As life around the Delaware River Towns inches back to normalcy, another encouraging sign: Acme Screening Room, the art-house movie theater in Lambertville, has reopened.
Aside from showing a full slate of obscure but wildly intriguing films you wouldn’t have heard about unless you watched the Independent Spirit Awards, Acme’s also rolling out some very niche new ventures, including The Midnight Society, which will meet for the first time April 1, and PechaKucha Night.
If ‘80s and ‘90s horror movies – the smaller the budget, the better – are your jam, The Midnight Society is calling your name. Its slogan is “Resurrecting cult classics on dead formats.” A horror cult classic will be screened at each meeting. For the first session, on April 1, it’ll be The Manitou.
As one critic said: “How can anyone resist a movie that involves a 400-year-old medicine man growing as a tumor on Susan Strasberg’s back? Yes, that really is the premise. Honest.”
Occasionally, new experimental films by local directors will also find their way into the mix, followed by discussions with said directors. There’s also going to be a pop-up video shop with new and recent releases – which, apparently, is a thing. Lillith, a yet-to-be-released horror-comedy feature film by Jersey-based writer/director Lee Esposito, will be available on VHS exclusively at the April 1 screening.
You don’t actually have to be a member to attend Midnight Society’s screenings. You just have to be willing to fork over 8 bucks (the suggested donation). You can buy your ticket here. Also, don’t let the name throw you; screenings will start at 10 PM.
PechaKucha is Japanese for chit chat, Donna Muchnicki, Acme’s executive director, told River Towns magazine. The 55-seat theater has staged a number of successful PechaKucha Nights. But that came to a screeching halt in March 2020. The next one, planned for May 6, will be Acme’s first since then.
The concept is pretty simple. Anyone is invited to get up on stage and share 20 images. You can tell a single story that encompasses all of them or 20 different stories. You can sing a song about them or say nothing at all. The only rule is that you’re limited to 20 seconds per image. Think of it like an open mic for visual artists.
It’s $7 (again, the suggested donation) to present or simply watch. You can buy your ticket here. If it sounds like something you’d like to try, email Afia Dash at email@example.com for more background.