Cartoons but not for the kids

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DETAILS

Adult Cartoon Party

18+ only

Tickets are $6 each

Playing at 11:59 p.m. tonight at Metro Cinema
8712 109 St. in Edmonton. More details can be found at www.metrocinema.org.

The same movie theatre that hosts an All-You-Can-Eat-Cereal Cartoon Party on occasional Saturday mornings is giving much older kids their own cartoons for a midnight screening tonight.

The Metro Cinema is hosting an Adult Cartoon Party as part of its extended Night Gallery series, co-curated by Maggie Hardy and the theatre’s facilities manager Allan Mulholland. If you’ve ever seen Fritz the Cat, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect when the curtain goes up at one minute to midnight.

Mulholland said that it came out of the ‘They Came from Projector X’ series of vintage science fiction movie screenings that the cinema hosted. It was able to reach a solid core audience of a few dozen cinephiles but it never got any bigger than that.

“It was good. The people that came really enjoyed it but it wasn’t really all that well attended. I noticed that I was seeing the same faces over and over again,” he said.

Noticing that made him think it’s a problem inherent to cult films: it’s a very select audience. Programming in adult cartoons might help draw some attention to what the theatre is trying to do.

“Midnight movies have always been, for me, the best thing. We didn’t have anything like that. Part of our mandate is to educate: show you things you might not normally see.”

The conversation behind this has been building for a long time. Hardy had always expressed an interest in putting this together, much like what similar cinemas across the country have offered.

“We’re not the only place that’s ever done it but this will be one of the first places to do it in this mix tape format. It’s not just showing a film. It’s a lot of work doing mix tapes. It’s more like taking clips from various media and putting them in context, splicing them together sometimes to clash against each other, sometimes to complement each other depending on the effect you’re trying to achieve.”

Tonight’s 90-minute screening will feature bits and pieces of films cobbled from Super 8mm films, LaserDiscs, Betamax and VHS tapes, and web rips.

Because it’s such a special screening, the actual playlist won’t be revealed so attendees will be fully in for a surprise when the projector starts to play.

The response has been so positive that the organizers had to move the screening into the theatre proper. It was originally going to be held in the lobby with fold-up chairs set out and a pulldown screen with a projector. That capacity maxed out at around 40 audience members. Mulholland designed the space specifically for these midnight screenings of such quirky mix tape-type material.

“I pretty much knew this was going to be a hit. It’s got legs. It’s really taken off.”

Because of the obviously adult content, minors will not be permitted into this screening. The bar will be open for the event as well.

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Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.