A recent email from the Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park and Theatre in Joliet opened like this: “Just in case 2020 wasn’t scary enough for you...”
But it wasn’t bad news.
A story in Tuesday’s Herald-News discussed Halloween and how many local trick-or-treating events will still take place.
But outdoor, socially distant, scary movies are. And that’s what Bicentennial Park is bringing the community during the month of October.
At 6 p.m. every Friday beginning Oct. 2, the park will show a classic horror or suspense movie in a special series called “Friday Creature Features.”
First up is “Charade,” a 1963 film starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Supporting cast includes Walter Matthau, James Coburn and George Kenned.
I was about 12 when I saw this romantic/comedy/mystery movie for the first time.
I was scanning the movie listings for the week in the TV guide that came inside The Herald-News. My mother recommended it and said it was a favorite of hers.
“Charade” has been called a “Hitchcock-esque” film. If you haven’t seen it, now’s a good time. Admission is just $1 at the door (you pay at the gate).
Even sitting 6 feet (or more) apart, it’s a lot of fun watching an absorbing film with like-minded attendees in an out-of-the-ordinary venue.
About a decade ago, the former Three Rivers Arts Council in Channahon hosted film nights. Around this same time of year, I took my three teens for one of those events, which featured two films, “Nosferatu” and “Young Frankenstein.”
The fact that the films were shown in a dark old firehouse added to the ambiance. I imagine horror movies shown outdoors during a crisp October Friday night on a big bandshell screen will have great atmosphere, too.
Costumes are encouraged; either way, masks are required. Bring blankets and chairs for hill seating. Dress accordingly for the weather.
Concessions and cash bar will be available. Outside food and beverages are allowed, but outside alcohol is not.
The other “Friday Creature Features” showings will be Oct. 9, Oct. 16, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30. Additional films, according to the Bicentennial Park website, may include “Dracula,” “House on Haunted Hill” and “Night of the Living Dead.”
I also remember the first time I saw “Night of the Living Dead.” I was about 16, home alone with the lights out, and I thought to myself, “Well, this looks good.”
For information about “Friday Creature Features,” visit bicentennialpark.org or call 815-724-3761.