Happening in Dallas: CinéWilde Screens LGBT Films at Texas Theater
On Friday, October 23, the Texas Theater is screening the classic 1931 horror film, Frankenstein. It wasn’t just picked because we’re so close to Halloween – the film’s director, James Whale, was an openly gay man whose Hollywood career flourished at a time when being out was practically unheard of. And that LGBT connection is a big part of why the producers of the CinéWilde film series chose it.
CinéWilde, co-produced by Daniel Villarreal, DR Mann Hanson, and Greg Goolsby, screens LGBT-relevant films at the Texas Theater one Friday out of every month. Each screening includes a pre-show discussion, and a themed after party. For Frankenstein, attendees are encouraged to come in costume, and an open mic for scary stories will be held after the movie, as well as a makeshift camp fire, with spooky sounds and s’mores.
Each film shown is carefully selected by the group based on its inclusion and representation of LGBT persons and themes, with an eye for what will appeal to audiences. The first film the group screened, Paris is Burning, is now an annual tradition, playing every January (they’ll be showing it again January 2016), but they strive to show a new film every month.
On November 27, they’ll play the classic La Cage aux Folles (the classic film that inspired The Birdcage), and will host a Thanksgiving potluck where attendees are encouraged to bring their leftovers. On December 11, CinéWilde will show Auntie Mame, and will host a Christmas party for everyone, including an ugly sweater contest.
CinéWilde started hosting events at the Texas Theater in January 2014. Per co-producer Greg Goolsby, the group was motivated to start by “the desire to offer LGBT people (and anyone else!) the opportunity to learn about and experience a ton of great queer films…films with LGBT creative talent or subject matter often have smaller distribution than major Hollywood releases and don’t get as much press.”
So if you’re going to a screening for the first time, what should you expect? Greg Goolsby again:
“Expect an interesting pre-show discussion where we give additional background on the history of the film and themes within it so you can get even more out of watching it. Expect a great film that we put a lot of effort into choosing. Expect an awesome venue; the Texas Theatre is a historic jewel built in 1931 and previously owned by Howard Hughes. Expect to watch original 35mm film prints. Expect delicious themed cocktails made by awesome bartenders. Finally, expect a kick ass after party that changes every month and has included community balls, summer themed drinking games, amateur drag competitions, Christmas parties, and live musical performances by local talent.
It isn’t just a film screening, it’s an entire evening of programming anchored by a great film.”