Outdoor movie night a huge success

On June 29, the Amity Teen Center (ATC) held its 3rd annual summer event, titled "Movies Under the Stars." Members of the tri-town community gathered at High Plains Community Center in Orange to watch "Remember the Titans" in the fading sky. It was a cool break from a hot, muggy Friday.

The ATC opened the event to the community as a generous gesture towards the towns of Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge.

The ATC's annual community activities include its annual Chili Run, playing in carnivals, and sponsorship of a battle of the bands at Toad's Place.

Starting in 1999, the ATC began providing summer outdoor movies for the families of the three towns. Those who attend do not sit in their cars but instead bringt lawn chairs, blankets, and insect repellent. It's a place where teenagers can catch a flick for a reasonable price. As opposed to the environment of the regular $7.50 cinemas, these events organized by the ATC added the bonus of the stars as a celestial ceiling, the therapeutic powers of natural, non-stagnant movie theater air, and a chance to watch with their friends the bright sun melt from yellow to orange to pink to a progressively darker blue until…black (with the sparkling glitter of distant stars).

The ATC tried out the first of these traditional summer events at the Bethany Town Hall in 1999, showing John Travolta and Olivia Newton John in their glamorous youth in the movie, "Grease". With the success of that event, the ATC aimed its sights on a larger venue for the summer of 2000 on the field at the High Plains Community Center in Orange, drawing even a larger audience. The movie in 2000 was the "Sixth Sense", a movie whose gripping storyline and surprise ending reel in the townsfolk and keep them riveted.

This year, the ATC showed the film, "Remember the Titans," again at the Community Center in Orange. 183 people attended this event. As a treat, the audience got to see homemade movies of some of the Amity Teen Center's events. Most notably, the audience got a chance to see the Center's sponsorship of a battle of the school bands. The bands had fun and, without a doubt, their adrenalin accelerated at the chance to perform publicly.

For this year's event, the ATC rented a 13' x 14' screen and projector from the "Party People" to display the movie. An outstanding turnout, considering the proximity to that other entertainment draw, Independence Day.

The weekend prior to July 4, families need something to do The ATC persistently responds, "Well, here it is…Something to do!"

"Remember the Titans" is a family movie, a Disney film that extols values about respecting other individuals on the basis of their character and not on the basis of their race. The movie, however, is not pedantic nor hoakie. The movie's solid. One feels good after seeing it. It may be Disney, but it's certainly not exclusive for children.

The ATC staff was very pleased at how this year's event turned.out.

"We just wanted to provide a nice, fun, intergenerational event in which we invite everyone in the community to participate. It's very important to us to bring people together. Community is one of our top priorities," said Linda Cohen, the Treasurer of the ATC's Senior Committee. " This event seems to get better and better every year, and the people who go are asking for more. We want to show another movie in August for everyone. However, in the winter we want to have teenager only movie events," said Cohen.

"We were very encouraged by the response we received about our movie under the stars event," said Katie Cusick, Co-Director of the ATC staff. Because so many people inquired if we were going to do this program again this summer, we are in the midst of planning another movie night for August. It's just a very positive, fun, and enjoyable evening."