A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Take the kids to Old Sturbridge Village in January, they get free admission. Of course, you do have to take them home.

Old Sturbridge Village is one of my most vivid childhood memories. We came out from Eastern Mass in summer. When I supposedly grew up, we moved with kids to just north of OSV. I've been there in all kinds of weather and I would hate to live far away even though I don't go as often as I'd wish. Part of that is my kid's fault. They have grown too fast and those still here, chafe to move on.

Those of you who have youngsters who have not lost a sense of wonder should take them to Old Sturbridge Village in January. Why? Read Below.

Kids Free at Old Sturbridge Village in January

Free admission for children through Jan. 30;

Includes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and “Fire & Ice” celebrations

Old Sturbridge Village is celebrating the new year with a special thank-you gift for visitors: free admission for children in January – (a $7 value per child). From Jan. 1 -30, all kids under 17 get free admission to the Village when accompanied by an adult (the offer does not apply to educational groups of 10 or more).

The “Kids Free at OSV” offer applies for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday on Jan. 18 and the museum’s popular Fire & Ice celebration on Jan. 30, when historians demonstrate vintage ice harvesting. Visitors can try their hands at cutting ice on the Village’s frozen mill pond using old-time ice saws. Other winter activities offered at Old Sturbridge Village include ice skating (bring your own skates), sledding on 1830s-style sleds, and weekend sleigh rides (snow permitting).

After enjoying the museum’s outdoor winter activities, visitors can warm up indoors by one of the Village’s many cozy fireplaces and take part in hands-on crafts and activities. Children can also spend time “pretending” in OSV’s popular “KidStory” indoor play area.

Old Sturbridge Village celebrates early New England life from 1790-1840. OSV is open year-round, but hours of operation change seasonally. In winter, the Village is open Wednesday through Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., and on all Monday holidays, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Presidents Day. It is also open daily for School Vacation Week Feb. 13-21. Admission: $20; seniors $18; children 3-17, $7; children under 3, free. Admission includes free parking and a free second-day visit within 10 days. OSV members receive free daytime admission all year long. For details, visit www.osv.org or call 1-800-SEE-1830.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Support Snowballs for Ware's Casino Theater

The post below was originally put up at Examiner. Since then, much has happened. The Facebook page went from near zero members to almost 700 in no time. Community Support is far more than anyone had a right to expect, with talk of a fundraiser. I dream of a Quabbin Film Festival having The Casino as its major venue.

Movement to save the Ware Casino Theater starts to grow Examiner, Dec.20, 2009

There is now a Facebook fan page for those who want to help Fred McLennan bring back Ware’s Casino Theater. Not only does the group talk about how wonderful it was and can be. There is actually some possible restoration money available.

Pauline Supka, Ware resident born and raised has been the impetus behind the new efforts. The new Facebook group has garnered over 300 members in no time at all.

If that were not enough, the Berkshire Bank is giving four $5,000 grants and if everyone who wants to preserve what is maybe the oldest movie house in the country votes, this could be a big help with some of the renovation costs.

If you would like to join the fan page, go here. If you would like to vote (one vote per person) go here.

At the Berkshire Bank page, put Ware Casino Theater for Name of the Organization and Main Street, Ware, Massachusetts for Address of the Organization.

I urge everyone to be part of this. Even if you are not from Western Central Massachusetts or the Eastern Pioneer Valley, we all benefit with another theater. Theater buffs, indie film fans or film makers, whatever, another venue helps us all.

See The Resurrection of the Casino.

Also see article at Sturbridge Times Magazine (click on link for December pdf and go to page 14) and

Friday, December 18, 2009

Big weekend in Sturbridge, BELIEVE continues

The Merchants of Sturbridge Twelve Days of Christmas continues this weekend with some great events. Saturday the 19th will see the magnificent Clydesdales at Yankee Spirits and Sturbridge Host Hotel.

Saturday night, the Rimscha Concert Series will present Celtic Carols and French Noels to celebrate the Franco-Mick heritage of Saint Anne and Saint Patrick's. The program will begin at 7 p.m. and will encore on Sunday, the 20th, at 3: p.m. Children's caroling and cocoa from the church to the Senior Center will begin at 6 p.m.

Let's not forget old Sturbridge Village. Events this weekend are,

Saturday December 19

* Holiday Magic and Puppets with Robert Olson
* Worcester Men of Song
* Shepard Hill Madrigirls
* Boston Jazz Voices
* Readings of A Visit from St. Nicholas ('Twas the Night Before Christmas)
* Learn the Dance from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
* Christmas Carol sing-alongs

Sunday December 20

* Holiday Magic and Puppets with Robert Olson
* Members of the Seven Hills Symphony Orchestra
* Quintebrass
* Old Sturbridge Village Singers
* Readings of A Visit from St. Nicholas ('Twas the Night Before Christmas)
* Learn the Dance from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
* Christmas Carol sing-alongs

So, yeah, it's bitter cold, but cabin fever is worse. Get out and enjoy the last few days of autumn.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Two Tantasqua alumni make a satiric video

All right, let’s get this out of the way upfront. I can’t talk expertly about the subject of the video in question. Outside of a couple of youtube videos of the man, I can’t say I’ve seen Glenn Beck. We don’t have TV and since about 1994, I’ve never been in a position to see Glenn or Sean or Bill. As an equal opportunity no viewer, I have not seen Oprah or Keith or Chris or Dr. Phil. I only know them by reputation. If anyone believes me culturally deprived, please don’t let me know.

A group of lads, at least one a local high school grad, came back to Southwest Worcester County to make a video satire of Glenn Beck. The impresario of the show is a fellow named Felipe Diaz-Arango. Felipe made it under the auspices of Go Hard Films. On the blog, Still Dependent Films, he goes on about the ills of talksters and how they are unfair to Obama who Felipe takes pains to say he is not a fan of. All in all, the fellow read like Glenn Beck attacking the Glenn Becks of the world.

But, that is a digression. This, for all the team's lack of highly sophisticated technology is well done. The rant of the Glenn Beck character is over the top, as it was surely supposed to be. Local actor, Dan McNulty does great work as the manic talkmeister.

So someone did do something in Sturbridge, the next film making mecca. Felipe disparages the production values, but all things considered, he didn't do too badly. View below.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion-December Edition

The Sturbridge Times Magazine December issue has been out even before the end of the last month, so I am late again. Still, it is never too late to self promote.

On Page 13 is my article about the Merchants of Sturbridge Twelve Days of Christmas celebration. Much is planned, including a visit by the Anheuser Busch Clydesdales to Yankee Spirits. Events will be held on weekends through the month.
The Giving Tree at the Handmaiden Shop

I love movie theaters. Yeah, it's nice to watch a video at home and be able to pause the action when necessary and hear everything without somebody behind you doing a play by play. Yet, I like to go to a movie in a theater. Multiplexes are okay, but community movie houses like I grew up are more my style. When the old Casino in Ware closed, it was a sad day as another small town movie house followed the trend to extinction.

Mr. Fred McLennan of Holyoke has taken up the cause and plans to repair the Casino and put it back into operation. Read about it on Page 14.

My column on Page 20 discusses philosophy and bee stings.

There are many other fine artcles. If you did not get a hard copy, you can read it on line here or click on the graphic below to find where to fetch one.