Los Banos

August 7, 2014

The “Wizard of Oz” or “The Goonies” will come to Los Banos

Parks and Recreation Department still deciding which film will be shown.

A few hundred moviegoers in Los Banos will either be off to see the wizard or on a search for pirate treasure later this month.

Event organizer Ann McCauley said “The Wizard of Oz,” or “The Goonies” will be shown about 8:30 p.m. Aug. 22 as part of Movie in the Park at Henry Miller Plaza on Sixth and H streets. The classic, starring Judy Garland, if chosen,will play in the plaza for the second time. It was one of four films played in 2007 as part of the Los Banos centennial celebration.

“I haven’t seen that movie in, oh golly, many, many years. I thought it would be good to get a classic movie out there,” McCauley said.

She said Erik Limon of Allied Waste, which is sponsoring the event, suggested the “Wizard of Oz.”

The 1985 Corey Feldman comedy “The Goonies” is preferred by some in the Merced County Parks and Recreation Department, which is helping to put on the event with its counterpart in Los Banos. The issue keeping the playing of the film, which involves boys on a treasure hunt, in limbo is the ability of the county department to pay for the right to show it, according to McCauley.

Nevertheless, Movie in the Park attendees should bring lawn chairs, blankets and, if they choose, snacks. The event is free.

Vendors will offer popcorn, churros and water for sale.

The event will be staffed by the Merced County and Los Banos parks and recreation departments.

McCauley, who has been organizing Movie in the Park for five years, said the event will cost $1,200 and likely would not happen without sponsors. Crowds vary from year to year, from between 150 and 500 people.

“It’s great entertainment,” McCauley said. “What I like about doing these movies is it puts us in the plaza. There aren’t too many events where we use it at night.”

McCauley said she tries to have two movie nights per year. She said she expects the Aug. 22 movie to be well attended because it is before Labor Day and after families have returned from their summer vacations. A couple hundred people attended Movie in the Park on June 27 for “Despicable Me 2.”

McCauley is already searching for sponsors for next year’s movies. She enjoys being able to provide family-friendly entertainment to the town’s citizens.

“A lot of families just can’t afford movies, so this is entertainment and kind of a thanks to the people,” McCauley said.

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