Sleepy commuters on their way to work Monday morning were treated to sights on Main Street sure to wake them up: a black-clad, green-faced Wicked Witch of the West, Glinda the Good Witch in shimmering pink, and Dorothy in her ruby red shoes carrying Toto in a basket.
They were headed toward Wilton Town Hall for a Wizard of Oz costume contest, part of a 10 a.m. showing of the classic 1939 movie.
One hundred twenty-five children and adults saw the film for free on the big screen of the Town Hall Theatre, many of them for the first time, as part of the Mont Vernon Daland Memorial Library’s summer reading program.
“When they opened the curtain to start the movie, it was magical!” said library Director Bonnie Angulas, texting from her seta in the theater.
The library paid for the movie showing with a surprise grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the Amherst Label-Calvetti Family Fund.
“One day I opened the mailbox and there was $500,” said the library’s children’s program director JoAnn Kitchel, who was dressed as Good Witch Glinda.
Daland’s summer programs had already been scheduled, so the library rented the larger of the theater’s two screening rooms and had enough money left over to give the first 100 ticket holders free popcorn and a drink and to buy prizes for the costume contest winners.
The theater, which dates back to the late 19th century, is owned and managed by Dennis Markaverich. Manning the concession stand, he noted that he is rarely there so early in the morning.