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Things to do for free: Movie night at Wentzville park

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The City of Wentzville will soon host a free movie night, a great way to squeeze in some more family friendly entertainment together as the kids go back to school. As family vacations and kids activities come to an end, a free movie may be good news for an end-of-summer tight budget.

Rotary Park Amphitheatre will be the site of Movie in the Park on August 15. The selection for that night is the classic film “Wizard of Oz” starring Judy Garland. Originally released in 1939, “Wizard of Oz” is still a family favorite in its 75th anniversary year.

Despite the lack of computer technology in 1939, “Wizard of Oz” makes impressive use of actor positioning, camera tricks and editing to create a very realistic world where a tornado can carry a house to a far off land, a crystal ball can project a story, witches and monkeys can fly, trees can talk, horses can change color and much more! These simple technology tricks are great conversation starters for older kids while parents can talk to younger children about the movie’s themes on friendship, perseverance, believing in oneself and recognizing the good qualities that every individual has.

Since there is an element of good versus evil in the film and sometimes young children can be frightened by the witch, it may be helpful for parents to show young children a picture of the actress who played the witch, Margaret Hamilton, without her film makeup and explain to them that in real life, she spent a great deal of time being kind to children as a kindergarten and Sunday school teacher. A lovely picture of Margaret Hamilton can be found on Wikipedia.

Admission to Rotary Park is free. During the movie the concession stand will have popcorn, chips, nachos, candy, soda and water available for purchase. Parents should bring a blanket or lawn chair to accommodate their families. Early arrival is recommended as space is limited. The movie begins at 8:00 p.m.

For families looking for fun things to do around St. Louis, this is a great way to enjoy the outdoors as well as some family time before the hectic fall schedule begins.

For more information, visit the City of Wentzville online.

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