Like anyone who remembers Crystal Beach Amusement Park, the Canadian attraction holds a special place in the heart of local filmmaker Peter McGennis. So in 2018, McGennis began working on a rock opera about the “magical, ill-fated park” called “Laff in the Dark.”
The film features 26 original songs that helped McGennis tell his story that is filled with colorful characters played by such esteemed Buffalo actors as Vincent O’Neill and Josephine Hogan. McGennis said "Laff in the Dark" is reminiscent of movies like “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
September marks 30 years since Crystal Beach closed so McGennis is throwing a Crystal Beach Anniversary Party and Exhibit combined with a “Laff in the Dark” album release at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 7 in the North Park Theatre (1428 Hertel Ave.). Though McGennis is still filming at vintage amusement parks, there will be some sneak peeks of the film on the North Park's big screen plus Crystal Beach memorabilia like “Laughing Sal” that hasn’t been seen since Crystal Beach closed.
Your $15 ticket gets you a digital copy of the soundtrack album “Pete & The Amusements: Laff In The Dark Vol. 1” featuring such musicians as Doug Yeomans, Pee Wee Ellis and the late Kofi Burbridge. The event is recommended for ages 17 and older. Tickets are available here.