Illustration (right) courtesy of Joshua Budich.
Prepare, oh prepare, for some epic cinematic goodness about to invade Long Beach. Not only has the Long Beach Cinematheque (LBC) announced its full lineup of summer outdoor film screenings but announced that Sunnyside Cemetery in Long Beach will bring a film which has achieved the status of the longest-running feature of all time with nearly 40 years of screening fuel consisting of little more than brilliant mimickers and dedicated fan peeps.
That’s right: LBC, pairing with Lola’s and Sunnyside, will host a shadow cast version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at its inaugural showing of its summertime cinema series Friday.
LBC—the organization which last brought freaky awesomeness to the cemetery via Nosferatu—will bring the locally famed talents of The Art Theatre Rocky cast under the auspices of the Sunnyside Cemetery for the first time ever. Surrounded by headstones and the most respectful guests one can find at the movies—gotta love that they’re underground—the cemetery showing of Rocky is sure to please both the quirky film fan and the obsessed follower of the film’s cult status.
“I’m a huge enthusiast of community collaboration,” said LBC Executive Director Logan Crow, “and the opportunity to once again work with members of the cast of The Art Theatre’s talented Rocky cast, with whom I’ve worked so many times before, seemed a perfect way to launch this summer’s series.”
Sunnyside’s placement provides more than the heebie-jeebies with its hosts residing beneath the earth. It also offers Crow and his crew the chance to show more mature films while also showcasing a historic site.
“Well, it doesn’t hurt that Sunnyside is gated,” Crow said. “This allows us the flexibility in programming: Rocky and Donnie Darko (August 22) and Pulp Fiction (July 11) and other films with darker and mature themes. Beyond that, it’s so important to note that it’s truly a historic venue—literally: over 100 years old—and we all need to both celebrate and support our historic institutions.”
Supporting historic institutions isn’t some cheap token of Millenial ideology that Crow throws around—he genuinely means it considering a portion of every ticket sold will benefit the nonprofit which maintains and upkeeps the cemetery. Not to mention, the summer movie series, in the words of Crow, fits best with the cemetery’s “expansive and tranquil venue that features a natural slope perfect for angled seating and screen visibility—minus a tree branch or two, depending on where you sit.”
The series, as slightly hinted by Crow, will be entirely dedicated to films that have achieved cult status beyond their legacies as classics of cinema. Like Rocky, LBC brings a full array of cult classics to their summer series which stretches into September with films covering the cinematic gammut from the 60s to the 00s.
The full lineup:
- June 13: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
- June 27: Pink Floyd The Wall
- July 11: Pulp Fiction
- July 25: Psycho
- August 8: Fight Club
- August 22: Donnie Darko
- September 5: The Shining
If one asks Crow precisely how he feels about his cult series for the summer, he holds back little— “So excited—are you kidding?”—but notes that it’s the audience who genuinely generated this lineup.
“As much as I love each and every one of the films we are playing,” Crow said, “the series was truly curated with titles that have been requested most over the last five years that I’ve been programming films. I’m truly excited to provide audiences with the opportunities to see these films they love (or perhaps never even seen) at such a perfect outdoor venue.”
For the hardcore fans, it should be noted that, in respect for the citizens of Sunnyside Cemetery, no throwing of food will be permitted at this special screening of Rocky. Given the film’s R rating, no one under 17 is permitted without adult supervision. Beside those restrictions, guests are encouraged to bring low-back chairs, blankets and their own picnic baskets.
To RSVP for Rocky, click here. For tickets to Rocky, which are $10, click here. For tickets for all other screenings, click on the names of the individual titles listed above. The Rocky Horror Picture Show screening starts Friday at 9PM with cemetery gates opening at 6:30PM. Sunnyside Cemetery is located at 1095 E Willow.
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