Talon News - Good Local News

By Debbie Klein
Special to TALON 



August 10, 2018

By Debbie Klein, Special to TALON

At the Aztec Visitor Center, two Key Club members begin unpacking concession stand items from a red tub and start popping popcorn. Another pair unrolls the screen and hangs it. Others set up speakers, connect cords, and assemble the DVD player, projector, and amplifier. Slowly, folks of all ages fill the grassy area with chairs, blankets, and sometimes tents. As soon as dusk falls, the Friday night movie once again fills the screen, providing enjoyment to families and citizens of Aztec.

In June of 2008, Aztec High School Key Club started Aztec’s first Relay for Life with a Wizard of Oz theme. At the kick-off party, Toto, Dorothy, and her companions followed the Yellow Brick Road on a bed sheet taped between two posts of the park pavilion. Although only a handful of viewers attended the first movie, the kids had so much fun, they showed two more movies that summer. The following summer, the bed sheet was exchanged for the roof tarp of the Kiwanis portable pavilion, and cup hooks were installed to hang it on the west end of the pavilion. Crowds were still small. Movies were shown rain or shine, with people using the tables and protection of the pavilion when it rained.

For a year or two, three or four movies a summer were the norm, but as the crowds expanded, so did the number of movies shown.

In 2013, Jack Kloepfer, owner of Jack’s Plastic Welding, agreed to design and donate the screen the Key Club uses today.

In 2014, crowds increased to an average of 100 or more, so they moved the event to the Aztec Visitor Center. It’s the perfect location, with electrical outlets, a picnic table for the concession stand, and room for as many as 300 viewers.

A Movie in the Park committee is formed annually, and with input from Key Club members, movies are selected and scheduled. Members run, cut, and distribute 3500 fliers created by the committee, to the schools, the Boys and Girls Club, the Library, and all the day care centers in town.

Last year, the committee asked to expand the schedule to every Friday, and promised to run the show themselves since both sponsors were unavailable for most of the summer. They proved their dedication, so weekly movies will probably be the norm.

Aztec Key Club wants to thank the City of Aztec for use of the park, Jeff Blackburn for reprogramming the sprinkler system to accommodate the event, Aztec Museum for providing storage for their equipment, and the TALON for their advertising support.

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