Who can take a sunrise…sprinkle it with dew…the Alamo can. The Alamo Drafthouse threw ‘The Ultimate Willy Wonka Party’ at their Mason Park location Monday evening. Fans of all ages gathered for a screening of the 1971 musical but were treated to more that just a movie. Guests were gifted bags of candy, bubbles, and bounce dryer sheets for an interactive smell-o-vision experience as Charlie’s mom does laundry. One lucky fan who found “the golden ticket” won a grand prize of, what else, more candy!
The highlight of the event was a special appearance by two of the film’s stars, Paris Themmen who played the television-obsessed Mike TeeVee and Julie Dawn Cole who portrayed the bratty Veruca Salt. The former-child stars came out before the movie began to greet the audience and gave away 3 silly Easter Eggs for film buffs to catch.
1. In the middle of “The Candy Man Can” song in Bill’s Candy Shop, Bill lifts up the counter and pops a little girl in the chin.
2. As the children enter the black and white psychedelic room in the chocolate factory, you’ll catch Michael Bollner who played Augustus Gloop awkwardly sliding up and down the wall.
3. When the children are in The Chocolate Room, you’ll notice that Veruca’s knee is cut as she breaks open giant chocolate spheres. The accidental injury resulted in a scar Cole still wears proudly today.
After the screening, the actors stayed for a playful Q&A session where no question was left unanswered (except when asked ‘what is a snozberry?’ Funny to those who understood. Not quite appropriate to the children present). We learned there were only 10 actors who played the Oompa Loompas in film. Cole filmed her famous “I Want It Now” song in 36 takes due to the intricacy of the scene and choreography. Themmen revealed the foam from the Wonka Mobile was the same foam airports utilize on runways prior to a crash landing to help reduce friction and sparks.
The evening brought us closer to the enchanting film we grew up with and encouraged us to introduce the classic to new generations. I discovered that going to the movies could be magical again.
Guests were given goodies that included Gobstoppers and poppers.
With good humor, Julie Dawn Cole and Paris Themmen continue to embrace the film and the cult following that surrounds it.
Every guest received a movie poster signed by the visiting stars. If you missed the festivities, not to worry, Alamo Drafthouse hosts monthly events to delight movie lovers of all genres.