Shelf Life: Movies in the park? Inconceivable!

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2017

While the concept of movies in the park isn’t “inconceivable,” that is a famous quote from “The Princess Bride,” the film that will kick off Polk County Public Library’s event series on June 24. Movies will be shown at Stearns Park on the last Saturday of the month through August, starting at dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.).

“The Princess Bride” is a beloved classic from 1987 starring Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, and Mandy Patinkin. It was adapted from the book (as many great films are) written by William Goldman. The story tells of a farmhand named Westley, who must rescue his true love Princess Buttercup, who agreed to wed the awful Prince Humperdinck because she believes that Westley was killed by a notorious pirate. The movie fits into so many genres (romance, fantasy, adventure, comedy), it’s bound to please just about anyone!

On July 29, come sing along to “The Sound of Music.” This was a favorite from my childhood and I will be belting out the words to tunes such as “Do-Re-Me” and “My Favorite Things.” Released in 1965, the musical drama stars Julie Andrews as Maria, a future nun-turned-governess in 1938 Austria, and Christopher Plummer as Captain von Trapp, the widowed father of the seven children Maria is tasked with caring for.

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The final film of the summer, “The Wizard of Oz,” will be on August 26 with a costume contest! Come dressed as Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, or whoever is your favorite character from the movie. The musical fantasy is based on the novel by L. Frank Baum and stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale. Considered a box office disappointment when it was released in 1939, the story of a girl from Kansas and her dog who get swept up by a tornado and end up in the Land of Oz has become an icon of American popular culture.

What other classic films do you enjoy that didn’t make it to the big screen this summer? It was hard to pick just three! Some of my other favorites include “Mary Poppins,” “Swiss Family Robinson,” and “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.” Check these out and more from the library to relive your childhood this summer. Of course we also have all the new releases on DVD!

Come early on Saturday to get a good spot and test your knowledge on real-life royalty with pre-movie trivia! These programs are made possible by a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation. Bring chairs or a blanket, snacks and drinks, and your family and friends!

Jen Pace Dickenson is the Youth Services Librarian for Polk County Public Library. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call 828-894-8721.