'Seabiscuit' to be shown during 'Free Movie Night' downtown on Friday

Businesses staying open late in another event to help revitalize central business district

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK , News-Telegram Managing Editor

July 14, 2008 - The Sulphur Springs Downtown Business Alliance and Tourism Committee continue to do their parts to draw crowds to the central commercial district, planning a free movie night this Friday on the city square.

The business alliance, which received an award earlier this year for its efforts to revitalize the downtown area, will be showing "Seabiscuit," the 2003 retelling of Laura Hillenbrand's bestseller, the true story of the undersized underdog racing horse who rose to victory against seemingly impossible odds. The tale is as much a chronicle of the horse and its team as an allegory for America's struggles to rise from the Great Depression. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Rita Edwards, president of the dowtown alliance, said a screen will be set up on the stage at the courthouse square to show the movie.

"Everybody needs to bring a lawn chair or a blanket or whatever they want to sit on," Edwards said. "It will start about dark, but we'll probably have somebody playing guitar from about 8:30 until it starts for entertainment."

Like any respectable movie theater, there will be the necessary concessions -- popcorn, of course, as well as cold drinks, Nathan's Famous hot dogs and ice cream.

Two restaurants, Judy's Kitchen and Plain 'N' Fancy Sandwich Shoppe, will be open late, as will some of the other downtown merchants.

An outdoor movie in the middle of July in Sulphur Springs might not sound like such a hot idea -- pun intended -- when normal summertime temperatures are taken into consideration. But this is not an ordinary summer, with daytime highs running less torrid than usual. Over the last three evenings, the temperatures at 9 p.m. have ranged from 79 to 86 degrees. This Friday's high temperatures is expected to be in the mid 90s, dropping to 73 overnight. Throw in a 5 to 10 miles per hour breeze, and it won't be bad at all.

If there's a good turnout, Edwards added, they will probably show another film in August.

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