PROLOGUE: This is the first in a two-part series on film screenings at the Weinberg Center for the Arts. This was originally written as part of a group multimedia blog project in my Online Journalism class at Hood College (with two fellow “friends of the Matinee”). Part II (in relation to an upcoming film screening in the Weinberg Center’s “Cinema Classic Series”) will appear here next week. Enjoy!
Cult movie fans in the area were excited to end their Black Friday by watching a non-holiday film favorite at the Weinberg Center for the Arts.
Patrons who came in for the screening of “This is Spinal Tap” treated themselves to craft beer provided by Flying Dog in the lobby of the theater and participated in a movie trivia game before the screening. Attendees who answered correctly won a custom-made “Spinal Tap” movie poster, designed by the brewery’s graphic artists.
The theater showcased Reiner’s fictional documentary on a fake British rock band, featuring Harry Shearer as bassist Derek Smalls, Michael McKean as lead guitarist David St. Hubbins, and Christopher Guest as guitarist Nigel Tufnel.
The Flying Dog-sponsored series showcases cult film favorites from the 1980s and 1990s. It is different from the theater’s classic film series, which is focused on silent and sound movies from Hollywood’s “golden age.”
During the film’s general release in 1984, it was not screened at the Weinberg. “This Is Spinal Tap” was originally shown at the now-defunct “Cinemas III” at the Francis Scott Key Mall, according to the May 21, 1984 edition of The Frederick News-Post.
Ashley Birdsell, marketing manager of the Weinberg Center, said that the marketing plan for “Spinal Tap” and other films in the cult movie series have been successful.
“The Flying Dog film series has enlisted a cult following in itself,” Birdsell said. “The brewery does a really good job of promoting it out there and they’ve got a lot of clout.”
Rohry Flood, digital marketing manager for Flying Dog Brewery, said that the company’s social media marketing methods have been successful for promoting the brewery’s movie series at the Weinberg Center.
“We are heavy on social media,” Flood said. “The Weinberg Center works with us in order to advertise our film events.”
Flood said that the film would be a great escape from the stress of the holidays, since “This is Spinal Tap” would not fall under the holiday film category. “It’s an excellent way to wind down after all this holiday madness,” Flood said.
Tim Jacobsen, adjunct instructor of visual media at Hood College, said that the Flying Dog film series was a great showcase for all cult movie fans in the area.
“For the ticket price, it’s a great atmosphere,” Jacobsen said. “I like the fact that they offer snacks, beer and it’s a good ‘date night’ or someplace to go with friends.”
For those that are looking for one last holiday treat, the Weinberg Center will showcase the 1989 cult comedy favorite, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” featuring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo on Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
A “happy hour” event will take place in the lobby at 6:30 p.m. The cost of admission for the Flying Dog movie series is $7 for adults and $5 for students, senior citizens, city employees and members of the military.
Questions/Comments about “This Is Spinal Tap” or the Flying Dog Movie Series at the Weinberg? Drop a line at the comments section!