Cool breezes and cool classics: St. Pete's Music and Movies in the Park

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That much-longed-for change in the weather is finally here, so why sit in your house after being cooped up in an office all day when you can enjoy the cooler temperatures and crisp nights while listening to live music and watching a great movie among friends and family.

Just after the Rays ignited baseball fever around the Bay area with their brief wild card run to the playoffs, the program starts this Thursday with crowd-pleasing ball-gamer Major League, which co-stars a young Charlie Sheen as Ricky ‘Wild Thing” Vaughn, the erratic fireballer whose arm propels the hapless Cleveland Indians to glory.

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The following week offers Shane, the classic 1953 Western directed by George Stevens, who would go on to helm Giant and already had classics Gunga Din and Woman of the Year on his resume. Here, he directs Alan Ladd as the lone gunslinger who must take on a supremely menacing Jack Palance.

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Oct. 20 features John Huston’s Key Largo, with the powerhouse lineup of Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Edward G. Robinson. Bogart and Huston collaborated on a number of classics, including The Maltese Falcon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The African Queen. In Key Largo, Bogie tangles with gangster Robinson in the Florida Keys as a hurricane approaches.

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Just in time for Halloween, Tim Burton’s quirky Beetlejuice wraps up the schedule on Oct. 27. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis play a married couple who have to adjust to life after death as ghosts. The best performances are given by Winona Ryder and Michael Keaton, the latter of whom chews the scenery as the insanely endearing title character. An interesting, talented supporting cast includes SCTV vet Catherine O’Hara, talk show host Dick Cavett and Man of La Mancha himself, Robert Goulet.

And since no movie is complete without popcorn, Krazy Kernel Kettle Corn will be on hand, as will Beanfield Coffee, the tuxedoed Mr. I Got Em with his grilled Southern fare and Smoothie Man, whose veggie burgers were recognized in the 2007 CL Best of the Bay.

The films start at dark, but you’ll want to get to the park early to grab a good spot and listen to the live tunes, which start at 6 p.m.

Music lineup:

Oct. 6 — Rebekah Pulley (perennial local fave)
Oct. 13 — Hot Rod Hornets (Twangy Tampa Bay rockabilly trio)
Oct. 20 —Clearwater Bluegrass Review
Oct. 27 — Daniel O’Ryan (local singer)

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