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Film History - June 12, 2015

Halstead, Kansas's Riverside Park is where all the Labor Day picnic scenes were filmed for William Inge's 1955 film version of "Picnic." The park and many landmarks still existed at the time of the movie's 50th anniversary in 2005. The merry-go-round and cable suspension footbridge, which spans the Little Arkansas River, are still located there.

Q: Sixty years ago this month, Hollywood producers wrapped-up their on-location filming in Kansas for this 1950s movie. The film was based on a play written by Kansas native William Inge. What’s the name of the movie and play?


A: Picnic

University of Kansas graduate William Inge grew up in Independence, in southeast Kansas. In 1953, he won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for his play, Picnic. The play was turned into a movie starring William Holden and Kim Novak. Much of the movie was filmed in Kansas. On June 20, 1955, the on-location filming in Kansas was completed. Inge wrote several award-winning and critically-acclaimed plays early in his career. The William Inge Theatre Festival is held each year in his hometown of Independence. The event honors playwrights and brings national and international theatre artists to this small, rural town each spring. 

The suspension footbridge featured in the movie still exists! Check it out HERE.

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