Return to Oz: Vintage theme parks enjoy an afterlife Funky old fair midways just pack up and hit the road; they will live to Tilt-a-Whirl another day. But fate is less kind to time-honored amusement parks. Their mortality rate is high when bankruptcy or natural calamity shutter their gates. Time and vandalism work against them. Intact attractions are usually sold and carted away; what remains are broken-dream eyesores situated on prime acreage ready for redevelopment. “Derelict parks are not in condition to reopen,” says Jim Futrell, historian for the National Amusement Park Association. “They’re in disrepair and are dangerous.” But not here. Land of Oz, dead these past 36 years, attracts 7,500 fans of the park — and of the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie that inspired it – to the annual Autumn at Oz weekend. The September event is so popular that this June, Friday walk-throughs of the grounds were also offered. What saved Dorothy’s house, large portions of the Yellow Brick Road and several other Oz features is its improbable fallen-from-the-sky location on a mountain top in northwest North Carolina.
Miss New Jersey Follows Yellow Brick Road To Lodi The yellow brick road leads to the Lodi Memorial Library on Sept. 29 when Miss New Jersey celebrates the 116th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” novel. An excerpt of the book will be read before a Q&A session and book signing with Brenna Weick, 22. Weick will perform her version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from the musical. The 1939 MGM “Wizard of Oz” film will be screened afterward.
Someone has re-written The Wizard of Oz and now it’s set in Merthyr Tydfil The Wizard of Oz is one of the best loved films of all time. But a raucous stage version of the 1939 flick has turned the script on its head – it now features a dope-smoking scarecrow, a tramp tin man and a camp cowardly lion in Merthyr Tydfil . And in the Wizard of Gurnwah – posh for Gurnos – Dorothy has abandoned her ruby slippers for a pair of white stilettos. “Dorothy says smackheads, gangsters and whores, smackheads gangsters and whores,” co-writer Anthony Bunko said. “I hope L Frank Baum would enjoy it.”