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Mars Theatre doubles up on its movie night
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The Springfield Revitalizaton Corporations movie night Saturday will include a costume contest, much like the one here for the August outdoor showing of Pirates of the Caribbean. - photo by File photo

The Springfield Revitalization Corporation is getting an early start on Halloween.

The SRC will show two outdoor movies Saturday night on the Mars Theatre’s exterior wall, beginning with “Casper” at 7 p.m. and ending with the 1979 version of “Dracula” at 10 p.m.

“The SRC has been trying to do a few things to give people something to do,” said Erin Rahn of the SRC.

The evening will begin with a trick-or-treat and scavenger hunt from 6-7 p.m. throughout downtown Springfield. A costume contest will be held from 8:45-9 p.m., following the showing of “Casper,” and there will be an Effingham Theatre performance from 9-9:45 p.m.

While “Casper” is geared toward a younger audience, “Dracula” was rated R in 1979. This version stars Frank Langella in the title role, along with Laurence Olivier and Donald Pleasance.

“It was rated R for violence and gore,” Rahn said, “but there is a lot less in it than what is rated R now.”

Outdoor movies at the Mars, which recently won a grant from the Fox Theatre Institute for its renovation project, have grown in popularity, Rahn said. The first showing drew 75 people and the crowd has increased to 150 to more than 200 at subsequent events.

“The SRC is trying to raise awareness of getting the theatre up and running,” said Springfield City Council member Kenny Usher, “and getting people out there. We get asked 100 questions about the theatre, so the more awareness we raise, the closer we get to where it needs to be.”

Admission to the movie night is free and for more information, call 754-3301 or visit

Council members also approved the liquor license for the new owners of what was Kelly’s Tavern. The new establishment, to be called Gaffney’s, is scheduled to be open Friday night.

“We want to have a sports-type atmosphere,” said co-owner Kevin Rahn. “We want to keep it family-oriented and keep all the rowdiness down.”

Gaffney’s will be open until 1 a.m. on Friday nights and until midnight on Saturdays and Mondays-Thursdays.

Kelly’s closed in June.