Secret Celluloid Society Brings Freaky Cult Films to Blue Starlite Drive-in Theater
Wynwood is once again catering to all you freaks and fanatics. Its propagandic method of choice? Gory, strange films to lure the outcasts to the cinema.
Guess Last Vegas is too "mainstream" for you people. Guess the new Tom Hanks flick won't cut it. There's just no pleasing you. Maybe the Secret Celluloid Society has something better suited for your anarchist tastes.
Holding residency at the Blue Starlite Urban Drive-In, Secret Celluloid Society is an attempt by Nayib Estefan and Blue Starlite owner Josh Frank to bring revival cinema back to Miami. Revival film houses show only older movies, spanning across genres from horror to comedy.
"The Society is for people who worship at the church of film," Estefan told New Times. "New York has an IFC theater where you can see Eraserhead on the weekend and L.A. has cemetery screenings and different groups where you can see Creepshow on 35 millimeter, or Holy Mountain. Miami's never had that."
Estefan wanted to inject what is happening in Los Angeles film houses with the Miami atmosphere, which provides great weather and a diverse mix of people, he says. He and Frank plan to make the Society an ongoing experiment and seeing "how crazy it can get."
"It's a really cool partnership to be working with him because he totally gets it," Estefan said. "He originally wanted to show the most of the movies I want to show. He's doing the classic movies during the day like 'Ghostbusters' and 'The Goonies' and 'Willy Wonka' so he can stay open and show the weird stuff also."
According to Estefan, the drive-in will incorporate art and music to create unique theater experience. The group is working with Lombardi Properties to create an art installation of a 1970s living room, complete with wood paneling, an old TV with VHS, and couches inside a 30-foot airstream trailer, donated by Lombardi. The space will show alternate footage related to the main films, like interviews and outtakes. Patrons can get food from the concessions and bring their own beer to hang out in the space if they don't want to watch the whole movie, Estefan says.
The Society will screen cult movies, "messed up" gore movies, and screwball comedies like Porky's, to name a few. Estefan also references A Clockwork Orange and Rubin and Ed among the types of films that will be shown in the months ahead. The first screening will be Brian de Palma's Phantom of the Paradise, a 1974 rock musical widely considered a predecessor to Rocky Horror Picture Show.
"It's definitely an edgy movie," Estefan said. "It mixes together glam rock, death rock, and a bunch of people ripped of the look and makeup style of this movie, like Marilyn Manson."
After the November screening, Blue Starlite and Secret Celluloid Society are planning special Art Basel events. On December 6, Mishka NYC is partnering with the group to bring a Secret Walls drawing battle between artists L'Amour Supreme and Skinner. On December 7, the drive-in partners with Vice magazine to screen Scarface, which marks its 30th anniversary this year. After the Art Basel madness, the Society will hold weekly screenings.
"We want to give a memorable experience to the patrons," Estefan said. "We'll be doing things with musicians, playing live scores over movies, a lot of experimental stuff that will always be changing...We want to bring back a midnight event to Miami that hasn't been here for a long time."
Send your story tips to Cultist at email@example.com.