Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Roller Coaster History of Rocky Point Park

On a Saturday in January of 2009, Rhode Island artist Jason Mayoh celebrated his graphic novel Tales of Rocky Point Park with a party at a Pawtucket art gallery. This coming Saturday, August 20th, he will premiere a same-named feature documentary that grew out of his work on the novel.

New England's Rocky Point Park opened in Warwick a century before Disneyland, in the late 1840s, and operated until a bankruptcy brought about its closure in 1995. The amusement park was finally purchased by the state in 2014 and is being gradually refurbished as an outdoor recreation area.

The main thread of documentary Tales of Rocky Point Park, which premieres at the Park Theatre in Cranston, is that the place might be haunted. Another connection to Rhode Island history comes in the form of the narrator. Andrew Lake is the son of the late Art Lake, a longtime weather forecaster on NBC affiliate WJAR-TV who passed away in 2009.

Per an interview in the Providence Journal, Mayoh is currently part of the art department for the Jack Black film The Polka King. Since graduating from Rhode Island College in 2005, he has worked in that capacity on various Hollywood movies shot locally. He also helped out on a previous documentary about the park released in 2007. That one was called You Must Be This Tall: The Story of Rocky Point Park.

For the new film, Mayoh uses the device of "found footage," postulating that his was discovered in 2008. Among those interviewed are historian George LaCross, former park GM David Cascioli and author Kelly Sullivan Pezza.

[Tales of Rocky Point Park]

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