Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Flash Gordon

On July 31st, I went to the Enzian Theater (1300 S Orlando Ave  Maitland, FL) to see the free outdoor screening of Flash Gordon. The inflatable screen was unloaded from a U-Haul truck and blowers quickly inflated it. As people arrived on the lawn, I placed them in the sketch. I slathered on bug spray as it grew dark. A couple next to me were joking that enough people were wearing bug spray to discourage mosquitoes from feeding on the crowd so they were safe without it. The guys next to me were discussing how bad the Sci-Fi TV movie, "Sharknado" had been. It was so campy and bad that it had to be seen to be believed.

 In a trivia session before the movie I learned that director George Lucas wanted the rights to the story. Since another movie studio bought the rights he decided to make a little film called "Star Wars" instead. In this update of the 1930s comic strip, Flash Gordon is a football hero who is skyjacked aboard Dr. Hans Zarkov’s rocket ship along with beautiful Dale Arden. The threesome are drawn into the influence of the planet Mongo, controlled by Ming the Merciless. Ming has been testing the Earth with unnatural disasters, and deeming it a threat to his rule, he plans to destroy it. He also intends to take Dale as his concubine. From the opening song by Queen the film felt dated but it was sure to be fun. I had never seen the film.

In the opening scene of the movie, Flash is piloting an airplane through a turbulent lightning storm. The trees around the Enzian lawn flashed brightly and thunder rumbled in surround sound. I was impressed. Perhaps strobe lights had been placed in the trees. Then the movie screen went dark. An announcer said that a huge thunderstorm was approaching and they would have to stop the screening for our safety and the safety of the equipment.  As I walked back to my car, it started to rain. On the drive home the rain was torrential

Mark Your Calendar! Tonight's screening around 8pm is "Dirty Harry" starring Clint Eastwood.
Wednesday night Pitcher Show outdoor screenings are dependent upon Florida’s famously unpredictable weather conditions. In an effort to avoid cancelling an event, the theater may wait until 30 minutes prior to the set screening time to officially post a cancellation notice; which will be posted on their Facebook page. You may also call Enzian’s Box Office at 407-629-1088 x230 for more information. Thank you for your understanding, and if your screening is rained out - keep an eye out for a rain date.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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