At least 500 sat on blankets, chairs and some even stood to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz" at another in a series of Thursday night Movies in the Park in downtown's Delucchi Park.
Families began arriving as early as 4 p.m. to claim their spaces as city workers set up the giant 26-foot screen on the Angela Street end of the park. By 8:30, when the film started, the crowd-about half of it children--extended north about half-way to Neal Street.
The free movie that included popcorn provided by Brenda Dronkers and her Thriving Ink store on Angela Street has been a musical favorite of millions. There was absolute silence, rapt attention and even a few cheers as Judy Garland in her signature role as Dorothy from Kansas danced along the yellow-brick road on her way to the Emerald City.
Two more outdoor movies are scheduled in this summer series. "School of Rock" will be shown on Aug. 6 to be followed on Aug. 20 with Steven Spielberg's box office smash "Raiders of the Lost Ark."