By M. SCOTT MORRIS / NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Mary Badham played the central character, Scout, in the movie version of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
On Thursday, she’ll play the central role of guest speaker during a free screening of the film at Tupelo’s Fairpark.
“We’re so lucky to have her here,” said Pat Rasberry, Tupelo film commissioner. “It’s exciting.”
Tupelo resident Lisa Reed, who went to school with Badham, helped arrange the visit. Badham will talk about her experiences on the set and her friendship with Gregory Peck.
This is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Before Thursday’s screening, fans can get a free slice of a cake that’ll be decorated to look like the book’s cover.
“There will be enough cake for 500 people,” Rasberry said.
Cake will be served at 6:30 p.m., and Badham will speak at around 7 p.m. The outdoor screening is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
“In case of rain, everything will move into the Lyric Theatre. We have a plan,” Rasberry said.
In case of nice weather, be sure to bring your blankets, chairs and picnic baskets to Fairpark. Refreshments will be sold.
In addition to the screening of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” several other film events are scheduled for Tupelo:
• “Peter and the Wolf,” 8 p.m. Friday, Ballard Park. Free.
• “Dive,” 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23, Link Centre’s Black Box Theatre. $5.
• “Manhattan Short Film Festival,” 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30, Malco Theatre. $6/at the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Audience members will help judge winners of a worldwide contest.
• “Wizard of Oz,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7, Fairpark. Free.
For more information, visit www.tupelofilmfestival.net, or call (800) 533-0611.