Wisconsin cemetery courts controversy with 'Ghostbusters' screening

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   July 26, 2017 at 12:55 PM
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July 26 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin cemetery raised controversy with locals after announcing plans to hold an outdoor screening of Ghostbusters.

The Restlawn Memorial Park in Wausau announced the 1984 version of Ghostbusters will be shown Aug. 11 in an outdoor area near the mausoleum at the back of the facility.

The announcement sparked debate among community members about whether the plans were appropriate and respectful to the deceased.

"I'm just disappointed and surprised by the cemetery," Tom Alesia, whose mother is buried at the cemetery, told the Wausau Daily Herald. "To see a cemetery choose this option ... it's disturbing."

Restlawn owner Christine Toson Hentges said the film will be shown in an area that is not intended to be a burial ground.

"It's a trend at cemeteries to hold these types of events," she said. "It represents that a cemetery is a vital part of the community."

Sue Syring, a cemetery employee, echoed Toson Hentges.

"It's basically a community outreach. We have such a beautiful location here at Restlawn that we want to share it with everyone," Syring told CNN.

Toson Hentges also owns a cemetery in Milwaukee, which started holding outdoor movie events last year. She said there was some initial criticism, but the events have been well received by the community.

"The purpose is to bring people together in a positive way," Toson Hentges said. "We want people to come back and reflect on the memories."

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