Perhaps it was all of the positive feedback from the last "Movie under the Stars" in Maplewood's Memorial Park. Perhaps it was the cool, clear, beautiful night. Perhaps it was the end of Rosh Hashanah.
Whatever it was, nearly twice as many people flocked to Memorial Park this evening for a showing of Star Wars: A New Hope—the original Star Wars movie that launched the phenomenon. Children arrived in costumes and had their own light saber duels before the movie began. Miniature Han Solos, Luke Skywalkers, a Princess Leia and even a Darth Vader were seen enjoying the evening.
Once again, Mike Fusco from NJ Backyard Movies was on hand to set up and present the movie. His large inflatable screen was blown up within minutes with the help of Recreation Director George Rague and his Maplewood Recreation Department crew. The event was produced by Studio B, the new cultural affairs offshoot of the Recreation Department.
Moviegoers picnicked on various delicious dinners from many of Maplewood's local eateries. The appetizing aromas of pizza, sushi, BBQ, sandwiches and Chinese Food filled the air as families enjoyed their meals al fresco.
A birthday party for eight-year-old Matthew Brodie was celebrated under the stars as well, as his party guests dined on pizza and popcorn while enjoying the movie —which for some was their first viewing.
As the evening came to a close, there were applause and anticipation of what the next movie in the park would be.