Sunnyside Shines keeps movie goers guessing
By Bill Parry
Murphy’s Law toyed with James Bray on Friday night, but the Director of Sunnyside Shines was up to the challenge.
The second edition of the free “Movies in the Park” was supposed to be an 8pm showing of The Land Before Time in Noonan Park at 47th Ave. and 43rd street. There were some obstacles.
The rental company, FunFlicks, arrived without a generator. “It was the same rental agreement as last year, but I forgot the generator was an add-on,” Bray explained. He then quickly went off to Home Depot to find a substitute.
“Home Depot baby,” Bray said. “Where else could you rent one this late on a Friday evening?”
The next speed bump was a defective DVD. The copy of The Land Before Time would not work. “This never happened before,” said the man from FunFlicks. “Put me down as Anonymous,” he added.
With Bray off in search of a replacement, the crowd of 150-200 people (many of them children) remained very patient.
“I don’t mind. It’s beautiful weather and I’m from the neighborhood, so it’s not like I’m in a rush,” one woman said. Ron Begitschke waited along with his young daughter, and he wasn’t the least perturbed, “Nah, we’re out together and everything’s ok.”
Sunnyside Shines’ representative Janet Hohenstein is used to that kind of attitude. “That’s the greatest thing about these people: they just enjoy the evening. It’s beautiful. The spray is coming off the water sprinkler cooling everyone off; it’s a Friday night with no school tomorrow, and the darker it gets, the better the picture!”
But what picture would it be? At 8:56pm, Bray barreled up the stairs and announced a choice to the crowd, thanks to SSS DVD on Queens Blvd. and 50th St, “Rio, Hop or Lion King 2?” The roar of the crowd determined that it would be an evening of Lion King 2. “The man gave us the three choices for free,” Bray said while trying to catch his breath, “I never ran like that before.”
It was exactly 9pm and “Movies in the Park” was finally underway.