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Large marquee halloween guide

The Best Halloween Weekend Screening Events Throughout the Country

A handy guide for anyone whose idea of a great Halloween involves dark rooms, big screens, and genuine scares, not booze and stuffy costume parties.

Good news: Your weekend moviegoing needs have been simplified. In this week's What To See guide, we've combed through America's best repertory theaters' calendars to direct you towards the best horror screenings for every scary movie fan's favorite holiday.

Here's your guide for Halloween weekend 2015.

New York City

Nitehawk Cinema, "A Nite to Dismember": The Brooklyn theater's reputation for hosting the city's most consistently great repertory screenings is epitomized by this annual horror celebration, beginning at midnight on Halloween and lasting through five movies straight. Unfortunately this year's edition is already sold out, but perhaps some poking and maneuvering will help you get inside for House on Haunted Hill (1959), A Bay of Blood (1971), Poltergeist (1982), Scream (1996), and a mystery flick that'll be revealed in the moment.

Alamo Drafthouse, "Dismember the Alamo": Things are going to get extremely weird all around America starting at 5 p.m. EST this Saturday. And by "very weird," we mean "very awesome." The Alamo Drafthouse's network of unbeatable programmers have put together a four-movie marathon of crazy horror, paired with old exploitation trailers, costume contests, and special food and drink deals. The coolest thing about "Dismember the Alamo" is its mysterious conceit: none of the movies will be announced until seconds before they start screening. Considering that they've been pulled from the American Genre Film Archive's insane library, they'll undoubtedly be can't-miss status.
*** "Dismember the Alamo" will take over every Alamo Drafthouse location around the country, particularly the two flagship Austin, TX, theaters, with different film lineups programmed for each venue.

Film Society of Lincoln Center, Scary Movies 9: Film Society's annual Scary Movies series has quietly evolved into NYC's best horror fest. This year's lineup is stacked with gems we saw at Fantastic Fest last month, including the ambitious Twilight-Zone-esque anthology Southbound, the Satanic chiller The Devil's Candy, and the batshit loony descent into Turkish hell known as Baskin. There are also rep screenings of Hammer Film's The Gorgon (1964; pictured above), starring the late Christopher Lee, and the see-it-to-believe-it obscure Italian slasher Pieces (1982), which has one of the wildest endings in cinema history.

Film Forum, "Classic 3-D Series: 3-D Halloween": Leave it to art-house cinema haven Film Forum to provide the holiday's strongest old Hollywood horror event. Take a trip back to the '50s, when 3D glasses didn't mean empty wallets and fruitless headaches, by catching a trio of classic horror flicks in their three glorious dimensions: Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder (1954), the Vincent Price-led House of Wax (1953), and the most underrated of Universal Monster releases, Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954).

Los Angeles

The Cinefamily, The Tingler in "Percepto": Feel extremely lucky, LA folks—you've got what's arguably the coolest Halloween movie attraction of all. Doing God's work, the programmers at The Cinefamily will modify their theater up to show William Castle's The Tingler (1959) the only way it's meant to be seen: in "Percepto," the rigged-seat gimmick the inventive producer/director/showman used to make audiences feel the movie's parasitic monster's touch back in the '50s. (Spoiler: It's only an electrical buzzer, not a little monster.)

New Beverly Cinema, "A Night of Black-and-White Classic Horror": Quentin Tarantino's favorite LA haunt will screen several pre-color horror flicks throughout the day on Saturday. So far, the only titles announced are French horror great Jacques Tourneur's (Cat People, 1942; I Walked with a Zombie, 1943) Satan-centric Curse of the Demon (1957) and George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968), but keep in mind that Tarantino oversees the New Beverly's on-screen offerings, so rest assured the final choices won't disappoint.

San Francisco

The Castro Theatre: On Friday night, San Fran's Castro Theatre will pay tribute to the recently deceased horror master Wes Craven with a Craven-directed double feature of self-referential horror. First up is Scream, the meta slasher that revitalized horror back in 1996, and Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994), the underrated sixth A Nightmare on Elm Street sequel in which the first movie's star, Heather Langenkamp, and Craven himself have to contend with Freddy Krueger's out-of-control celebrity status.

Saturday night brings a triple bill of best-of-all-time genre classics: Night of the Living Dead (1968), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and The Evil Dead (1981; pictured above).


Music Box Theatre: If you're in Chicago and you've never experienced The Rocky Horror Picture Show in its natural midnight setting, reconfigure your Halloween plans if they don't already involve this. And then, Google Image search for some Rocky Horror wardrobe options, and get thee to the Music Box Theatre this Saturday night to join in the sing-a-longs, on-stage dancing, and all-out madness that Dr. Frank-N-Furter (played by Tim Curry, seen above) and his merry band of musical oddities ignite as director Jim Sharman’s cult classic plays on the big screen.


Brattle Theater: Beantown residents, you're going to need to find a comfy seat inside the Brattle Theater this Saturday—you'll want to remain there for six hours straight. The fun kicks off at 11:00 a.m. with the Halloween edition of the venue's "The Saturday Morning All-You-Can-Eat-Cereal Cartoon Party," for which author and genre expert Kier-La Janisse has curated a three-hour, top secret program of "eye-popping, brain-addling Saturday morning (and Halloween night!) cartoons of yore."

Then, at 3:30 p.m., they're screening the great '80s cult horror-comedy gem The Monster Squad, which pits a bunch of Goonies-like kids against new iterations of the classic Universal Monsters, including Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Mummy. Oh, and also a Wolfman who's "got nards." (Props to everyone who gets that reference.)



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