Kick off Halloween Weekend w/ 18-hour TCM Party

belaborisWhen I was in fifth grade I invited five friends over for a slumber party.

“It’ll be great!” I promised. “We’ll stay up all night watching movies!”

I neglected to mention that all of the movies we’d be watching were from the 1930s and starred Groucho, Harpo, Chico (and sometimes Zeppo) Marx. I figured I’d surprise them.

Despite my cheerleading (“here comes a funny part!”) and unlimited, air-popped popcorn (with real butter!) my friends were fast asleep before the first film even ended. So I continued the marathon alone, while the unconscious bodies of my friends littered the living room floor.

A lot has changed since 1980, but one thing has not: it’s hard out there for an Old Movie Weirdo. That’s why I appreciate the communities that have formed on social media, where classic film fans from around the country (and the world) come together on a daily basis to geek out over films most Normals have often never even heard of.

Nowhere is this shared experience more active than on Twitter, where the #TCMParty live tweeting community has been uniting fans – and creating new ones – every day since September of 2011. Much of the credit for this goes to Paula Guthat, a communications professional who co-founded the hashtag, tirelessly promoted it (with assistance from partners in crime Trevor Jost and Joel Williams), and built it into an open, respectful community where fans of all ages and experience levels share opinions, trivia and a healthy dose of snark, 24 hours per day.

Now, after four years, #TCMParty regulars have an opportunity to say thanks for those efforts – and get some classic film swag in return.

postIn 2013, Paula and her husband Tim founded Cinema Detroit, the city’s only truly independent movie house. After two years they’ve moved to a larger, more accessible location, but they’ve lost access to the professional grade digital projection gear they leased in their original space. To finance the acquisition of this vital equipment, Paula and Tim launched a crowdfunding campaign on October 4. (I first wrote about the campaign here.) And on Friday they’re kicking off a live, in-person TCM Party to help them reach their fundraising goal.

Beginning at 8:15 a.m. (ET), Cinema Detroit will simulcast a daylong marathon of classic horror films airing on Turner Classic Movies to their big screen. The festivities kick off with Christopher Lee as THE MUMMY (1959) from Hammer Films and conclude at 1:30 a.m. after Jacques Tourner’s stylish creepfest THE LEOPARD MAN (1943) slinks off into the moonlight. All told there will be 11 films, ranging in release date from 1942 until 1972.

mummy_1959_poster_05If you live in Detroit, admission for all films is FREE. If you don’t, you can join the fun on social media as Paula and Tim live tweet for nearly 18 hours and offer updates on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope.

And if you need further inspiration for your generosity, TCM and the Warner Archive Collection have contributed tons of swag as thank you gifts. A $30 donation will get you a DVD from WAC’s collection of more than 2,000 remastered classic films. (Paula will be unboxing the as-yet-unannounced WAC DVDs live on Periscope first thing in the morning.) Premiums at other levels include posters, t-shirts, TCM coffee mugs and copies of the new, TCM-branded edition of Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide

Plus you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping to keep the experience of movie going alive for fellow film fans in the Detroit area. And if you haven’t joined the #TCMParty yet, what are you waiting for?

If only Twitter had existed in 1980. Life would have been so much more fun.


Live Cinema Detroit Fundraiser – Friday, October 30, 2015

8:15 AM – THE MUMMY (1959)
4:45 PM – CRESCENDO (1972)
6:15 PM – DRACULA A.D. 1972 (1972)
8:00 PM – CAT PEOPLE (1942)
11:00 PM – THE SEVENTH VICTIM (1943)
12:15 AM – THE LEOPARD MAN (1943)

To support the Cinema Detroit Projection Fund, click here.


About willmckinley

I'm a New York City-based writer, video producer, print journalist, radio/podcast host, and social media influencer. I've been a guest on Turner Classic Movies (interviewed by Robert Osborne), NPR, Sirius Satellite Radio, and the official TCM podcast. My byline has appeared in and more than 100 times in the pages of NYC alt weeklies like The Villager and Gay City News. I'm also a social media copywriter for Sony's getTV and a contributor to four film-and-TV-related books: "Monster Serial," "Bride of Monster Serial," "Taste the Blood of Monster Serial," and "Remembering Jonathan Frid."
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5 Responses to Kick off Halloween Weekend w/ 18-hour TCM Party

  1. Kelly says:

    I probably be channel surfing this weekend between Cozi TV munsters Dark Shadows on Decades tv network Gettv monster movies on Friday night and TCM I think stay in and channel surfing

    BTW when I get grounded by my parents one thing they took away from me is going bed early I couldn’t watch KTLA evening movie sometime they show 1930s version of Cleoparta that how my mom got back on me take away my viewing of old shows and movies

    I was really weird kid I was only kid in jr high school who knew that yes future Falcon Crest star Jane Wyman was once marry to then future US President Ronald Reagan

    My mom got call into office for that the teacher and principal think I was weird I need some serious shrink help

  2. This is fantastic! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sometimes I wish I lived in the US (this time, particularly Detroit). #TCMParty has become a way of life for me since Paula started it in 2011. I’m sure you feel the same way, but the amount of people I’ve met online through that ONE hashtag is phenomenal. TCMParty-people are amazing, a really great group of people who connect and share their feelings about something we all have in common and are hella passionate about (old movies, duh). I wish Paula and her husband Tim nothing but the best because after everything they’ve done for the classic film community, they f**king deserve it! Well done you two (and Will)! x

  3. laufvergnügen says:

    Thanks for the heads up! Can’t wait!

  4. Julia Castlen says:

    I love this post Will, particularly your “slumber party.” Just fyi, this is still happening — my son, who is now 17, tried this several times with different friends, different circumstances (sometimes a sleepover, sometimes an evening party) and it always came out about the same as you described. The one evening party just resulted in no one paying attention to the movie, so it was turned off after about an hour — this with my son trying to explain along the way why the movie was good or funny or interesting, or why they should watch. I even made themed snacks to match. All to no avail! So nice to know he is not alone!

  5. Kelly says:

    Personally I think this generation of kids even in my generation I grew up in 1970s and early 1980s I threw slumber party on new year eve we stay up to 4am pst watching Twilight Zone on KTLA back in da day we didn’t get up early afternoon to 12pm
    I think this younger generation I went to slumber party my best friend were debate who was better actress Bette Davis or Joan Crawford LOL!

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