el Don V. 96 No. 3 - Page 8

CITY STYLE FILM: The only nonprofi t art house theater in Orange County is succeeding in the streaming age by hosting events that bring people together. A NEW WAY TO SEE THE BIG SCREEN WORDS AND PHOTOS ISA BULNES-SHAW F or 12 hours every Octo- ber, The Frida Cinema in Downtown Santa Ana plays host to an overnight horror movie marathon. Far from just screening a few Halloween fl icks, though, Camp Frida trans- forms the only art house theater in Orange County into a spooky set, with a caution-taped forest of trees and a fog-fi lled lobby. The Frida’s volunteers dress as zom- bies, serve brain-shaped cupcakes and burst out from curtains to give people a scare. Immersive events like Camp Frida are setting the theater apart from traditional movie houses, which have been slow to adapt to moviegoer’s needs in the age of streaming and Red Box. Opened by a local cinephile in 2014, The Frida is changing how the art of cinema is presented to audiences 8 by focusing on daily screenings that bring people together. “I’m very much a believer of the show; the movie starts when you walk into the theater, [but] the show starts when you walk into the lobby,” says Bryan Terry, volunteer coordinator for The Frida. “[Film] is an art form that’s permeated society like nothing before. You may not be into art, but I guarantee you have a favorite movie. We play a lot of retrospec- tives, and things you’d be hard pressed to fi nd on the big screen.” The Frida Cinema is a hands- on museum of cinema that honors the past and embraces the present, capable of chang- ing how you view fi lm entirely or simply providing a community to watch with. No one can predict what festival or tribute will come up next. From midnight cult classics like The Room to anime el Don Santa Ana College · December 2018 like Cowboy Bebop, the program- ming refl ects the diverse tastes of Southern Californians of all ages. But being a community resource is about more than just the movies themselves. Sometimes, it means taking a political stand. During the 2017 Women’s March, The Frida hosted seminars educating immigrants about their rights. For OC Pride, The Frida showed free LGBTQ+ fi lms. As a fundraiser for the annual Dia de Los Muertos festival, Frida was screened while the lobby displayed local chil- dren’s altars. “The Frida is a home for every- one,” Terry says. “We’re a safe space here to bring people up through the art of cinema and through the art of connecting people. That’s something we lose track of these days. I’m very happy and proud that we continue to strive to be that.” 3 Immersive Movie Screenings to Watch THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW High-energy monthly screenings feature shadow casts and props, from toilet paper to toast thrown on cue. THE ROOM Celebrate the indie fi lm that’s “so bad it’s good” with costume contests and odd props at this monthly screening. CAMP FRIDA “Campers” are put in their own horror movie with games, goodies and 12 hours of surprise fi lms at this annual event. Bring snacks and a sleeping bag!