Sunday, January 6, 2013
WHAT: Blue Hawaii was the biggest box office success of his motion picture career. I've never seen any of his movies though- probably should remedy that someday.
WHERE/WHEN: 6PM at the New Parkway, just a short walk from the 19th Street BART station in Oakland.
WHY: Wait, back up. The New Parkway: what's that? For those of you who remember the original Parkway which closed nearly four years ago, it still stands vacant near Lake Merritt, which is a shame. But a new group of community-minded Oaklanders have been able to borrow that cinema's name and some of the essentials of its 1997-2009 business model (couches, pizza, beer, and second-run movies) and recreate it in a former auto shop in the Uptown neighborhood, while adding some new flavors to the literal and figurative menu. The doors opened to the public a couple weeks ago after a few delays, and the opening weekend was made rockier by a picket by the local projectionists union and its supporters, which appears to have been resolved fairly quickly. I decided to check the place out myself Thursday night for my second viewing of Holy Motors, and was for the most part pretty impressed with the operation, although I did not order food or drink on this visit so I can't really comment on that aspect of the experience. Anyway, Blue Hawaii (a replacement for a previously-scheduled Elvis picture Viva Las Vegas) kicks off the 2013 Thrillville schedule of cult movies programmed by one holdover from the previous Parkway staff: Will "The Thrill" Viharo. Other special programs the venue is exploring include a documentary night, a grindhouse night, and Queer Sunday Matinee that today includes It Gets Messy In Here.
HOW: The one disappointment (though in no way a surprise) about the New Parkway is that its screenings are digital-only. Holy Motors was shot digitally and looked pretty good digitally-projected, although I did detect a very slight keystoning issue (that my companion, a filmmaker, did not notice until I pointed it out). Blue Hawaii was shot on film of course, so it's more of a disappointment that it'll be projected via DVD. If you know of a place showing Elvis movies on 35mm, much less one where you can order sangria and quesadillas to consume during the show, let me know.