The City of Commerce’s Rosewood Library had a series of horror movie screenings this Halloween season that they aptly named Commerce Screams. This undertaking was truly a community service. One can’t always access quality horror movies. Check Netflix- you’re lucky if you get a part 2 or 3 of something from the 80s, most likely you’ll be besieged with awful remakes. Check Redbox – by the time you get off of work and drive over the machine has probably been picked clean. Check your local video store – oops – wait – you probably can’t find one. Did you think to go to the library?
Yes, the place with all the books has movies too – and magazines – and people.
Libraries are a place where you can find free books, air conditioning, wifi, and magazines. A place where you can disconnect from the mundane and follow what intrigues you. A place where kids and adults can have fun and lose themselves into story and imagination. A place of magazines, movies, events, and book clubs. A place to build community.
I fricking love libraries.
The magic librarians behind Commerce Screams curated a month of true classics: Poltergeist, Carrie, Ju-On (The Grudge), Nightmare on Elm Street, and Ringu (The Ring). They were all hand selected because of their status as unique originals that have since been remade – but – who’s remake is arguably eclipsed by the exquisiteness of the original.
If not for Commerce Screams most of us library patrons in attendance may have lived our whole lives without seeing these films. I wouldn’t spend the money to buy them on amazon sight unseen. These kids may not have given them a second glance at the RedBox or any other place of movie lending or purchasing. These parents would have had them on as background noise while texting, facebooking, folding laundry, or doing that other stuff I imagine parents do.
The movies themselves were shown in a medium sized room with a large-ish tv. The seats were simple straight back chairs placed in evenly spaced rows. There was a light that stayed on the entire time, probably for safety reasons. There was a table with water bottles and popcorn. No recliners, no darkness, no leather seats, and no sound system. This did not take away from my movie-watching experience.
The first movie I partook in was Poltergeist – the original. At first I wasn’t sure what I was doing there, I thought maybe it was a bad idea and that I should go home. The seats in front were filled with noisy kids. Their complacent parents were in the back. Disinterested looking teens were scattered throughout. Most of these people were more enthralled with chatting and eating free popcorn than in watching Poltergeist… at first. As the movie played on the kids were literally on the edge of their seats. More people came in – it soon became floor seating only.
Towards the end when the music changed and one could sense it was about to get real- the kids covered their eyes with their hands. Nothing happened. Their hands fell from their faces – smiles and giggles of relief were heard, “haha I wasn’t scared.” Then – BAM – the clown pops out from under the bed. The front row jumped out of their seats with a shriek and ran to the back of the room – where they stayed for the remainder of the film.
This is what community is about –coming together – being scared – screaming – and covering your eyes with your hands.