” said Mathews. “They have some pretty great benefits, like right now if you come work for them, you get a $5,000 sign-on bonus. If you refer a driver and they get hired, you get $3,000.”

“There aren’t a lot of people choosing the trucking career anymore, but there is a great need for drivers,” added Mathews.

Club hopes to host several movies throughout year

Mathews said the Kiwanis Club would like to host several Movie on the Square nights throughout the year.

“We’re going to mix it up some,” he said about the movies. “We want to show movies that can be something everyone would enjoy, not just kids. We’ve had a lot of activity in terms of the publicity for this event so we hope we have a big crowd.”

Attendees should bring their own lawn chairs or blankets.

For more information, like and follow the Tellico Plains Kiwanis Club on Facebook.

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