The Art Theater Co-op to host horror movie marathon

Screams may escape the horror film fanatics inside downtown Champaign’s The Art Theater Co-op tonight. The theater will kick off another Halloween-themed event to celebrate their second Shocktober Film Festival.

The festival spans the entire month of October. It began this year with Wes Craven’s “Scream” and will creep into the first couple days of November as well with the showing of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

The festival is hosted by the theater’s Late Night Committee. Headed by General Manager Austin McCann, the relatively new group of three former patrons and independent film enthusiasts are dedicated to programming the late night film showings and events like Shocktober Film Fest.

The group started Shocktober with ambitious intentions.

“Most of us on the Late Night Committee are horror aficionados,” said Chris Fairfield, Late Night Committee member and Co-op partial owner. “I think originally we wanted to do a different horror film every day. We quickly realized that would be a nightmare. “

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Instead, the committee brainstormed to come up with five weeks of different events featuring a selection of classic horror films, treats, marathons and even a live ensemble set to play during the “Night of the Living Dead” showing on Oct. 29.

Fairfield said he anticipates a variety of costumes at the “Rocky Horror” showing on the night of Halloween. Fairfield plans to get into the spirit as well.

“In the past, I have gone as Rocky Horror himself, but that might be a little risqué,” Fairfield said with a laugh.

Tonight, the Late Night Committee will be hosting a movie marathon featuring “Halloween,” John Carpenter’s “Trick ‘R Treat” and a selection of surprise films for eight full hours of shocking horror flicks. Tickets are $15 for the night or $12 when patrons purchase them for the “Halloween”/“Trick ‘R Treat” double feature.

The event kicks off at 10 p.m. and runs until 6 a.m. Saturday morning.

Attendees will have a chance to meet members of the Late Night Committee and offer feedback. Fairfield will be announcing the films and welcomes conversation from other horror film lovers.

“We put ourselves out there for people to get a hold of us. And they’re not shy about expressing their thoughts and impressions and feelings,” Fairfield said.

Fairfield said he enjoys when patrons stop him on the street or contact him via Facebook to talk about the theater’s films. He supports the community atmosphere fostered by the Co-op nestled on Church Street with a simple red neon light marking it as the “Art.”

Shalayne can be reached at [email protected].