It was heartbreaking to see Mesa’s retro grindhouse theater, The Royale, close its doors at the end of 2011, but as the old saying goes, “The show must go on!” Local artist, film buff and Royale associate Victor Moreno has taken that adage to heart and will be continuing to showcase genre favorites with his Cult Classics screenings now showing at the MADCAP Theater in Tempe.
Victor is a favorite among the local art community, with his specialty being the redesign and re-imagining of classic film posters, usually exclusively available at his film screenings. He is also an accomplished web-designer, with clients as cool as the Arizona Derby Dames, the Midnite Movie Mamacita, and even international stars like Bon Jovi.
Victor began Cult Classics at The Royale last July with the screening of Army of Darkness (1992) and enjoyed great success with other screenings of films like RoboCop and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (complete with a pizza party). This Friday, January 27, at 9 & 11 p.m., Victor will be re-launching the Cult Classics showcase at the MADCAP with a screening of Back to the Future (1985).
I asked Victor a few questions about Cult Classics, this Friday’s screening, and his film & art plans for the near future:
This is your 7th Cult Classic screening and your 1st Cult Classic screening at the MadCap – correct?
“It’s the 7th film, but actually the 8th Cult Classics event, since Zombie was a 2 night event – Back to the Future is the very first film I’m screening at MADCAP Theaters though.”
For the uninitiated, what can people expect when they attend one of your screenings?
“Usually with Cult Classics screenings, I try to have a fun pre-show that runs from 10-15 minutes of trailers that lead in to the movie or are period relevant, or just might make the crowd laugh, like I’ve done toy commercials from the 80’s for RoboCop action figures or Teddy Ruxpin, or products that just aren’t around anymore like Pogo Balls or Micro Machines, so it’s very heavy with pop culture nostalgia and usually I’ll do clip montages from movies.”
What made you decide on Back to the Future for re-launching Cult Classics at the MADCAP?
“Back to the Future is one of those seminal 80’s movies, You’ve grown up with it or its been around you in some form in the popular culture, but most people might not have seen it in the theater in its original form. Cult Classics is about giving you the chance to see these great movies from your childhood on the big screen again and I think our track record has shown there’s definitely an audience for that in Phoenix.”
Are there plans for showing the Parts II & III?
“I don’t believe we’ll be showing 2 or 3, but if the demand and turnout is there for Part 1 that’s always something that can be revisited down the line. So far, I haven’t screened any sequels but there are always a few fun ones that might be nice to show. ”
Do you think the Back to the Future event will inspire any kind of costumed attendees, and is that encouraged?
“I’m not sure if there would be costumes, though it’d be fun to see some girls in poodle skirts and maybe a Doc Brown or two.”
What can people expect for your exclusive art print for Back to the Future?
“I think for the print, people can definitely expect something DeLorean related, we’re still finishing it up here at the Victor Moreno Design labs, but I expect it to sell out quickly.”
What are the upcoming events for Cult Classics?
“Right now, I’m working on getting master license agreements with a few different studios. The challenge with getting Cult Classics going as quickly as we did at MADCAP was building the whole infrastructure for a screening series from scratch in a matter of weeks. I’ve reached a license agreement with Universal, so I can screen films from their library at the moment and that’s pretty massive – anything from Jaws to E.T. to King Kong or Frankenstein. I want to start doing a lot of Warner Brothers films and Fox, so stuff like Big Trouble in Little China, Fight Club, The Shining, A Clockwork Orange are all things I’d love to show.”
What are your plans for Comic-Con this year, any teasers for your exclusive prints there?
“I will probably have a booth at Phoenix Comicon this year along with a few exclusives that I’m still working on. I’ve been doing booths at shows lately and prefer them over artist alley tables just for exposure and space and I think Phoenix Comicon will be a really fun show and hopefully I’ll have some stuff to share soon.”
So don’t forget to bring your plutonium, the Madcap reaches 88 miles per hour at 9 & 11 p.m., this Friday! Get your tickets in advance at Brown Paper Tickets.
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