I saw "The Wizard of Oz" Saturday at the new and old Varsity Theatre on Franklin Street. My sister, cousins and I watched the film every Thanksgiving for years on our grandparents' VCR. I remembered only significant parts, the tornado in the beginning and Dorothy meeting her friends on the yellow brick road. At The Varsity last night I saw, for the first time, Dorothy leaving Oz with Glinda the good witch's help. Her wish came true.
That part stands as the film's most important message: you can find a way home, but you have to find it for yourself. And when you do, you must say goodbye to your best friends even though you will see them as another part of the animal kingdom upon your homecoming. I think.
I had a few high school friends - Danny Webster, Greg Likens and John R. Pavletic - who represented the Lollipop Guild in their middle school musical. My junior year homecoming date, Deanna, was Dorothy in the same production. I went to a different middle school and missed the show. I guess she sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which is indeed one of the best songs of all time. I should ask her what it was like to sing that song.
The theater's opening was perfect. Tickets cost $3, and the popcorn followed suit. Families fighting for the best "Wizard" seats formed lines that spilled onto the sidewalk. Four Carolina students had repainted the foyer, and the owners had installed new carpet and lighting. Franklin Street found its way back home.