The Coolidge Corner Theatre screens horror movies for Halloween



The Coolidge Corner Theatre embraces spooky October energy by screening classic Halloween movies after midnight: “Halloween,” “Psycho” and more.

As the colors on the trees change and one is put in the mood for pumpkin pie and apple cider, Halloween season commences. With it comes the prospect of viewing frightful films.

Throughout October, the Coolidge Corner Theater offers a variety of Halloween and horror-themed events. During the month of candy and jack-o-lanterns, the Coolidge Corner Theater is a special place to be.

Walking to the Coolidge near midnight, one can observe the vibrancy of the pink and blue neon lights and the line of people waiting outside the theater. Along the walls of the lobby, posters for various midnight movies are framed. Entering the showing room, the colorfully painted walls and large screen come into view.

Mark Anastasio, the Coolidge’s Director of Special Programming, said that the theater will be hosting a series of John Carpenter films throughout October. Carpenter’s movies, such as “Halloween,” will be shown on Fridays and Saturdays at the Coolidge after Midnight as well as at normal times.

“We’ll be running a 35 millimeter of ‘They Live,’ which I think is only going to be remembered more and more as an incredibly important film as time goes on. That movie, strangely and sadly, only gets more relevant as time goes on. I thought that it was an important one to put in front of primetime audiences. And then of course, John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ on Halloween night is a must,” Anastasio said.

Ethan Dexter went to see “Psycho” at the Coolidge Corner Theater on October 3rd.

“They usually just have a good line-up, it’s usually why I go. I mean, it’s a really beautiful theater and I always love coming here,” Dexter said.

Between Oct. 21 and 23, the Coolidge will be playing drive-in movies ranging from “The Wolf Man” to “Beetlejuice,” at the Medfield State Hospital. The Coolidge’s Technical Director Nick Lazzaro said that the Coolidge Corner Theater orchestrates everything prior to the showings.

“You’re getting the atmosphere, and you’re getting a really unique drive-in experience, and I can stand by the quality of it, because you have killer projection, and it’s the same quality people come to expect from going to the Coolidge but out in the middle of the woods. So I think it’s worth it,” Lazzaro said.

Starting at midnight on Oct. 30, the Halloween Horror Movie Marathon, which lasts for 13 hours, will feature exclusively vampire movies. There will also be a costume contest at the marathon.

“To make sure everybody spends the night in the theater, watching vampire movies, we’ll have all sorts of vampire related tricks and treats for the audience throughout the night,” Anastasio said.

Some of the films for the Halloween Marathon are announced in advance, while remaining movies are unrevealed.

“It’s sort of fun, because it keeps people guessing, they don’t know what they’re gonna get into. It’s sort of like going into a funhouse, you know that at some point something might startle you, but you’re there for the entertainment, you’re there for the ride,” Lazzaro said.

Besides “Dracula” and “Fright Night,” one of the known movies for this year’s Halloween Marathon will be “London After Midnight,” which they will be showing a reconstructed version of with live musical accompaniment.

“The only known prints of the film were destroyed in 1960 at a Universal Studios vault fire, but TCM [Turner Classic Movies] recreated it using stills from the movie, a script that they had and some title cards that still exist from the film,” Anastasio said. “And it’s only about a 35 minute presentation, but I think that this will be the first time anyone’s done a live score to ‘London After Midnight’ probably since the 50s and early 60s, so that’s pretty cool.”

Lazzaro said that there are a number of reasons people should go to the Coolidge during October and Halloween.

“It’s like going to see your favorite band live, versus if you saw it digitally, it’s still good and it’s fun, but there’s this life to seeing something on film for real,” Lazzaro said. “The quality just rules at the Coolidge. I don’t mind, I don’t even think I’m bragging or boasting, I mean it’s just I genuinely believe that it’s a really exceptional place.