There may be no better time to be a cinephile than in October, and this month Constellation Stage and Screen is bringing cult-classic Halloween films to Bloomington with three screening events.
Constellation Stage and Screen, a local theater and film production company established in 2022, has brought a variety of artistic partnerships, education programs and performances to Bloomington. The Stage and Scream shows are part of its larger film screening series, which runs from now until July 2024.
The first in the series is “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives” which will play at 10 p.m. Oct. 13 at The Waldron Firebay. Fittingly, the film will fall on Friday the 13th, and this particular film in the series was chosen as a staff pick as one of the best in the franchise.
According to the website, viewers can also participate in “The Jason Crawl,” a screening of “Friday the 13th Part II”, beforehand at 7p.m. at IU Cinema. Each ticket costs $5 and those who are interested can purchase one here.
Constellation is presenting another Halloween favorite with the annual interactive screening of cult-classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.
“It started as a tradition Cardinal Stage has produced every year, and Constellation has continued on that tradition,” Cassie Hakken, the marketing director at Constellation, said. ”It’s not something we’ve created, but something we’ve brought to Bloomington audiences for the past 15 or so years.”
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” annual screening is a favorite among veteran and new audience members, Chad Rabinovitz, the artistic director of Constellation, said. He’s never experienced an audience dynamic quite like it, he said. The screening is interactive and audience members recite lines and shout out inside jokes and throw props at the screen.
"Walking into that theater, so many people know exactly what to do, exactly what to yell at the screen, how to act and how to just make it this pure excitement,” Rabinovitz said. "As a newbie, which I was, you learn along the way. It’s unique. It was just nonstop fun and very loud and crazy.”
But before you go see the iconic film in the theater, be sure to catch Shock Treatment at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Waldron Rose Firebay. This film was made by the original “The Rocky Horror Show” creators: Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman. The Constellation website said it’s a lesser-known sequel, but preserves the original’s camp and over-the-top musical numbers.
Bloomington is home to an especially thriving film community, and Constellation, through its partnerships with local theater spaces, is able to bring more films to audiences, from hidden gems to cult-classics, said Rabinovitz.
“Because there’s so many of us, but all kind of finding our own lane, we can build a community that is very fulfilling for people who love the arts or introducing those who are finding their way into it,” Rabinovitz said. “I think ultimately it’s about creating an arts- minded community and we’re just happy to be a part of it.”
Celebrate Halloween this October by taking part in Constellation’s Stage and Scream film series. Tickets are available starting at $9 on Constellation Stage and Screen’s website.