Tampa Theatre Announces ‘A Nightmare on Franklin Street’ 2017

Tampa Theatre is as excited as Norman Bates at check-in time to announce the return of A Nightmare on Franklin Street for a freakish fifth year! Tampa’s most historic and most haunted movie palace is expanding its signature Halloween series to include ghost tours and special screenings throughout the month, plus 12 nights of back-to-back classic horror films, creepy cult favorites, family-friendly frights, paranormal experiences and spooky special guests, Oct. 20-31.


GHOSTS OF TAMPA THEATRE TOURS

11:30am Thursday, Oct. 5

11:30am Friday, Oct. 13

11:30am Thursday, Oct. 19

7:30pm Friday, Oct. 20

11:30am Saturday, Oct. 21

3:00pm Monday, Oct. 23

3:00pm Friday, Oct. 27

11:30am Saturday, Oct. 28

3:00pm Tuesday, Oct. 31

Who was Fink Finley? Where does The Trickster pull his pranks? Why does the Lady in White still roam the mezzanine? And what has led to Tampa Theatre being known as one of the most haunted buildings in town? Learn the Theatre’s secrets and stories with a “balcony to backstage” tour that will focus on the historic movie palace’s ghostly guests.

These 75-minute tours will kick off in the lobby and do include extended periods of standing and climbing stairs. Tickets are $10 for adults / $8 for children ages 2 to 12, and Tampa Theatre Members are free. Space is limited, so arrive early!

 

LATE-NIGHT, LIGHTS-OFF PARANORMAL EXPERIENCE

10:00pm Saturday, Oct. 21

In 1965, projectionist Foster “Fink” Finley died after 35 years of service to his beloved Tampa Theatre. Strange occurrences have been reported in and around the projection booth ever since an unexplained tap on the shoulder, doors opening and closing, shadows passing through the room, and the lingering smell of lilac aftershave Fosters favorite.

But Fink isn’t the only spirit suspected of haunting the Theatre’s historic halls. Join Tampa Theatre as they partner with experts from Genesis Paranormal Services and GhostStop to bring you an evening of lights-off investigation into the building’s most common supernatural claims alongside celebrity guides Scott Tepperman and Angela Alderman from SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters International.

The four-hour experience also includes catered appetizers and desserts, complimentary popcorn and soft drinks, and demonstrations of professional paranormal investigative equipment. It will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience guaranteed to make you see Tampa’s majestic movie palace in a different light.

Tickets are $60 for general admission and $50 for Tampa Theatre Members at the box office, or online at TampaTheatre.org (service fees apply).

SILVER SCREAMS… ER… SCREEN

FRIDAY, OCT. 13

10:30pm FRIDAY THE 13th: THE FINAL CHAPTER (PART 4)
1984 / 1h 31m / R / Horror


Once is originality; twice is coincidence; thrice is cliché; four times is a genre. Today, 12 films deep, it somehow seems both obvious and impossible that when the original Friday the 13th was released in 1980, nobody was envisioning a multi-film franchise and mythology. The confluence of things that make a Friday the 13th movie what we all now understand to be a Friday the 13th movie
the primacy of Crystal Lake, a cast of disastrously thirsty teenagers, weirdly patient camera takes on grotesque kills, Jasons classic look, his apparent immortality, his obsession with family werent all locked in until part 4, which makes the irony of its subtitle (The Final Chapter) even more delicious. It might not be the best Friday the 13th movie, but it’s certainly the most Friday the 13th movie.

Tickets for this special Friday the 13th REWIND screening are $7 for general admission and $4 for Tampa Theatre Members.

FRIDAY, OCT. 20

10:30pm THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
1975 / R / 1h 40min / Musical


Does The Rocky Horror Picture Show need any introduction? It’s a cultural artifact with unlimited lifespan
it creates new audiences for itself each screening, and will most likely continue to be shown in theatres until the end of linear time. The plot of RHPS basically doesn’t matter (but here it is in brief anyway: an engaged couple get lost and wander to a nearby castle where they are captured, kind of, by a Transylvanian doctor in lingerie and his entourage who are attempting to create a life form but are actually in some cases space aliens its complicated); all that matters is the experience of seeing it. The audience owns the movie now. They sing along, dress in costume, go through lines, perform alongside the film as it plays.

And if you’re a “virgin”, as first-timers are known, this is a perfect opportunity to learn what you’ve been missing all these years: A shadow cast will provide a live pre-show at 10:00pm and audience participation throughout the film. Guests are encouraged to bring their own toilet paper, cards, newspapers, toast and other props but please, no hot dogs, rice or water guns. For a great audience-participation guide, visit www.badmovies.org/movies/rockyhorror/audience/ (Site contains adult language and content!)

Tickets for The Rocky Horror Picture Show are $15 for general admission and $13 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

SATURDAY, OCT. 21 CINEMATIC SCARES

 

2:00pm GHOSTS BEHIND THE SCREEN
2017 / Not Rated / 1h 12m / Documentary


In the excitement of the roaring 20s, a new kind of movie palace was constructed by the Bay. More than 90 years later, Tampa Theatre has become known as one of the most haunted buildings in the city, filled with the spirits of former employees, patrons and guests.

 

Join us for the very special premiere of a new, feature-length documentary that explores the unique and historic Tampa Theatre like never before, and discover the entities whom ghost hunters believe “choose to remain at the Tampa Theatre,” in the ultimate haunted backstage tour.

 

Filmed over the past year, Ghosts Behind the Screen features Tampa Theatre staff, local paranormal investigators, Theatre patrons, Tampa historians and dramatic recreations telling the stories that give the historic movie palace its ghostly reputation. And the cameras were rolling when spectral projectionist Fink Finley decided to make his presence known to a group in the projection booth!

 

This premiere screening is free and open to the public. Following the film, Producer Gina Watson and director Brett Gerking will lead a discussion and audience Q&A.

 

4:30pm SCREAM
1996 / R / 1h 51m / Horror

Great ideas are only obvious in hindsight. Of course somebody should have made a movie like Scream, we all say, seated comfortably in 2017 when the whole idea of a horror movie about horror movies has been played out, lampooned, revived and reburied. But think about the horror movie landscape pre-Scream. From the revival of the slasher movie in 1978 to 1996, probably thousands of teenagers pretended to be murdered on film. Not once did any one of them wink to the audience or say “hey, this seems like a movie.” Are we expected to believe they lived in a universe without horror movies? Had Jason’s victims in Friday the 13th part VII never seen Halloween 4?

 

Scream’s premise is that they could have, but further than that, that the fact that horror movie victims might be familiar with horror movie tropes makes the movie itself scarier. It means no one is safe. It means the characters have to question what’s possible, what’s real. And that’s not something that horror movie characters get the chance to do very often. It’s metafictional in the best possible way, and yes it got aped too frequently and had too many sequels. But for at least a minute there, Scream was something that had never been done before.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

7:30pm DEMONS
1985 / Not Rated / 1h 28m / Horror

Dario Argento, producer of Demons, is primarily known for his work as a director of some of the best giallo films of all time. Lamberto Bava, director of Demons, is the son of the man who made perhaps the first true giallo film ever. And giallo, a homegrown Italian genre of horror that leans heavily on mystery, eroticism, and psychopathic knife-murder, steered the direction of slasher and thriller movies all around the world. But Demons isn’t a giallo movie, exactly; it starts out as one, and then becomes something entirely else.

Movies love to talk about the movies. Cinema Paradiso is about the mythmaking heroism of film; 8 ½ is about the hysterical obsession of creativity; Sunset Boulevard is about the tragedies of celebrity; and Demons is about how film fiction can manipulate, infect and terrify. A set of average horror-movie protagonist teens start out in a theatre and end up battling the forces of Hell with stage props and found objects. It’s a horror movie about the horror of movies, and Demons deserves a lot more attention than it gets.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

 

SUNDAY, OCT. 22 CREATURE FEATURES

 

1:30pm THE FLY
1958 / Not Rated / 1h 34m / Sci-Fi

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the event horizon of genre earnestness creeps ever closer; sincere movies even 10 or 15 years old seem goofy and campy now. But some reviewers of The Fly in 1958 were already calling it ludicrous, unconvincing. Of course they don’t have the advantage of hindsight. The Fly was shot in only 18 days, using practical effects that were experimental and, in many cases, improvisatory. It turned Vincent Price from a fairly tedious background heavy to an icon of horror. Its quotes and imagery are fixed forever in the popular imagination. But besides all of that it’s actually a pretty messed-up spin on the Frankenstein formula: a homegrown researcher experimenting with the fringes of science in an attempt to defy natural law ends up victim of his own creation. Sure, a stitched-together and shambling corpse is maybe a little more viscerally frightening than a fly with a human head stuck onto it (and vice versa), but the danger of humans meddling with uncontrollable powers remains an evergreen idea.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

4:00pm THE TINGLER
1959 / Not Rated / 1h 22m / Horror

This will be almost impossible to imagine, but give it a shot: once upon a time, the movie industry was struggling. New films coming out were unoriginal and uninteresting, and audiences were starting to disappear. There was a lot more competition for entertainment than there had been. Theaters laid into each other with cutthroat rivalry on amenities, technology, concessions, and price. Sounds like fantasy, right?

 

But no, the year was 1959, and filmmakers were trying all kinds of crazy gimmicks to put people in seats. One of the most notable of those gimmicks was paired with The Tingler; prefiguring D-BOX®, The Tingler came with “Percepto!” a vibrating motor randomly affixed to the underside of some theatre seats. At specific times in the movie, the machine would buzz, making customers feel like the namesake Tingler (a centipede-ish parasite that feeds on your brain) was crawling up their backs. Prefaced with a message from the director breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience about the fearful “sensations” they are about to experience, The Tingler represents a particular time in movie history when panicky experimentation and hilarious gimmicks ruled the world.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

6:30pm THE THING
1982 / R / 1h 49m / Horror

When John Carpenter’s The Thing came out in 1982, reviewers seemed unable to look past the gruesome, repulsive visual effects of the movie to the heart of the movie itself. Yes, the effects are incredible (as is the Enrico Morricone soundtrack), but there was so much focus on the hideous piles of unearthly meat glopping about on-screen that very little attention was paid to what those disturbing effects were disturbing audiences for; the filmic lineage of The Thing proceeds as much from the locked-room mysteries of Agatha Christie as it does from monster-horror movies like the one it ostensibly remakes.

 

But inverting its the-butler-did-it detective story is what makes The Thing a real classic it hides the truth of the mystery at its heart from both the characters and the audience, and it retains that mystery even after the credits roll. Who was claimed by the grisly thing from outer space? Who should Kurt Russell (as the iconic MacReady) trust? Who can survive the isolating cold of Antarctica? Who will be driven so out of their minds with panic and disgust that they break? What about you, audience? Who do you think remains? Who do you believe?

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

9:30pm THE HOST
2006 / R / 2h / Sci-Fi

It’s frankly unfair that Korean horror doesn’t get much attention in the West. Italian gore and giallo is beloved; twisted psychological thrillers from France, Sweden and eastern Europe have a lot of cinephile fans, and Japanese neo-ghost stories like Ringu have spawned dozens of remakes and clones. But aside from The Host (and maybe I Saw the Devil), Korean horror gets overlooked. Which is a shame, because The Host is easily one of the best monster movies of the last 30 years.


Careless chemical pollution (even worse, by an American) leads to the birth of something horrific and kind of… fishy… in the Han river of South Korea. The movie wastes zero time in showing the monster snatching up and devouring countless people, and it’s up to a family caught up in the tragedy to try to destroy the creature and save the world. The Host is equal parts gross, funny (the monster is famously modeled after the actor Steve Buscemi), and smart
a straight-up thrill-ride from the director of Snowpiercer, it’s pure entertainment all the way through.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

 

MONDAY, OCT. 23 UNWELCOME GUESTS

 

7:00pm GET OUT
2017 / R / 1h 44m / Horror

There is a particular needle that must be threaded here. Of course you need to know enough about Get Out, the best horror movie that came out this year, to want to see it. At the same time, how much you will enjoy Get Out is directly related to how little you know about it and how much you leave the movie being forced to examine your own expectations. I am breaking into the first person (sorry, copy editors) to look you straight in the eye and tell you this: come see this movie. Please trust me. Years from now you will wish you had.

 

Get Out deeply understands what makes genre movies work: you can tell much more powerful stories about the real world by setting them in unreal circumstances. The truth is cast in relief by telling lies. A straight story about a boyfriend meeting his girlfriend’s parents for the first time will never make the viewer really feel the fear they should. They never forget they’re just sitting in a movie seat. But if you link that stomach-turning relationship anxiety to something else, to the fear of being captured, controlled, manipulated, devoured, enslaved… you can tell the real story. Get Out uses that emotional resonance on every level, speaking to many different audiences. It might be genius.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

9:45pm THE STRANGERS
2008 / R / 1h 26m / Horror

Tampa Theatre likes to present all sorts of movies in our Nightmare on Franklin Street series. We’re showing films that are classic, films that are funny, films that are brilliant, films that are gross, films for families and every combination within. The Strangers is, primarily, terrifying. It’s violent, merciless, tense but mostly it just sets out to scare you.

 

There’s a barely-concealed morality to most horror movies. Don’t watch that scary videotape, kids from The Ring; don’t let your husband make a deal with the devil for fame, Mia Farrow from Rosemary’s Baby. If you don’t want Jason to kill you, don’t go camping and have premarital sex. But in The Strangers, horrific death lands on you for no reason. It just happens. People show up to your house in creepy masks and start doing the worst imaginable things to you and your family. Being more real, it’s worse; reader, you will never have to fear Freddy Krueger. But there is horror like this in the world. Inspired by the Manson family murders, The Strangers wants you to be afraid. And you should be. And you will be.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

 

TUESDAY, OCT. 24 MOVIES THAT SUCK… YOUR BLOOD

 

7:00pm A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT
2014 / Not Rated / 1h 41m / Horror

Creative people have been doing some really amazing things in the medium of vampires in recent years. Movies like Let the Right One In, Only Lovers Left Alive and 30 Days of Night take a few of the centuries-old ideas of vampire fiction and recontextualize them into something that speaks to modern audiences. Heck, you could even make that argument for Twilight. But A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night lays claim to some of the more under-represented features of vampirism: independence and loneliness.

 

Set in an imaginary town in Iran, A Girl tells the story of a man and his drug-addicted father as they become entangled in an underworld of crime and debauchery, and meet with a strange, magnetic young girl with a secret. It sets out to be a movie about blood (meaning familial relationships) and blood (meaning the pervasive power of violence); it so happens that there are many creatures in this world that feed on blood of all sorts.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

9:45pm INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE
1994 / R / 2h 3m / Horror


Pretty much since their invention, vampire stories gave people a way to talk about the bestial destructiveness of lust without having to talk impolitely about the actual mechanics of sexuality. Vampires are seductive, immensely powerful, doomed by their own gift, shunned by angels and embraced by demons. Anne Rice made a lot of that subtext into text when she started her incredibly popular series of vampire novels, of which Interview with a Vampire was an adaptation. But even though society is less repressed now, those ideas haven’t diminished in popularity. Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise (and Kirsten Dunst in her first major role as the poor, doomed Claudia) rampage through New Orleans and Paris like sumptuous, moody, Goth forces of nature. If you think of tragic beauty when you think of vampires, you can thank Anne Rice for it.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

 

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 25 UNEARTHLY POSSESSIONS

 

7:00pm INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS
1978 / PG / 1h 55m / Horror

Pauline Kael called Invasion of the Body Snatchers “a new classic… the best movie of its kind ever made.” But when she said “its kind,” she wasn’t talking about alien thrillers or horror movies. She was talking about remakes. The original Body Snatchers was a pretty fantastic sci-fi horror film of the ‘50s, addressing the Red-Scare-era fear of Communist infiltration by fictionalizing them as space aliens grown from pods and invisibly taking over people’s bodies and lives. But when this version came out in 1978, remakes weren’t particularly common. The cultural fear that the people closest to you weren’t what they pretended to be hadn’t changed, however; the ’78 film develops and expands on the lizard-brain horror of not knowing who to trust in a profound and personal way. Classic performances from Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams and Jeff Goldblum, along with a tremendous score, keep this classic feeling fresh and creepy no matter how many times it’s remade.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

9:45pm THE EVIL DEAD
1981 / 1h 25m / Horror


Such horrible things happen to young people in cabins in the woods. Stay in the cities, kids
your biggest risk there is Godzilla.

 

The plot of The Evil Dead can be summed up thusly: “Kids in a cabin find an evil book and release demons.” But nobody comes to The Evil Dead for the plot. For one thing, it came out during a golden age of horror movie practical effects its gory and juicy and stomach-turning. It launched the careers of director Sam Raimi (of the original Spider-Man movies) and cult favorite actor Bruce Campbell. But the best innovation of The Evil Dead is that it manages to be funny-on-purpose to a degree usually unseen in horror movies. It frequently goes too far and it knows it; the movie is in on the joke. It’s a B-movie elevated to A-movie standards of filmmaking. That’s why it was the beginning of such a beloved franchise, and that’s why it still holds up today.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

 

THURSDAY, OCT. 26 HOME-GROWN HORROR

 

7:00pm AS NIGHT FALLS
2010 / R / 1h 18min / Horror

Written and directed by local movie-maker Joe Davison, As Night Falls is a gory, terrifying nightmare. Sisters Holly (Lily Cardone) and Elizabeth (Deneen Melody) are living in a charnel house. Fifty years ago a young girl named Amelia (Grace Chapman) was brutally murdered by unseen forces. Now, Amelia’s parents have returned from their grave to enact their own strict discipline on anyone they believe is misbehaving and staying up past nightfall they should sleep forever!

 

Following the screening, Davison will lead a panel discussion and audience Q&A with members of the As Night Falls cast and crew. He will also share the official trailer for Season 2 of the mega-hit Netflix series Stranger Things, in which he is featured as a recurring character.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

10:00pm DAWN OF THE DEAD
2004 / R / 1h 41m / Thriller


George Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead is based on a directly stated premise: what if the dead didn’t stay dead? Simple, novel, effective. His not-exactly-a-sequel follow-up movie, Dawn of the Dead tried to turn that idea into a capital-I Idea, comparing those mindless animated corpses to the consumerist horde of 1980s America. But the 2004 Dawn of the Dead re-imagining, the debut for Watchmen director Zack Snyder (and primarily shot just over the bridge in Clearwater!), calls back much more directly to the fearsome premise of the original. The dead don’t stay dead, they relentlessly hunger for the living (who are still stuck in a mall), and
in a twist novel enough for George Romero himself this time theyre fast.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

 

FRIDAY, OCT. 27 CREEPED-OUT KIDS

 

7:30pm THE BABADOOK
2014 / Not Rated / 1h 33m / Horror

Parenthood is scary. The “creepy kid” sub-genre is well-trodden ground at this point; from Damien to the Good Son, the intellectual frisson of horror and violence in the innocent form of a child is kind of played out. Even “creepy kid sings a creepy song” has become a cliché. But The Babadook cuts through those clichés and surfaces a fresh and original nightmare. The tale of a young widow bringing up her son alone, tormented by insomnia and invasive thoughts and deeply troubled by the stories her boy is telling her of a monster from a storybook, it gets at some of the most basic terrors of having a child: what’s the relationship between fear of your kid and fear for your kid? Is it okay to be afraid of being a parent? How can grief and loss distort a person, and how do you prevent your own psychological damage from reverberating down to your children? Sometimes people make their own monsters, and if you can’t conquer yours, how can you learn to live with them?

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

 

10:30pm THE SHINING
1980 / R / 2h 26m / Horror


A few years ago, a documentary was released called Room 237, about a group of obsessive people who believe that Stanley Kubrick was trying to send the world some message through The Shining. That message varies: to some it’s about the faking of the moon landing; to others it’s about the genocide of Native Americans. The common thread is that when these people watch The Shining, they see what they want to see. It’s caught them inside itself, like the Overlook Hotel catches Jack Torrance.

 

Most directors make movies to look (and sound, and feel) like the real world; the viewer experiences them much like they do their own, normally-lived life. Kubrick made movies to seem like dreams. Scenes flow into each other, the camera pans and lingers awkwardly, events aren’t necessarily strung together logically. The viewer is constantly conscious of seeing, not having the film’s images just appear in their mind’s eye. The Shining is perhaps his best match of style and subject matter: the story of a psychically charged hotel, the supernatural evil that dwells within it, the deeply damaged winter caretaker it preys upon (Jack Nicholson in one of this best roles), and his gifted son whose thoughts can be made real, fits perfectly with Kubrick’s rich, floating style. Everyone sees what they find scariest in The Shining, and they’re all right.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

 

SATURDAY, OCT. 28 FRANKEN-WHAT?

 

2:00pm FRANKENWEENIE
2012 / PG / 1h 27m / Family

Looking for some Halloween fun with the kids? Frankenweenie is the stop-motion story of young scientist, Victor Frankenstein, and his beloved dog, Sparky. When Sparky is unfortunately hit by a car and killed, Frankenstein does what Frankensteins do and returns him to life. But a lot of people would love to know the secret of how to reanimate the dead, and now they’re all after Victor’s formula. Can he get away? Can Sparky help save the day? This quirky, fun picture from the brilliant and zany mind of director Tim Burton is a twist on classic monster movies and a good time for all ages.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

4:30pm FRANKENSTEIN
1931 / Not Rated / 1h 10m / Sci-Fi

You know, all this trouble about “it’s not the name of the monster, it’s the name of the doctor” could have been avoided if Mary Shelley had named her novel after the real hero of the piece. In the book, Dr. Frankenstein is clearly the villain, and the monster (and narrator) is given the name Adam. In the end, he winds up an astute and fairly well-rounded individual. Boris Karloff’s famous film version of the monster is … not. When Victor Frankenstein assembles his new man from corpse parts, his monster tends to mainly rock slowly through the Bavarian countryside and cause trouble. But it’s full of seminal moments in film history. The movie was the most successful of its kind at the time; coming on the heels of the original Dracula (the two films were released the same year), the realization that the fairly new medium of motion pictures could be just as chilling as they had been romantic or pleasant was powerful indeed. Watch for the introduction from actor Edward Van Sloan, as he warns audiences of the strange and frightening tale they’re about to experience!

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

7:30pm YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
1974 / PG / 1h 46m / Comedy

Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks’s hilarious and affectionate send-up of the classic black-and-white monster movies of the 1930s, came out the same year as Blazing Saddles, his also-hilarious and just-as-affectionate satire of classic movie Westerns. In a single year, he both secured his place as one of the greatest comedy directors in history, and probably precluded a devastating influx of copycat comedy film-genre parodies who could hope to be as successful or as prolific as the master himself? All film buffs owe Mel Brooks a debt of gratitude, just for having averted that disaster.

 

Young Frankenstein retells the story of a differently-pronounced Dr. Frankenstein (the incomparable Gene Wilder) and his henchmen and hangers-on (Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman) as he creates life (Peter Boyle plays the monster with goofy innocence) and then promptly loses control of it, to the dismay of nearby villagers. In retrospect a surprisingly faithful rendition of the Boris Karloff Frankenstein from 1931, you still shouldn’t come in expecting a serious or… wait, have you never seen it? What are you waiting for? Stop reading this immediately, and go buy as many tickets as you can responsibly afford.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

10:30pm FRANKENHOOKER
1990 / R / 1h 25m / Comedy, Horror

With a name like that, how could we resist? Frankenhooker is pretty much exactly what it sounds like like, oddly enough: a young man with an interest in the darker corners of science brings his poor deceased fiancée back to life (reader, you should experience the cause of her death unspoiled) by assembling some pieces of prostitutes he lures back to his house and dismembers. It’s shameless, tasteless, crude, and very much a product of the we-should-have-known-better early ‘90s. Director Frank Henenlotter, “famous” for other horror comedies like Basket Case and Brain Damage, was told after screening the movie for the MPAA ratings board, “congratulations, you’ve made the first film rated ‘S’.” He replied, “you mean ‘S’ for sex?” No, they said. “S” for… a word describing a bodily function that’s not fit to reproduce here. Use your imagination, and be prepared for Frankenhooker!

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

 

SUNDAY, OCT. 29 LADIES’ NIGHT

 

2:00pm HOCUS POCUS
1993 / PG / 1h 36m / Family

Hocus Pocus had a decent enough first release, but really found new life on television and home video in the years after its initial run in theaters. There’s always room for a fun-loving, friendly Halloween movie in people’s lives, and Hocus Pocus continues to be as warm and welcoming as ever. Most of that is down to the perfect casting of the trio of witches (Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker), the nominal antagonists but real stars of the movie. With such joyous, full performances (and delightful costumes), Hocus Pocus will remain a family favorite, the comfort food of Halloween movies, for a long time to come.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

 

5:30pm ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN
1958 / Not Rated / 1h 5m / Sci-Fi

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman was one of a spate of science fiction movies of the ‘50s based on the premise of people getting either much bigger or much smaller than people typically are. A cynic might assume that this is because filmmakers were just discovering what was possible with special effects, and making sets of crazy sizes and camera effects to create a sense of scale was starting to come into vogue. A cynic would be right. But that doesn’t make Attack of the 50 Foot Woman any less fun! It’s fun just saying the title. Go ahead, try it now. Imagine the fun you’ll have telling your friends what you’re doing tonight.

 

So how did the woman get to be 50 feet tall? Easy: an equally enormous alien shot her with a ray gun, of course. Allison Hayes as the titanic Nancy does a commendable job of looking troubled and crushing scenery. Repeat to yourself that it’s just a show and you should really just relax; buy a large popcorn (it’s a theme thing) and enjoy the blast-to-the-past of Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

– PLUS –

7:30pm Spirits of the Bay: An Evening of Live Storytelling with Deborah Frethem

Tampa’s grande dame of ghosts, local author and storyteller Deborah Frethem, takes to the Theatre’s historic stage for an intimate evening of ghost stories and supernatural tales from around the Bay area. Following the performance, Frethem will sign copies of her books, including Haunted Ybor City, Ghost Stories of St. Petersburg and Haunted Tampa: Spirits of the Bay, with sales benefitting Tampa Theatre’s preservation and restoration efforts.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and FREE for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

MONDAY, OCT. 30 FANG YOU VERY MUCH

 

7:00pm CAT PEOPLE
1942 / Not Rated / 1h 13m / Suspense

Tampa Theatre is presenting a lot of monster movies this year in our October series. And there are many different ways of being a monster. It’s not all vampires and body-snatchers and Frankenhookers; sometimes a person can get mad enough to turn monstrous.

 

Cat People, released in 1942, actually is sort of an original take on vampirism. A race of human-looking beings lives among us who can transform into predatory beasts through either anger or arousal. Just like vampires, they have ties to demonic influence and Balkan origins. The true innovation of Cat People, though, was trading visual horror for suspense; rather than showing the monsters, their violence and grotesquery is implied through reaction shots and psychological implication. It’s a tremendously influential film, and reads for modern audiences as much less campy than its contemporaries, which tended to be more graphic and thus more easily aged. Cat People is horror through the frame of film noir. Meow.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

 

9:45pm FROM DUSK TILL DAWN
1996 / R / 1h 48m / Horror

Before Grindhouse the Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino double-feature of exploitation B-movies Planet Terror and Death Proof there was From Dusk Till Dawn, written by Quentin Tarantino, directed by Robert Rodriguez, and decidedly grindhouse in character. The Gecko brothers (played by George Clooney and Tarantino himself), having robbed banks up and down Texas, hole up in a strip club in Mexico where they hold hostage an innocent pastor, his family and several other barflies. Unfortunately the strip club is infested with vampires, and the second half of the movie is an all-action blowout of epic proportions as the survivors cobble together weapons to fend off the bloodsuckers. The perfect blend of poetic Rodriguez action and frenetic Tarantino script, From Dusk Till Dawn is schlocky exploitation elevated to balletic proportions.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

 

TUESDAY, OCT. 31 HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

12:00pm WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT
2005 / G / 1h 25m / Animated

Director and screenwriter Nick Park has been making stop-motion animation featuring the pair of modest tinkerer and cheese enthusiast Wallace and his witty, brave little beagle Gromit since 1990, but Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was their first foray into feature-length film. On this adventure, the pair is tasked with capturing and locking down a larger-than-ordinary rabbit before it devours all the town’s carrots (and thereby wrecks their treasured annual Giant Vegetable Competition). Full of elaborate and good-natured hijinks, funny and immaculately composed, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a perfect movie for everyone from kids who might be a little too young for more intense Halloween experiences, to animation and British comedy enthusiasts of all ages.

 

This is a special “Mummy & Me” screening, so don’t be afraid to let the kids be kids! Tickets are $10 for general admission, $7 for Tampa Theatre Members and FREE for kids ages 12 and younger.

 

7:30pm HALLOWEEN
1978 / R / 1h 31m / Thriller

The script for the original 1978 Halloween was written in 10 days, which, yeah, actually seems like plenty of time, come to think of it. It’s a pretty terse movie: silent killer menaces teens, travels with unsettling quickness but only when off camera, murders many, can’t be stopped. How many pages do you need?

 

But simplicity is a virtue; Halloween’s premise is simple but contains everything necessary. It takes the tension and psychological terror of a Hitchcock movie, strips out everything but the bare plot, and renders the audience complicit and uncomfortable by forcing the perspective of the monster, the infamous Michael Myers, on them. It’s so powerful a filmic gut-punch that it influenced the direction of a whole genre of movies for decades to come.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

 

9:30pm HALLOWEEN PUSSY TRAP KILL! KILL!
2017 / Not Rated / 1h 26m / Horror

Storied film producer and B-movie godfather Roger Corman is famous for coming up with the titles for some of his movies first, and only later building a story around them. There’s no evidence that that’s the case with Halloween Pussy Trap Kill! Kill!, but it’s at least plausible. The whole movie is summed and encapsulated, hologram-like, in its title. And we’d bet all the candy corn in town that you already knew whether you wanted to see this movie before you even finished reading its name.

 

While out on tour over Halloween, an all-girl candy-raver band named “Kill Pussy Kill” is presented with an insidious series of deadly traps (see?). Kidnapped and locked in a Saw-style torture house, they’re forced to turn on each other with brutal weaponry and grisly violence to have a chance at freedom.

 

The movie features model and soap opera Richard Grieco, the voice of Megadeth lead singer Dave Mustaine (as the ersatz Jigsaw behind the heroines’ torment), one of the former stars of Sharktopus, and several other people with expensive-looking headshots on their IMDB pages. Also it’s called Halloween Pussy Trap Kill! Kill! a fact which simply cannot be stressed enough.

 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for Tampa Theatre Members.

 

– PLUS –

5:00-7:00pm Halloween Happy Hour

Are you “that neighbor” who turns off the porch light and leaves a bowl of candy on the stoop, hoping that nobody rings the doorbell? Or maybe you already ate all of the assorted minis and don’t feel like buying another bag to hand out? Tampa Theatre’s got you covered! Skip the pillow-case conga of candy-grabbing kids and spend a Halloween Happy Hour at Tampa’s majestic movie palace.

 

There will be drink specials, free shots, and for every drink you buy* another ticket to enter into drawings for ghoulishly great prizes, including annual Theatre Memberships, restaurant gift certificates, gourmet goodie baskets, and tickets to local comedy shows. And if you’re there until 7, we’ll even give away a couple of pairs of tickets to stick around for the 7:30pm screening of what else? Halloween.

 

*No purchase necessary to enter… the first ticket is on us! Must be present to win.

 

Tickets for all of the “A Nightmare on Franklin Street” events are available at the historic Tampa Theatre Box Office, located at 711 N. Franklin Street in the heart of downtown, or online at www.TampaTheatre.org/Nightmare (service fees apply).