Harry Potter, Ghostbusters hit screen for weekend drive in

Lead cast of Ghostbusters

Halloween is fast approaching, and those eager to immerse themselves in the spirit of it all might find Saturday night’s drive-in double feature at the Lafon Performing Arts Center as the perfect activity to do so.

The event, which will be the first at the Lafon Center since prior to Hurricane Ida, will showcase two very popular – and spooky – blockbuster films befitting of the season: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, followed by Ghostbusters.

Harry Potter is set to begin at dusk, or approximately 7 p.m., with Ghostbusters following.

It’s the latest in a series of drive-in events at Lafon, the overall practice the result of some brainstorming sessions last year aimed at finding ways for the center to provide entertainment options for the community while also respecting COVID-19 restrictions and requirements.

The selected movies are usually chosen to fit the theme of the night, which have included “Back to the 80s” as well as seasonal choices like Saturday’s will be. Another event, scheduled for December, will feature Christmas-themed films.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second of the Potter film series, which is based on the books of author J.K. Rowling that chronicle the young wizard’s maturation through the years, his friendships, great battles – and, of course, lots and lots of magic.

Daniel Radcliffe portrays Harry throughout the series, with Rupert Grint and Emma Watson playing the roles of his close friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The three characters are classmates at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, and in this film they are tasked with preventing the destruction a fabled monster with the potential to be unleashed from the titular Chamber of Secrets could wreak upon the school and its students.

During their adventure, the trio learn that Salazar Slytherin, one of Hogwarts’ founders, supposedly constructed a secret Chamber containing a monster that only his Heir can control, capable of purging the school of Muggle-born students. To prevent the monster from being summoned, the three must learn who Slytherin’s heir is, as that is said to be the person with the power to bring the monster into the world.

The film grossed $879 million worldwide, the second highest total produced in the year it was released, 2002.

Nearly 20 years earlier, Ghostbusters hit theatres and became a phenomenon – no pun intended – in 1984.

The comedy directed by Ivan Reitman and written by film co-stars Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis is centered around the supernatural and gave life to many iconic, otherworldly beings – Slimer the ghost was a celebrity in his own right, as was the iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man that nearly brought New York City to its knees in the film.

Aykroyd and Ramis play Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler, and the two are joined by Bill Murray – playing Peter Venkman – and Ernie Hudson – Winston Zeddemore. Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis also star. The film grossed $282 million in 1984 which, like Chamber of Secrets, was the second highest total of its release year. At the time, it set the mark as highest grossing comedy ever.

The film shows how a group of professors at Columbia University come together to investigate paranormal activity. Their first report of an encounter with a ghost leads the dean of the school to fire them, questioning the credibility of their findings. They go on to launch “Ghostbusters,” a paranormal investigation team that operates out of a one-time firehouse. City residents could call in the team – which used the soon to be iconic slogan “Who ya gonna call?” – after their own run-ins with the other side.

Both films became pop culture sensations with staying power.

The center will have two 40-foot inflatable movie screens set up outside on the lawn facing the center, with the audience vehicles facing outward.

All tickets must be purchased in advance via the Lafon Arts Center website. No tickets will be sold at the box office.


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