Dennis Morgan film kicks off month of movies.
By Maddy PUMILIA
The Crescenta Valley Town Council, County of L.A. Parks and Recreation and the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley are presenting a Dennis Morgan film this Saturday at Two Strike Park, 5107 Rosemont Ave. in La Crescenta.
The film being shown is the 1942 movie “Captains of the Clouds.” The movie stars James Cagney and Dennis Morgan as Canadian bush pilots who go fight the Nazis in World War II. The movie will start around 8:15 p.m., or when it gets dark, and there is no charge to attend. There will also be free popcorn. Morgan’s family will be in attendance. Morgan, a Crescenta Valley resident for many years, died in 1994.
“We encourage people to bring blankets and chairs and their picnic baskets and to just enjoy the park,” said Steve Pierce, an organizer for Saturday’s event
Dennis Morgan, a movie star and singer in the ’40s and ’50s, played a vital role in the construction of Two Strike Park. Morgan reportedly said to the Los Angeles board of supervisors in 1949 that he would donate five acres of property to build a park if L.A. County bought some additional land for the park.
“Dennis Morgan is probably most responsible for Two Strike Park,” said Pierce. “[This event] honors who founded the park for us.”
“Dennis was considered [an honorary] mayor,” said Mike Lawler, president of the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley. “His main contribution is Two Strike Park. He raised money and donated to the park.”
Morgan, a baseball fan, wanted to build a baseball field after seeing a poster of a child who was hit by a car in the middle of a street baseball game. He said any child who was forced to play baseball in the middle of the road had two strikes against him. The third strike could be getting hit by a car. In 2001, a plaque honoring Morgan was installed in the park.
Another classic film, “The Sound of Music,” will be shown on Saturday, Aug. 13 at CV Park, 3901 Dunsmore Ave. in La Crescenta.
“It’s a family movie and everyone loves it, so that’s why we chose it,” said Pierce.
On Aug. 26-27, the Montrose Shopping Park will be screening “American Graffiti” and “Grease” in the Andersen’s Pet Store parking lot, 2218 Honolulu Ave. in Montrose.
“It’ll be just a fantastic event,” said Pierce.