Movie night entertains local families

| Daniel O’Rear reporter |

Although the idea behind the event was to sit and watch a movie, children started running around Brandenburg Field as early as 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29. Why? For the first of two annual Family Movie Nights.
The movie nights are sponsored by the PSU Alumni Association and take place on the Jumbotron of Carnie Smith Stadium.
For this year’s first event, the association chose Disney’s Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie.
“The association picks a recently released PG film for family nights,” said Megan Swafford, assistant director of the alumni association and organizer of the event.
Swafford says PG-rated films are a must to help create a family friendly atmosphere, which after all is the majority of the audience.
Maleficent is a re-telling of the widely known tale “Sleeping Beauty,” with a twist. The movie is from the point of view of the wicked godmother Maleficent, whom the film is titled after.
At 7 p.m. hundreds of students, children and families sat down on the football field on blankets or portable chairs brought from home, eyes staring straight ahead at the screen.
The film opens with a narration by Maleficent, explaining the history of her land, whose magical creatures are at war with humans. After the narration, the audience sees a young Maleficent and learns the tale of her childhood and her meeting of a human boy, Stefan. As the two grow older, Stefan rejects Maleficent’s love for his desire to become king. Years later, blinded by her need for revenge, Maleficent curses King Stefan’s daughter, Aurora.
Just as in the Disney version, Aurora is sent away with three good fairies to raise and protect her from Maleficent. However, in this version of the tale, Maleficent knows Aurora’s whereabouts for the entirety of her life. As the years pass, Maleficent, try as she might to harden her heart, begins to love Aurora as her own daughter.
The movie night also brought the feel of going to the movie theater for real by opening the stadium’s concession stands.
Campus Christians volunteered to run the stands.
“Anything that comes in from our ministry goes right back into campus,” said James Bacus, campus minister for Campus Christians.
The volunteering students served popcorn, hotdogs, candy, soda pop and all the other traditional movie favorites, while spending their time in a way benefiting the community.

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