Bringing back magic to the silver screen – and downtown too

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It is Saturday night in Roseville and you are looking for something different to do. But you want something other than the bar scene or just staying at home and watching TV. Why not catch a midnight showing of 1985’s “The Goonies” starring young actors such as Josh Brolin, Sean Astin and Martha Plimpton? “People love movies,” Hector Marquez said. “When people of all ages get together to watch a movie, they create this fantastic communal vibe. It’s an energy that’s incredible and it’s such a great thing.” Marquez wanted to recreate that energy and tap into it. “We get really excited about movies,” Marquez said. “Especially the old films, classics and cult favorites. We talked about how we wanted to share that love with other people.” The best way to do that was to have a movie theater of their own, so to speak, he said. Mystic Cinema was born. Marquez and business partner Seth Shore worked out an arrangement with Civic Theatre West on using the Tower, which suited their needs perfectly. “Say ‘vintage movie theater’ and what pops into your mind,” Shore said. “The Tower has that classic art deco look, the big marquee and the neon. It was perfect for us.” Mystic Cinema then contacted Warner Bros. studio and approached them about using their film catalogue. “They loved the idea,” Marquez said. “We worked out an agreement beneficial to everyone involved. With that in place, we set up our debut.” Last month, Mystic Cinema premiered with its presentation of “Casablanca.” “It was incredible,” Marquez said. “You had an audience of people from ages 20 on up, some dressed up as characters from the film, mingling with people in their street clothes. Some watched the movie for the first time while others had seen it dozens of times.” Marquez loved the audience reacting to such now-classic lines such as “Here's looking at you, kid.” “People laughed, cheered and even cried,” he said. “It’s the effect we were looking for.” Starting this month, Mystic Cinema will have a midnight movie on a Saturday and then one whole day of movies starting with an afternoon matinee. Shore said people can have a say in what they want to see. “They can log onto our website and look at films we have posted,” he said. “Just vote for the one you’d like to see.” Currently people visiting the website can choose between Errol Flynn’s “Robin Hood” and “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Marquez said Mystic Cinema is partnering with other downtown businesses on movie nights. “It’s good for everyone because we want people to come here on a Saturday night to have a good time seeing a movie and eating great food,” Marquez said. “We draw in the movie crowd and the other businesses are able to benefit from that. It’s a good partnership.” Mystic Cinema has surprises in store for area moviegoers – perhaps appearances from the film’s actors. “Let’s say we show ‘The Goonies’ again,” Shore said. “During intermission, Sean Astin or Josh Brolin comes walking out to answer questions and write autographs. It’s a direction we want to go in by showing a cult film and surprising the audience.” Marquez said he is looking forward to brighter future for downtown. “I think we’re onto something big,” he said. “Just watch us. We’re going to shine brightly as we grow.” ---------- “The Goonies” will be Mystic Cinema’s May midnight movie. Age limit is 18 and up and ticket price is $8. Elite Celebrations will serve dinner from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Dinner is not included in price of ticket). The Tower will be open on May 27 and three films will be featured. 2 p.m.: “Arsenic & Old Lace” (Tickets $5) 7 p.m.: “The Iron Giant” (Tickets $7) 10 p.m.: 1933’s “King Kong” (Tickets $7) Tickets can be purchased online at Moviegoers are encouraged to dress up accordingly for films either as characters from movies or from the film’s time period. ---------- Brad Smith can be reached at q