- "I would call it a solid start,” said Chris Peroni, creator and organizer of Bethany Borough's first outdoor movie, held last Saturday evening in the borough's park.
“I think we had around 50 people,” he said. “It was a little cool in the evening. I saw two kids in a sleeping bag, but the response was very positive."
Peroni, who has a background in filmmaking, proposed hosting outdoor movies as a way of raising much-needed money for the repair of the park's historic band shell, which was built in the 1930s. The band shell needs a new roof, renovations of the storage area, work done on the front base and an electrical upgrade.
The triple-header of movies began with a Halloween spoof courtesy of the Brady Bunch, filled with the nostalgia of Marcia and the crew. Jack Finney's cut thriller, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” starring Kevin McCarthy followed.
This 1956 sci-fi classic, which was remade in 1978, starring Donald Sutherland, and again in 2007, headlined by Nicole Kidman, never fails to provoke questions about conforming to society and always has audiences wary about falling asleep.
The night of Halloween horror ended with a selection from “Tales From the Crypt.”
“It was a great night,” said Bethany Mayor, Margaret Freeman. “It's wonderful to see people using the park.”
According to Peroni, Saturday night's show was the first in a series of outdoor movies Bethany plans for next year.
“Our intention is to start in May with a movie each month up until October,” he said. “There are several groups and projects in Bethany that are in need of funds and we will divide the money among those who need it.”
Saturday's Halloween movie festival was sponsored by the Bethany Historical Society, a nonprofit group that oversees the preservation of the history of what was once the Wayne County seat of government.
“I think we did quite well for the first movie. It's a good start to raise money to repair the band shell,” said Ruth Baristow, borough vice president and a member of the Bethany Historical Society.
“We're delighted that Chris approached the board with his idea,” said Bethany Borough president John Harvey. “We think this is a great way to let people know about Bethany and to help raise money to repair the band shell and support other programs.”
Page 2 of 2 - “We'd love to know what movies people would want to see,” said Peroni. “We can't get current movies, but we can get some of the classics-dramas, comedies, romance, science fiction, adventure. Just let us know and if we can, we'll show them.”
If you would like to share your ideas for showing a movie at the Bethany outdoor theater next year, you can contact Peroni at email@example.com.