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Lone Ranger tickets on sale Monday!

July 2 preview at Oxford 7 to benefit statue fund

WHO ARE THOSE MASKED MEN? – Showing their enthusiasm for the upcoming Oxford-Orion Lone Ranger extravaganza are some members of the local posse that’s working so hard to put everything together. Posse members include (from left) Orion Township Treasurer Mark Thurber, Oxford Village Manager Joe Young, Lone Ranger Committee Chairman Rod Charles and Oxford Leader Publisher Jim Sherman, Jr. A special sneak preview of Disney’s new Lone Ranger movie, starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp, will take place at the Oxford 7 Theater (48 S. Washington St.) on Tuesday, July 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and include a free small popcorn and free small soft drink. Proceeds will be used to erect a Lone Ranger statue in Oxford. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
June 12, 2013 - The wait is almost over!

Tickets for the special 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 2 sneak preview of Disney's Lone Ranger movie at the Oxford 7 Theater (48 S. Washington St.) will be available to the public beginning Monday, June 17.

They can be purchased at Oxford Bank's branches in downtown Oxford (60 S. Washington St.) and Orion Township (1115 S. Lapeer Rd.), the Oxford Village office (22 W. Burdick St.) and the Orion Township hall (2525 Joslyn Rd).

The movie, which opens nationwide July 3, stars Armie Hammer as the masked lawman and Johnny Depp as Tonto, his faithful Indian partner.

Preview tickets are $20 each and entitle the bearer to receive a free small popcorn and free small soft drink, courtesy of the Oxford 7 Theater.

Seating for this event is strictly limited to 259 people and there is a limit of four tickets per person, so folks are encouraged to act fast.

"We're hoping they're going to sell like hotcakes," said Rod Charles, chairman of the Lone Ranger Committee. "Ever since we announced this preview, we've been getting lots of phone calls and e-mails from people asking how and where to get tickets."

Oxford Bank donated $2,500 toward making this preview a reality, while Enbridge, Inc., a Canadian-based energy distribution company, donated $5,000, which is being put toward the movie event, the erecting of a Lone Ranger statue in Oxford and if necessary, Oxford's Aug. 3 Lone Ranger-themed parade.

"A lot of folks are pumped up about this," Charles said. "There's just something about the Lone Ranger that appeals to the kid in all of us. Everybody wants a hero they can look up to. We all want to root for the good guy in the white hat and see the bad guy get what he deserves."

As a bonus, the tickets are shaped like the Lone Ranger's legendary black mask. Moviegoers are invited to get into the spirit of things by literally wearing their tickets into the theater.

"I'd love to see some photos in my newspaper of all these people walking across the red carpet, wearing their masks and smiling from ear-to-ear like big kids," said Jim Sherman, Jr., publisher of The Oxford Leader and a member of the Lone Ranger committee.

Attendees are encouraged, but not required, to dress in either western attire or the type of formal wear befitting a glitzy Hollywood-style premiere.

"We'd like to see people wearing everything from tuxedos and evening gowns to cowboy hats, boots and leather chaps," Charles said. "Spurs are welcome, too – just watch where you point them, buckaroo."

All proceeds from the movie event will be put into a special fund dedicated to erecting a statue of the Lone Ranger and his trusty horse Silver in Oxford. Attempts to make this statue a reality date back to the early 1980s.

The statue will honor Oxford's most famous citizen, Brace Beemer, who portrayed the Lone Ranger on the radio from April 1941 through the show's end in September 1954.

Beemer, who lived on W. Drahner Rd. and died in 1965, lent his booming, manly voice to the masked man in more than 2,000 episodes that reached more than 80 million listeners across 129 radio stations nationwide.

A true man's man, Beemer was an expert horseman, a crack shot, a decorated veteran of World War I and well-known for his kindness and generosity toward local children. He was bigger than life, just like the character he played.

Just prior to the special screening, ticket-holders are invited to attend a party in the Oxford Bank parking lot across the street from the theater. It will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Live music will provided by Ruby T. and Valentine (a.k.a. Oxford residents Tom and Robin Moore) and free refreshments will be served.

"This is a celebration of Oxford's connection to one of the most recognizable icons in popular culture and the flesh-and-blood man, Brace Beemer, who was a hero in his own right," Charles said.

"If Disney's going to reintroduce the Lone Ranger to a whole new generation, it's only fitting that Oxford be a part of that rebirth by sharing Beemer's story and honoring his legacy. I guess all that's left to be say is, 'Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!'"

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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