The day will begin with the Golden City Cruisers Car Club’s grand finale dubbed the Halloween ’50s fest at The Mill amphitheater from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. A slight overlap will occur with the South Candler Art Walk that will run from 3-6 p.m. on South Candler Street, where the mural is located. South Candler Street will be closed to vehicle traffic before and during the event.
“We’re going to have a variety of things going on,” Main Street Manager Kimberly Stovall said. “On one extreme you’re going to have the cars and then you’ll have something totally different on the other side of the railroad tracks.”
The South Candler Art Walk will feature more than a dozen local artists of all varieties displaying and selling their work, as well as art from elementary school students from both Carroll and Douglas counties on a clothesline display. Villa Rica High School art students will also create a mandala piece on-site and sidewalk chalk will be available for both kids and adults to create their own works of art.
The event will actually overflow to Montgomery Street and any artist not specifically invited to participate are welcome to show their art there. The event will also feature a DJ provided by Cinema Tavern and several food vendors.
The centerpiece for the South Candler Art Walk will be the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Villa Theatre mural on the side of the Cinema Tavern that sits at the intersection of Montgomery Street and South Candler Street. These dedication is slated to begin at 4:15 p.m.
The Villa Theatre mural was painted using a facade grant provided by the Downtown Development Authority to the owners of the Cinema Tavern, who contracted with Kuykendall — the artist who also painted the six panels surrounding The Mill amphitheater that tell the city’s history — and he spent several months creating a 127-foot-long by 28-foot-tall mural that is meant to show the Villa Theatre that operated in the Cinema Tavern building until the 1960s as it would have looked in its hey day. The mural depicts seated movie patrons inside a darkened theater watching a movie screen filled with well-known actors of the day and scenes from popular movies that would have been shown there.
Stovall said many people who may be new to town or may just be passing through don’t realize the history of the Cinema Tavern building and that it was once the entertainment epicenter for Villa Ricans.
“Now, not only does it reflect that on the inside, but it reflects that on the outside as well,” she said.
Main Street Promotions Committee Chairman Rev. Chad Sadorf is optimistic that the mural will become a draw for people who may not otherwise come downtown.
“It’s easy, even if you drive through this town every day of your life going to Atlanta, it’s like so many other things when people don’t stop to smell the roses,” he said. “I think we have a unique history here and for a town our size to do public art projects it’s a big deal. I hope it will be a significant draw for people, something to catch their eye. I think it can also be an opportunity for a generational connection where kids ask questions about the actors they see in the mural.”
In addition to the dedication ceremony, ribbons will be given to the winners of the downtown scarecrow contest that several businesses have participated in during October by creating scarecrows that best depict their business.
If the South Candler Art Walk proves to be successful, it may become an annual tradition.
“We want to do this small and do it well, then capitalize on it in the future if we want to make it an annual event,” Sadorf said.