2010 Halloween Sound, Light & Laser Show

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The following appeared October 28, 2010 in the

'Halloween house' laser light show scares up spooky fun

By Marci Shatzman
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted October 27, 2010

   Trevor Babione, 4, is fascinated with the eyeballs floating in the fountain of blood on Rick Newman's lawn. "I want to get eyeballs," he says, but he can't quite bring himself to reach for one.

   His mother looks relieved. "He nags me to come here," said Jean Babione, of the city's well-known Babione Funeral Home family. They live 15 blocks from 699 NW Ninth Ave. in Old Floresta, now known as the Halloween house. "This is our third visit," she said.

   It's the third year Newman has installed a 50-minute light, sound and laser show on his corner with a synchronized sound track of Halloween favorites. If you park there, you can also hear it on 107.3 FM on your car radio. The show has a virtual thunderstorm [the soundtrack is real], skeletons, giant spider webs, goblins, tombstones, flying bats and pumpkins, all things Halloween. But nothing gory to frighten the children: "I purposely stayed away from that," Newman said.

   It went up on Oct. 1 and will stay put through Nov. 2. Shows run from 7 to 11 p.m., but if a Tuesday night was typical, spectators wait until the sun goes down for a better effect. By 7:30 there's traffic, and Newman said on Friday nights cars can be lined up for blocks. And it's not only children. "I get carloads of seniors from the gated communities," he said.

   Rosa Rivera, 50, drove all the way down from West Palm Beach with her mother, Rosa Maria Soto, 82. Soto uses a cane, but she was spry enough to check out the display on foot. "Thank you for doing this. It gives you a real sense of Halloween," Rivera said when she spotted Newman.

   The exhibit is actually child's play for Newman, known in town for his extensive collection of robot and space toys. He has cases of them on display as you walk into the Sugar Sand Park Community Center. In the 1970s, he designed and installed sound and light shows in major entertainment venues, and said he was the technical adviser for Woodstock, the iconic rock concert. You can check out all his interests at http://www.HighTechScience.org.

   Three monitors with 16 cameras keep track of what's going on outside, and Newman said he keeps an eye on the display but doesn't venture out that often. At the end of the evening he collects the box for the Make A Wish Foundation. By Oct. 19 he had taken in $450.

   Once he dismantles his Halloween extravaganza, it will be time to start assembling his Christmas sound, light and laser show, which runs Nov. 27 to Jan. 2.

   "Christmas is way more elaborate than this. It snows," he said.

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