"The Wizard of Oz" is Friday's free movie at the new Trolley Square Cinemas, located on the south side of Trolley Square, in the series sponsored by the Deseret News and Cineplex Odeon Theaters.

Though there is an argument that the classic 1938 musical-fantasy has been seen a bit too much over the years since CBS has made it an annual television event, there is obviously also an audience out there that would like to experience this beautiful film on the big screen.Having had that experience myself I can attest to how gorgeous and vivid the colors are when the 35mm film is displayed on a 40-foot wide movie screen and how charming it all is to sit through again as Dorothy joins the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion to skip down the yellow brick road in search of the Wizard. (and there are always young ones who have not yet had the grand experience of sitting through this timeless film.)

Judy Garland may have been a bit old to play a 12-year-old, but her performance is winning, and of course seeing Ray Bolger, Jack Haley and Bert Lahr together again is always worth another visit. And has anyone ever been as witchy a witch as Margaret Hamilton?

Remember the first 20 minutes or so (including the Oscar-winning "Over the Rainbow" number) are in black and white, so that when Dorothy lands in Oz and the color suddenly appears, the wonder of this enchanted land has all the more impact.

"The Wizard of Oz" is certainly a movie that is a joy to see again and again - and despite how well you may remember it, how long has it really been since you've seen it? You'll get your chance Friday for three shows only - 1, 3 and 5 p.m.

The movie series has been expanded two days allowing an extra three showings of "Ben-Hur" next Wednesday and bringing the seldom-seen "You Can't Take It With You" as next week's Thursday film. The latter film is the Best Picture Oscar-winner for 1938 by Frank Capra, with his two favorite stars, James Stewart and Jean Arthur.

The free films in this weeklong series are "Ben-Hur" (Sat.), "Singin' In the Rain" (Sun.), "The Sting" (Mon.) and "Doctor Zhivago" (Tues.), "Ben-Hur" (Wed.) and "You Can't Take It With You" (Thur.).

Each movie will play only one day, but there will be several showings throughout that day. The screenings are free with an original ad for the series from the Deseret News (there is one in this section today). Simply present the ad at the box office for two free admissions - if you want to take more people, just collect more ads (no photocopies, please). You cannot purchase tickets to these films; seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The new Trolley Square Cinemas is a four-plex on the south side of Trolley Square, 602 E. Sixth South. - Christopher Hicks.