Movie night at cemetery causing controversy in Wausau

WAUSAU, Wis. - A Wausau cemetery has caused controversy in the community after planning a family movie night on the cemetery grounds.

Restlawn Memorial Park posted on Facebook earlier in July that it planned to host "Cemetery Cinema," a family-oriented movie night for the community. The movie the chosen? Ghostbusters.

The cemetery said the movie night will be hosted on "a large plot of undeveloped land, that has no intent of becoming burial land," according to a Facebook post. Restlawn staff assured concerned neighbors that movie guests will be away from people's final resting places.

However, that hasn't stopped the community from calling for Restlawn to cancel the event, saying it is disrespectful to those buried in the cemetery and their families.

"You are not being respectful of everyone's thoughts and opinions," Facebook user James O'Brien commented on the cemetery's post. "It appears you're going to do just what you want, and disregard those who object."

Not all residents agree.


                                                                               Restlawn Memorial Park in Wausau

"Cemeteries have a long tradition of being being gathering spots for family picnics and reunions while at the same time, placing flowers and manicuring the graves of loved ones," said another Facebook user, William Toson. "Such events encourage people to enjoy the natural beauty of the facility. Cemeteries are for the living as much as they are for memorializing those have passed before us."

Restlawn Memorial Park employees said they are still holding the movie night despite opposition.

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

The showing of Ghostbusters will be Friday, August 11 at dusk. Attendees should bring their own blankets and chairs. 

The event is free.


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