75th Anniversary of the World Premiere of “The Wizard of Oz”

75th Anniversary of the World Premiere of “The Wizard of Oz”
Downtown Oconomowoc

Wizard of Oz

 Moonlit Movies to host:

•Music, Food & Fun start at 4:30pm, Thursday, August 7th

LIVE MUSIC by “Honest Monday” (fantastic acoustic blues/folk)  and  ”Horseshoes & Hand Grenades” (fast fun bluegrass)

•Kids’ Activities abound – along with multiple bounce houses, a very large bounce house, rock wall by Adventure Rock, etc

•Many of our wonderful sponsors will be bringing surprise kids’ activities and giveaways

•Live Costume Contest with four age groups from toddler to senior – medals will be awarded

•Emerald City photo-op area with characters – costumed characters will be roaming the venue as well

•Food by Buddy’s Gourmet, Rosati’s, Kettle Corn Kurt, The Corn Train, Kona Ice, Mobile Crepes

•Let’s not forget the main event – The Wizard of Oz will be projected on a 40′ screen in the middle of Wisconsin Avenue (downtown Oconomowoc) starting at dusk – come early and set up your spot in the street!



The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercial adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The film stars Judy Garland; Terry the dog, billed as Toto; Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, with Charley Grapewin and Clara Blandick, and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins, with Pat Walshe as leader of the flying monkeys. Notable for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score and unusual characters, over the years it has become one of the best known of all films and part of American popular culture. It also featured what may be the most elaborate use of character make-ups and special effects in a film up to that time. Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What is the connection to Oconomowoc?

The film’s first sneak preview was held in San Bernardino, California. The film was previewed in three test markets: on August 11, 1939, at Kenosha, Wisconsin and Cape Cod, Massachusetts and at the Strand Theatre in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin on August 12.


The Hollywood premiere was on August 15, 1939,[25] at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.[27] The New York City premiere, held at Loew’s Capitol Theatre on August 17, 1939, was followed by a live performance with Judy Garland and her frequent film co-star Mickey Rooney. They would continue to perform there after each screening for a week, extended in Rooney’s case for a second week and in Garland’s to three (with Oz co-stars Ray Bolger and Bert Lahr replacing Rooney for the third and final week). The movie opened nationally on August 25, 1939. Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary in 2009 – over 5,000 people attended the film

Photo ©2014 <a href=Joe Haas

Photo ©2014 Joe Haas
All rights reserved 

•Multitudes of parking are available behind the Avenue Square Mall, and behind city hall in the boardwalk parking area along Fowler Lake

•Wisconsin Avenue will be closed from the roundabout to the four corners on August 7th – NOON to MIDNIGHT

To learn more about Oconomowoc’s ties to the Wizard of OZ and for a related article click here.

We love you, Lake Country!

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