Some skeptics said local residents wouldn't show up for outdoor screenings of classic movies in downtown Rock Hill.
They were wrong.
About 300 people turned out Friday to see "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (the 1971 version, not the Johnny Depp remake). A week earlier, a similar audience of 300 viewed "Some Like it Hot," the Billy Wilder masterpiece featuring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe.
That crowd reportedly was full of young adults, many of whom may have seen this 1959 film for the first time. The experience no doubt was a revelation: "Some Like it Hot" was voted by the American Film Institute in 2000 to be the funniest American movie of all time.
Even more people, however, went to see "E.T. -- The Extraterrestrial," Steven Spielberg's charmer from 1982. We bet many older viewers took the opportunity to watch this great film with their children and grandchildren.
Organizers got cooperation from the weather, with no rain to spoil any of the screenings. While admission was $3, many took advantage of the deal where a receipt from a downtown merchant would get you a free pass -- which also was a boon for the merchants.
Candy Randall, the city's downtown development manager, gets much of the credit for this venture. Outdoor movies have been so successful that more screenings are planned for the near future.
This is more than just another way to entice people to spend time and money downtown. It's an event, a communal experience that heightens our sense of community and enhances the city's image.
Congratulations to all involved. We're eager to see what the next outdoor flick will be.
By Staff Reports В· heraldonline.com FTP