Monday, June 18, 2012

Theatrical Premier of "Hell's Bells"

It's reader participation time!

I am presently putting together a pitch document to be presented to the Fox Theater in Redlands, California. This theater was opened in 1928, with a Laurel & Hardy film, and continued exhibiting first-run movies into the early 1980s. I personally saw movies at the Fox, including Never Say Never Again, Tarzan The Ape Man, Bear Island and others.

The Fox is where I would like to premier Hell's Bells as it is an homage silent film and the setting is perfect.

The premier will be quite an event for Redlands. The press will be invited and we will be shooting the whole thing for inclusion in the special features on the DVD. There will be a spotlight and a red carpet, where the cast and director will pull up and enter the theater in glamorous Hollywood style. Once inside, I will welcome everyone and introduce the film. Following the screening (in digital projection on the big screen), I will then introduce the cast so that you, the audience, will get to ask questions about the production.

The Fox is not just a theater, it's an event center. They often serve dinner during screenings, especially during the classic films. In the last couple of years, I've seen Casablanca and Chinatown at the theater. The theater is everything you'd expect from its era: a classic marquee, a decorative grand staircase leading to an upper lobby, and the main theater itself retaining much of its original decoration nicely restored. The Fox Theater is an historical landmark in Redlands and we all love to show our support. Much of the screenplay for Hell's Bells was written in a cafe just a few doors down and part of the same physical structure, itself dating back to the 1920s. In between the cafe and the theater there is also Wilson's Barber Shop where gentlemen can receive a classic traditional shave and haircut, 1920s style, a period-appointed shop, by barbers who live the style of that era. There are so many reasons to come to the Fox for our premier event.

We are presently designing the premier. Tickets will be cheap, traditional movie theater snacks and beverages will be sold, and there may even be beer, wine and sandwiches available. The film will be a 30 minute screening and the cast tableau with Q&A with the audience will be another 30 minutes. If you show up early (and you should!), you'll get to stand by the red carpet as the cast arrives and the spotlight spins around beaming its beacon into the night sky. After the show, you can walk a few doors down to the Cafe Royale on the corner and likely get some more time with the cast as we'll be sure to gather there for coffee, tea and dessert. Men who show up even earlier can grab a classic shave and haircut at Wilson's before the show (I'm not sure what they charge). You have so many reasons to attend our premier event.

Which is why I am reaching out to you now. As part of the pitch to the Fox management (who has already been approached and enthusiastically awaits our formal projection), I need to provide an estimate of possible attendance in more than superficial terms. That's where your feedback comes in.

How many of you classic and independent film lovers (most likely those who live in Southern California) would attend our Hollywood style premier of Hell's Bells as described above?

If our premier event is successful enough, the owner of the Fox would be keenly interested in hosting film festivals and like events. Your participation in our premier could lead to really fantastically cool things to do in a really great location.

Let me know as soon as possible if you would attend!

Please reply in a comment to this post.

Thank you!


  1. That building in the old photo with all the cars is where I wrote the screenplay for the movie.

  2. I hope you can get the theater for the premiere. I'd show up for sure.

    Greg B.