Twister Prompts Cancellation of Open Air Screening of Wizard of Oz

It's a twist in the plot as a tornado watch clears the park during a showing of "The Wizard of Oz." But pay no attention to that man behind the curtainthe show will go on tomorrow at 8 p.m.

George Rague, Director of the Maplewood Department of Recreation, asked movie-goers to clear the park and promised that the showfeaturing the classic 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz"would be rescheduled for Saturday, July 24, at 8 p.m. in the park.

The evening was sponsored by the Maplewood Recreation Department, which commandeered the help of Gary Walz and his twin sons, Mike and Nick, along with Andrew Gnutti, Chris Spurrier and Cindy Roth. All were on site early with Rague to set up for the evening. Mike Fusco from NJ Backyard Movies of Summit Soundz arrived with the inflatable movie screen and together the group began blowing up the 16-foot screen. At 6:30 p.m., the first movie-goer arrived.

Angela Nash chose her spot alongside the yellow brick road as she set up her chairs and blankets. Many others entered the park, following the yellow brick roads that led to the screen. Music, provided by Summit Sounds, entertained guests as children danced to the tunes while waiting for the movie to begin.

Crane's Deli was there selling popcorn, Moonpies, lemonade, iced tea and water. Maplewood Director of Cultural Affairs Marcy Thompson and her partner from Studio B, Jenny Turner-Hall, were there as co-sponsors.

They brought along two short films by local artists: George Lange's "Flying Kids" was shown first followed by animator Emily Hudley's " The Power." At 8:15 p.m., the main feature began. Shortly after "Dorothy" fell into the pigpen, lightening was detected in the area and the park was cleared.

Disappointed film fans were relieved to hear that the movie would be shown Saturday evening. So, indeed, there will be a rainbow at the end of this storm.


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