It’s Show Time in Ocean Township

“The Lion King” is scheduled to be shown on the big screen in Palaia Park May 28.

By DON STINE

It’s show time next week at Ocean Township’s drive-in where Walt Disney’s “The Lion King” will be shown.

The temporary drive-in is being set up in Joe Palaia Park.

“The Lion King” will be shown at the new bandshell area Thurs., May 28 when it gets dark. Admission is free. The movie will begin at approximately 7:30 or 8 p.m. Only 88 cars will be allowed in for the first movie and pre-registration of vehicles is required. But the movie will be shown again at a later date in order to allow more residents to see it too, Mayor Christopher Siciliano said.

“If you didn’t sign up for a Community Pass the see the movie, then please don’t show up. We will run other movies in the future and you need a confirmed slot to enter the park. Only moviegoers will be permitted entry into the park that night,” he said.

Residents can get a Community Pass by going to the township’s website (www.oceantwp.org),  clicking on Recreation Registration, and then follow the instructions to get a Community Pass. Township residents will be given priority for the first passes. There will be a waiting list created for future movies, which may continue into the fall, if the event is successful.

And there’s more. The drive-in will be a double-screen event. Public works has designed a large 30- by 15-foot white canvas-type screen for the main bandshell and then another 20-foot, pop-up screen that will be placed halfway into the parking lot, allowing people in the back to see the movie better.

“We are going to tighten the screens and batten them down to ensure a good picture. But weather is always a factor, of course,” Siciliano said.

A promo on the screens will tell viewers to tune in a certain FM radio channel to hear the film.

The rain date for the movie is Sun., May 31. Movies may also be postponed if there is heavy rain and the ground becomes saturated with water.

Restrictions at the drive-in require people stay in their cars, except to go to the bathroom; convertibles must have their tops up and people will not be permitted in open truck cabs; no lawn chairs or alcohol; and no tailgating. People are encouraged to bring their own food and nonalcoholic beverages and portable toilets will be set up.

Police will be on hand to help direct traffic and monitor the event. Cars will be spaced about 15 feet apart.

There is a $500 licensing fee to show a movie so “The Lion King,” and probably others, will be shown more than one time. Other movies in the running to be shown are “Toy Story 4,” “Jumanji; Jumanji,”  “A Dog’s Way Home” and “Dumbo.”

Siciliano said administrators from other communities have been contacting the township seeking more information about the drive-in movie concept.

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