Every patron had a golden ticket this past weekend at the historical Redford Theatre’s showing of the 1971 classic film, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The large screen special showing was marked by special in-person appearances featuring Dr. Peter Ostrum, who played Charlie Bucket and Paris Themmen, who played Mike TeeVee.
Ostrum, a veterinarian and Themmen, who has worked in a variety of fields including acting, were on hand to introduce the film. Each provided some lessor known behind the scenes film making stories and were available to sign autographs.
At $5 a ticket, the sellout crowd packed the beautiful theatre atrium for a magical evening. Marked by its famous “3 manual, 10 rank Barton Theatre Pipe Organ” bellowing out famous Wonka songs such as, Pure Imagination, the Oompa Loompa song, Candy Man, and I’ve Got a Golden Ticket, as well as an unusual ceiling projected star lit night, the ongoing restoration of the non-profit owned building, added much to the excitement and ambiance.
Located near the northeast corner of Grand River Avenue and Lahser Road, parking is free either just north of the theatre or in an adjacent open gravel lot across the street. The spring 2013 schedule includes Vaudeville Memories, Garland and Astarie’s Easter Parade, and a Three Stooges Festival. Be sure to arrive early for the best seat and by 7:30 for the pipe organ pre-music entertainment. For more information call 313-537-2560.
And what were those behind the scenes stories the audience learned upon returning from intermission Saturday night?
Themmen said fellow child actor Denise Nickerson who played blueberry embodied Violet Beauregarde would have to wait laying on her side on the set inside a Styrofoam ball and endured several outtakes where she was rolled accidentally into a door frame. Several weeks after filming when she returned to school, it was discovered she still had blue residue from the blueberry colored makeup surfacing on her pores.
In another less known instance, Mike TeeVee’s father, who only had one line related to allowing his son to own a gun, “but not until you’re twelve…,” was tongue tied. “It took what seemed like an entire day to get that line right,” Themmen said.