Real-life chocolate fountain at this Friday’s Kingston park screening of Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

With all due respect to the winsome Johnny Depp, most folks seem to agree that the classic movie interpretation of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the version made in 1971 starring Gene Wilder. It’s funny, fantastical, scary and tuneful, and has held up to many a rebroadcast on TV. Still, there’s nothing like seeing a movie on the big screen, and the City of Kingston Parks and Recreation Department is going to give your family a chance to do that for free this Friday evening, as part of its summer 2012 “Movies under the Stars” series.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory will screen at 8:30 p.m. at Loughran Park, which is located about a block northwest of where Manor Avenue crosses Albany Avenue. Each film in the summer movie series is being shown in a different Kingston park, in hopes of familiarizing residents and visitors with the city’s panoply of outdoor recreation venues. And each one starts with a fun warmup activity to burn off a bit of the kids’ pent-up energy before they settle down to watch the show. This time, Bryant “Drew” Andrews of the Center for Creative Education, director of the award-winning Energy Dance Company, will lead a “Zumba in the Park” session beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Another incentive to get there a bit early is the free snacks. At each “Movies under the Stars” event, the Queens Galley/Cooking Matters provides free popcorn and the Binnewater Ice Company brings ice-cold water. But this Friday will see an extra-special treat on hand: Thanks to the Queens Galley, it will be “Chocolate Fountain Fun Night.” The consequences of trying to drink directly from the chocolate fountain probably won’t be as dire as they were for poor Augustus Gloop in the movie; but we recommend bringing along some favorite snacks that would be improved by being dipped in chocolate, like graham crackers or fruit slices, just to be on the safe side.

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Bring a lawn chair or blanket for viewing the film in comfort. In the event of rain, the screening will be moved indoors to the Andy Murphy Midtown Neighborhood Center, located at 467 Broadway. For Kingston residents or those who wish to park further away, the Kingston Citibus Jitney Trolley will do a special run beginning at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m., with pickup points at the Kingston Plaza, the Governor Clinton, the Stuyvesant Hotel, Brigham Housing, Colonial Gardens, Wiltwick Gardens, Yosmin Towers, Springbrook Village/Broadway East and Rondout Gardens, as well as at Golden Hill by advance request.

Free and open to the public, this event is sponsored by Camo Pollution Control and the Robert Carey Company, Inc. For more information about this and future screenings, or to sponsor a movie in the parks, visit www.kingstonparksmovies.com.

The City of Kingston Parks and Recreation Department’s “Movies under the Stars” series presents the original 1971 version of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory at Loughran Park, located at 50 Charlotte Street. “Zumba in the Park” with Drew Andrews begins at 7:30 p.m. and the movie at 8:30. Bring lawn chairs or blanket, plus goodies to dip in the Chocolate Fountain. Admission, popcorn and ice water are all free. See www.kingstonparksmovies.com for the Jitney Trolley schedule and info about upcoming screenings.

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