|Hostess Peaches Christ promises Midnight Mass will return in some capacity, but she urges fans to join the final full season starting July 10, 2009, at The Bridge Theatre.
Actress Linda Blair Kicks Off Final âSeasonâ July 10 at The Bridge Theatre
All good things come to an end, they say. So it goes with Midnight Mass. After a dozen years at The Bridge Theatre, the San Francisco summer midnight movie tradition hosted by Goth Goddess Peaches Christ calls it quits this year.
OK, maybe âcalling it quitsâ isnât the appropriate description, as Christ promises to bring the cult classic cinema franchise back. However, she admits this is the final full âsummer seasonâ - and sheâs going out with a bang!
Kicking things off on Friday, July 10, is Roller Boogie featuring star Linda Blair. The next night Blair returns for the mother of all shock theatre The Exorcist. From fan meet-and-greet to Q&A and live preshows both nights, Peaches is making sure her last âseasonâ is among her best.
Throughout the season, catch Midnight Mass showings of Heathers, Evil Dead 2 featuring drag queen roller derby, Pink Flamingos, Poltergeist and, of course, Showgirls. Christ caps it all with the return of Elvira for the very first Northern California screening of her cult sensation Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
(Bay Times) Tell me the thought process behind ending Midnight Mass. Bringing a close to something after 12 years must be hard.
(Christ) Whatâs happening is not that weâre ending Midnight Mass. We are, after 12 years of doing these long runs of back-to-back shows at the Bridge Theatre, this is our last season. Weâre not going to do seven or eight weeks - sometimes we do nine or ten weeks - of back-to-back shows. We came to the decision from the fact we were shooting and making our movie All About Evil at the same time we would be prepping Midnight Mass. Since we were so late doing this, there was a sense of frustration and anxiety about putting up Midnight Mass. So I put an idea to the people who had been involved with Midnight Mass for a long time. I said, âMaybe itâs time to shake things up?â There was a sense where we wanted Midnight Mass to change, but we didnât want it to end. At the same time, it made no sense whatsoever that we wouldnât give ourselves a final season. As soon as we realized this was the final season, we all embraced it and got to work.
Explain the idea for Midnight Mass going forward.
Weâll be doing one-off shows throughout the year. Weâre not locked to one venue or one type of show. Weâll take the Midnight Mass name we have built and nurtured at The Bridge Theatre for 12 years and, perhaps, doing one show at a time every few months. Instead of doing it just one night or two nights, maybe weâll do it for three weeks the same show. Weâre not really sure yet. Weâre playing with different ideas.
Knowing this was the last âseason,â were you in a mad frenzy to bring the âultimate guestsâ?
Not at all. Maybe itâs because weâre not ending Midnight Mass. Iâm not retiring. Weâre just saying this is the final season of seven- to eight-weeks. So, no, there wasnât that pressure.
Yet you broke out the big guns: Linda Blair.
Yes, and that was a major coupe for us and super exciting. She has been on my list of icons and cult film legends for so long. It worked out so beautifully that she would be our opening weekend guest in our final sense. So, yes, in that sense it was a beautiful, wonderful, exciting thing to have work out.
Youâre also bringing in old favorites Cassandra Peterson - Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
Yes, Cassandra and I have been doing these shows around the country celebrating her film Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Though she has appeared at Midnight Mass as âElvira,â the last time she was here, we had not found the only known film print of her movie, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. We screened other films, which werenât even Elvira movies. But everyone who is an Elvira fan wants to see Mistress of the Dark, which is such a wonderful, hilarious movie and has earned its place in cult film history. People know all the lines. So itâs a real treat that we get to bring her back for the closing weekend, and we get to screen the movie with her there. She will be there in full drag as Elvira.
How do you choose the films you want to screen during a season, particularly this one, as your last?
In order for a film to be considered a âcult classic,â it has to be something people love and want to see over and over again. There is always that challenge of making the season seem fresh while staying true to that cult film, midnight movie sentiment. That means we have to repeat ourselves. People want to see Showgirls every single year. So I sat down and started to map it out. Actually, I started thinking about the pre-shows more than I did about the movies. Itâs necessary to screen something of John Waters, so I looked at the different movies did I really, really love? Weâve brought actress Mink Stole and director John Waters, but what did we do that was really legendary? That was the Filthiest Person Alive Contest, kind a giant drag pageant of filth put to the stage which became entertaining and shocking, wild and outrageous. So the movies are important, but itâs also about what pre-shows we wanted to do. For example, I have always wanted to do Heathers, but what has troubled me is what is the best pre-show for Heathers? I felt like this is a movie so beloved, people are so obsessed, that we have devised a preshow so bizarre, the audience literally becomes part of it. Imagine a Heathers game show on crack, mixing interpretive dance, song, trivia and line quoting and characters from the movie. Itâs as much about the preshow, really, as the movie.
And you feel the need to not only repeat but top yourself.
Exactly! And when youâve done something for 12 years that not only requires but depends on a certain love from the audience. It would be very hard to do a premiere at Midnight Mass. Our shows, our entertainment, our presentation requires the audience to have a certain amount of knowledge for this film. They are showing up to worship this thing. It really is a lot like church. Itâs a collective experience. We are all showing up to worship this thing we all love and believe in.
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