News Column

Strand announces plan to show cult films

December 1, 2013


Dec. 01--Come next year, cult-film lovers will have a monthly spot to gather and watch their favorite movies in York City.

The Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center plans to kick off a new First Friday Late-Night Films program with a showing of 1979's "The Warriors" on Jan. 3 at the Capitol Theatre.

Part of the center's Capitol Cinema series, the cult-film showings will start at 10 p.m. on First Fridays. Tickets are $7.

The experience: The Strand chose to hold the screenings on the first Friday of every month because people flock to businesses in downtown York for special deals and events, said president and CEO Ken Wesler. And showing the films at 10 p.m. gives patrons enough time to shop and eat beforehand -- and even go out for a drink afterward, he said.

"It's the fun, communal experience you want when watching cult films," he said.

The old-fashioned movie theater seats 450 people, and the concession stand and bar will be open during all films for refreshments and cocktails, he said.

"You can watch 'The Warriors' and have a drink with your popcorn," Wesler said.

And since the nonprofit primarily relies on donations, admission and food and drink prices are relatively low, he said.

As with a typical movie theater, attendees will be able to buy tickets both online and at the Strand's box office, he said.

Something new: To determine which films its target demographic -- people in their 20s and 30s -- wanted to see most, the Strand polled cult-film fans in the area, Wesler said.

He found that York College students don't go to movie theaters to see artsy films; they go for the 3-D and special effects, he said.

But he also found that people in that age group could rattle off lists of their favorite cult classics, which they tend to watch at home or parties.

"They're our cult film favorites, too," Wesler said.

If this program takes off, the Strand could consider renovations to the Capitol Theatre, such as installing tables and chairs and possibly serving food, Wesler said.

"We will be successful with anything we do if we're offering something that people can't get anywhere else," he said.

- Reach Mollie Durkin at


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