BOCA RATON —
With the economy scarier than anything this Halloween, Rick
Newman is hoping to offer a few grins - for free.
light-and-sound guy, Newman is producing a show in his front
yard for the second year in a row.
"A lot of
people don't have the money to put up decorations," said
Newman, 53. "So they can come here and watch a free show.
It always puts a smile on people's faces."
The half-hour show
runs from 7 to 11 p.m. nightly. People park nearby to watch
the show, which includes classic Halloween songs like
Thriller, Monster Mash, Witch Doctor, Time Warp and, of
course, scary organ music, howling wolves and rattling chains.
They need not
leave the comfort of their cars if they tune to 107.3 FM
This year Newman
added thunderstorm effects, which he taped from real Florida
storms. There are also synchronized red & green laser
lights and smoke.
(garage) includes a cackling witch, a headless man, a mad
scientist and shrieking ghouls, but nothing too intense for
tots, he said.
It took him about
15 days to program the show, which is automated on a computer
Newman's day job
includes producing science shows for schools and camps as well
as a compact disc and DVD copying business.
He also has what
may be the world's largest robot collection; the Guinness Book
of World Records is vetting it for that title. He has worked
on sound-and-light shows for famous Catskills hotels including
Grossinger's and the 20th Woodstock reunion through his
company, High Tech Productions.
Far from objecting
to the show, his neighbors are on board: One of them opened up
a side yard for parking when the traffic gets thick.
Here's how he does
it: "I set the whole thing up on a regular computer,
sequence the lights and other effects to music in
one-tenth-of-a-second increments and then save the whole thing
to a 2-gigabyte SD card. The card goes into the main
Light-o-Rama control box outside my house and every light and
effect is plugged into that."
The Halloween show
at his home (699 N.W. Ninth Ave.) comes down Nov. 2, so Newman
can get his grass mowed before, you guessed it, he sets up the
nothing," said Newman of his Halloween show. "You
should see what I do for Christmas."
This year he has
added a second 30-minute show, one with classic Christmas and
Hanukah songs, and the other a disco version. The Christmas
show includes 25,000 lights, mostly LED.
notice the difference in my electric bill," said Newman.
To view a short
video of the Halloween show, visit HighTechScience.org/halloween.htm