“Documentary Dogpatch USA: An Average Stone-Age Community” will have its world premiere in Harrison, Ark., on Friday (May 18). Based on the fictional village dreamed up in the Li’l Abner comic strip by Al Capp, Dogpatch USA opened on May 18, 1968, making Friday’s opening the park’s 50th anniversary.
That said, Dogpatch USA was only operational for half the time, closing its doors in 1993. During its heyday, it welcomed thousands of guests.
The film, according to its IMDb page, “focuses on the historical significance, highlights, community/regional influence, attractions and features of a theme park that transformed the people who worked and visited during it’s 25-year run.”
Filmmaker Jeff Carter is behind the project, and Friday’s event will be held at North Arkansas College’s Durand Center. Cast and crew will be in attendance, and formal attire is requested. In addition to a showing of the film, the event will feature special activities leading up to the showing including live music and photo opportunities. A Q&A session with the filmmakers will follow. The start time will be 6 p.m., and admission is $30 per person.
Charles Pelsor purchased the property in 2014 for $2 million. In January, after unsuccessful attempts to sell, it was announced that David Hare of Heritage USA had purchased the park for an undisclosed sum. Hare intends to develop the property into Heritage USA Theme Park at Historic Dogpatch with new attractions.