You’ve heard of the Monster Mash, but Airdrie’s Bert Church LIVE Theatre (BCLT) is now offering the Movie Mash.
On Oct. 31, BCLT will host four screenings of Halloween-themed films. According to artistic producer Chris Stockton, the movie marathon – dubbed the Halloween Movie Mash – aims to fill the gap created by local Halloween events being cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know a lot of Halloween parties or traditions, like [Genesis Place Recreation Centre's] Halloween event, weren't going to be able to happen,” he said. “We wanted BCLT to be able to reach out and give people the opportunity to still do something special on Halloween, particularly with their families.”
Beginning at 11 a.m., BCLT will screen Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween, followed by Casper at 2 p.m., Hocus Pocus at 6 p.m. and the original version of Ghostbusters! at 9 p.m.
"We tried to time the movies so that if people still want to trick or treat, it's not going to interfere,” Stockton said. “Hocus Pocus is at 6 p.m. and it's only 84 minutes long, so people still have time to get home and go trick or treat and not feel like they've missed out.”
Stockton noted the four films selected are meant to cater to different age groups while paying homage to classic Halloween cinema. He added starting the marathon with a Winnie the Pooh movie will encourage young families to attend.
“Winnie the Pooh is classic,” he said. “[It's good] anytime you can give kids the opportunity to see some of their favourite classic characters. It’s even cross-generational. For a grandparent who is familiar with Winnie the Pooh to be able to take their grandchild and share that experience, it's really cross-generational."
Prior to the Ghostbusters! showing, Stockton said members of Calgary Ghostbusters – a group devoted to the 1984 film with several Airdrie members – will be in the BCLT parking lot, decked out in Ghostbusters-themed cosplay.
“They're going to be showing up the hour before the show for people to take pictures with their ecto-vehicles," Stockton said. "They'll be bringing Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man with them, so we'll have a lot of fun with the [Calgary] Ghostbusters."
To comply with Alberta Health Services protocols, each screening will have a capacity of 100 attendees, Stockton said. He added attendees are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes, which will make them eligible for random prize draws.
Tickets for Halloween Movie Mash are $11 per film, though youth under the age of 12 will get into Pooh's Heffalump Halloween for $6.25. People are able to attend multiple screenings if they choose.
Stockton said the cost of admission includes complimentary popcorn, tea, coffee and juice. He added BCLT's bar will be open for the showings of Hocus Pocus and Ghostbusters! Save-on-Foods, an event sponsor, will provide Halloween candy to people as they depart.
The Halloween Movie Mash will be one of BCLT’s first events since the facility reopened. Stockton said it’s exciting to offer Airdrie residents the opportunity to return to the venue, even if restrictions are in place.
"With COVID-19, the live events industry is in a really strange place right now,” he said. “We're dealing with a lot of new guidelines and a lot of new expectations from our clients and our customers. We're doing our best to create as many opportunities as we're able to, for the health and wellness of Airdrie citizens, to get out and experience events and art. But we're going to do it in a safe way.”