Gene Wilder was an eccentric, delightful treat to watch on the big screen – from classics like Blazing Saddles to Young Frankenstein, his films nearly always left the viewer with a smile on their face. On Friday, September 30th, Southampton Arts Center will commemorate the late actor by presenting a special viewing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
For those unfamiliar with the film (you must be living under a rock) – which was based on Roald Dahl’s 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the movie centers around the worldwide search for five elusive Golden Tickets and the children that discover them. Once all the tickets are found, the winners and their chaperones are invited to enter the unparalleled world of reclusive candy king Willy Wonka (Wilder) to explore the scrumdidilyumptious land. While being welcomed to a “candy land” might seem sufficient enough, one of the guests will also win a lifetime supply of chocolate. Charlie – who comes from a family that is so poor they can barely afford to put a meal on the table each day – is among the fortunate Golden Ticket finders. While on the tour, the guests experience an unbelievable wonderland that consists of a river of chocolate, edible mushrooms, flavored wallpaper, and more splendid sweets and creations. Slowly, an abominable act bars the detestable youth – opening the path for Charlie to provide his family with endless sweets. But, does the golden hearted boy have what it takes to win the one-of-a-kind prize and is Wonka as honorable as he claims?
“Willy Wonka is such an iconic film, and we can’t think of a better selection to pay tribute to the talented Gene Wilder,” noted Director of Programs Amy Kirwin. “It’s a whimsically wonderful classic that the whole family can enjoy together, and the gift that Wilder gave to so many of us will live on.”
The screening begins at 7 p.m. and admission is $8 – which includes complimentary sweets and popcorn.
Southampton Arts Center is located at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631-283-0967 or visit southamptonartscenter.org.