Sunset Saturdays looks to gain momentum after rain-plagued start


PITTSFIELD -- Two things never anticipated by its builders in 1892 hit Wahconah Park on Saturday -- reggae and a giant, inflatable movie screen.

It was the third installment of Sunset Saturdays, a new community event through July boasting free movies and music and cheap eats.

Northern Berkshire band Rebel Alliance opened up Saturday with their blend of reggae, rock and improvisational jam.

"I heard about [the band] maybe a year ago and since then they blew up, actually," said 29-year-old Dan Rubito, who went to see the show Saturday.

People were still arriving at the park near press time Saturday, portending success for organizer Lou Alberse of SolidOak Multimedia.

The event's growth has been hampered by rain to this point, so Alberse was hoping for big turnouts Saturday -- for Rebel Alliance followed by a showing of Oscar-winning movie "Silver Linings Playbook" -- and next weekend, when the Jackie Robinson movie "42" will be shown.

Alberse said Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, The Pittsfield Suns baseball team and Berkshire Community College (BCC) played the major roles in pulling together the month of weekend events.

"We wanted a community event," Alberse said. "Times are tough. You see the prices at the movie theaters. Here we've got relatively new movies playing for free and incredible prices at the concession."

He added, "These organizations have done a lot for this community and this is a way of saying they're going to keep it up."

L.P. Adams Company, Inc. and print shop Aldam Press also had a hand in the event's founding.

Berkshire Community College (BCC) students can earn forum credits by attending next week's showing of "42." The movies are shown on an inflatable, 32-foot screen brought in from North Attleboro.


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