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ROOFTOP MOVIES Up On The Roof

Repo Man
Repo Man

Summer is upon us and that means the return of the outdoor cinema season. TRAVIS JOHNSON speaks to Rooftop Movies Program Director, Jessica Darlow, about what’s being screened this year.

In the few years that it’s been in operation, Rooftop Movies has become one of the most anticipated events of the year for Perth’s movie fans.

For a few short months, the roof of the City Of Perth Roe Street Car Park plays host to an impressive array of cinematic treats, from cult classics to recent blockbusters. This year the tradition continues, albeit with a few minor adjustments to the formula.

Trying to describe the philosophy behind this year’s program, Jessica Darlow reaches for a suitably cinematic metaphor. “In our candy bar last year we had a variety of candy called Retro Party Mix – this is the Party Mix without the Retro, or with only a half serve of Retro. You know, like, we kind of have favoured new release films. We’re lucky enough to be able to access them with our digital cinema system, so there’s some great stuff coming out – we’re just going for it.”

Indeed, the program thus far released includes many blockbusters that graved multiplex screens earlier in the year, including Gone Girl, The Maze Runner, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Fury. But Darlow is adamant that it’s not all popcorn fodder.

“I don’t think it’s altogether more mainstream,” she says. “We have a really open dialogue with our audience, and in addition to things like ticket sale numbers we have a really active Facebook page and we get lots of request come in and this is what people want to see. We’ve asked people like Highs And Lows and our audience in the Chooseday competition to help us decide what classic and retro films we should add into that mix.”

Chooseday sees punters vote on what classic films they’d like to see screened on, homophonically enough, each Tuesday of the season. Familiar favourites such as Zoolander, Good Will Hunting and Pulp Fiction will get an airing, as well as the odd deeper cut.

“The very strong campaign to get Repo Man on the roof was palpable,” she says, referring to Alex Cox’s cult 1984 punk comedy. “And we were really lucky enough to get a copy of that converted especially for us. It was so close to not going through because the distributor of that film had to figure out with the producer if they were happy to covert it to digital format for us. And he was like, ‘You may not be able to have Repo Man but you could have (unrelated naff sci-fi actioner) Repo Men, maybe’. That would have been so funny!

“Also, The Lost Boys. The Lost Boys had a lot of really strong support. We make these decisions on Chooseday based on what gets the most votes and what’s available. So, even though I might pooh-pooh The Notebook, it’s one of those films that people just want to keep seeing and who are we not to give the people what they want?”

Rooftop Movies opens on Thursday, October 30, with a sold-out screening of What We Do In The Shadows. For info and tickets, head to rooftopmovies.com.au