By Jasmine Kozak Gilroy
Capitol Theatre is home to the Olympia Film Society, an eight year old ghost, and, once a year, a vintage horror film marathon known as All Freakin’ Night. All Freakin’ Night, a mainstay in the Olympia Film Festival since 1989, is a hodgepodge of existentialism and gore, a surreal glimpse into the golden age of horror and the cult fervor that surrounds it. This year I attended the event for the first time. I left home decked in head to toe black- the only attire I deemed appropriate for the occasion- lugging a bag with a water bottle, an extra sweater, and an assortment of candied nuts.
A barefoot stranger ran past me and I all but screamed, so I am not sure that I’m say was ready, but I certainly felt prepared. On my way I rewatched the video my friend and I had found of paranormal investigators communicating with the spirit that haunted the theatre, desperately hoping that the young ghost, so talkative when confronted in 2010, would make an appearance sometime in the eight hours I would be spending there. My bus made it downtown around 11:15, and although doors opened at 11 p.m. (with the first movie starting around 12 a.m.), I made sure to hit up Burial Grounds first, downing four shots of espresso in my Ibarra mocha, praying it would get me through to at least 3 a.m.
I got to the theatre, pay my 15 dollars, and slip inside- security sniffs my coffee and water bottle, riffles through my bag, and deems me substance free. As I head upstairs to take a classic mirror selfie (for prosperity) I hear one of the volunteers joking about putting his degree to good use- indeed. I’m not usually one for concessions but the show has yet to start and I am already hungry, so I shell out the cash for an (almost) midnight snack. The teens behind me recognize someone from a local band, there is nutritional yeast for my popcorn, the girl behind the counter tells me I smell “magical”- all is good, all is well, I am thriving and excited as I take my seat.
At twelve sharp someone dressed as Donald Trump takes the stage and throws candy into the crowd, followed by our two hosts, one dressed as a doctor and the other as a nun, both drenched in cherry red blood, thanking the night’s sponsors and announcing the first movie.
The marathon consisted of five films: The Beyond, a gore driven fusion of zombie thrasher and paranormal thriller; Q: The Winged Serpent, a bizarre, monster movie about Aztec human sacrifice; Shock Waves: a classic Nazi zombie title; Who Can Kill a Child?, a Spanish film that calls into question notions of innocence, your sense of reality, and the sanctity of island vacations; and Re- Animator, an H.P. Lovecraft adaptation with enough Frankenstein allusions and traditional, electrifying horror movie magic to sustain me for the next decade.
All and all the night was rather successful- personally, I was only disappointed with it’s lack of real live ghosts. I left, my sense of time, space, and morality warped, a changed woman. Or, the same woman, with a more thorough understanding of classic horror. If you like feathered hair, cherry flavored gore, or pulpy violence, All Freakin’ Night is right up your alley. I’m sure you’ll find me at All Freakin’ Night next year. No word on the ghost.
For more information regarding the haunting of Capitol Theatre, look up ‘PHIA finds ghost in Capitol Theatre’ on Youtube. For more information regarding the ongoing renovations, how you can pitch in, or showings, visit olympiafilmsociety.org