Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Tue, Jul 20 2004

Guerilla Drive-In Movies

Never forget that California is the place where Hollywood was born, the place where the movie industry brought the magic of film to theatres, and later, to TV screens. But California also exhibits leftover traces of the Old West attitude, where trailblazers open the way for new ventures, playing it tough against the grain, and quietly seizing spaces that once belonged to others. When you combine the spirit of Hollywood and the spirit of the Old West, maybe what you get is a sort of homesteading of art space. Local bridges (and other public places) have often been a place for homeless people to congregate. You might see a lot of drinking from bottles in paper bags and catch the lingering scent of various plants as they're rolled and smoked. That's still going on. But now the crowd is all facing a large wall, and they have somehow come together with a single purpose in mind. They have situated themselves in the space with a single purpose, at least for a couple of hours. They're all watching a movie.

It's the Guerilla Drive-In, and in all fairness, Santa Cruz doesn't have the only one there is. The groups have sprung up in Florida, Minnesota, Texas and Pennsylvania. You can even start your own. There's a site for the Los Angeles area Guerilla Drive-In, complete with news of upcoming features. And here's more on doing your own, including where to find film rentals.

It all presents some interesting questions. Who owns public space? Is it truly public? If a projector sits on public property and places an image on the outer wall of a private building, is that a public issue, or a private one? If the police keep homeless people from congregating to sleep under a public bridge at night, are they also obligated to chase away people who congregate at the bridge to show and view movies? Since most of the films being shown are not the property of the people setting up the event, should film owners have a say in where movies are played? This will be an interesting issue to watch.

posted at: 11:13 | category: /Arts and Entertainment | link to this entry

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The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.
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