Late Night Horror and Meet-n-Greet at Grandview and Studio 35
It has been nearly 40 years since Felissa Rose made cinematic history with the freeze-frame ending to Robert Hilzik’s cult horror classic Sleepaway Camp. Did you see it as a kid? Did it scar you? Do you have questions?
Lucky day, then, because Rose is coming to Columbus this weekend to field whatever queries the bizarre camp slasher may inspire. Mike McGraner will bring the scream queen to Grandview Theater & Drafthouse (1247 Grandview Ave.) this Friday, June 18, and to Studio 35 Cinema & Drafthouse (3055 Indianola Ave.) on Saturday, June 19 for an 11 p.m. screening of Sleepaway Camp, followed by a Q&A.
McGraner had a slate of Twin Peaks screenings that boasted similar cast Q&As set to unspool just before Covid’s Great Pause. He hasn’t given up on the idea of creating opportunities for fans to watch cult favorites and meet the cast.
“When things started to come back to life, we thought it important to give people a chance to see screenings of films in intimate settings with in-person meet and greets with the stars of the films,” he says. “This show will be the first in a series coming to the Columbus area. I want each show to be unique, and I think it’s important to always have shows every one to two months in my hometown at places like Grandview and Studio.”
What’s the appeal of Sleepaway Camp?
“I chose Sleepaway Camp for our first show back mainly because it’s summertime and I feel like the film has enough of a cult status to be a fun, late-night return to doing what I love,” he says.
McGraner’s interest in in-person cult horror began with his work with Columbus late-night television legend Fritz “The Nite Owl” Peerenboom, having resurrected Nite Owl Theater as an in-person, theatrical event.
“Sleepaway Camp is very much the kind of movie you would see on Friday nights during the show’s run,” McGraner explains. He thinks the film itself will be a fun summertime watch, but he believes its star is the real attraction.
“Felissa and I met a few times over the years at various conventions and after-parties,” he says. “I love her spirit and fun attitude. She loves her fans whole-heartedly and I knew she would be the perfect guest to kick things off.”
Rose has continued to work in the genre, starring recently in Adam Green’s Victor Crowley and guesting on Shudder’s popular The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs.
More than anything, McGraner expects the event to be a good time.
“Horror is such a fun community,” he says. “It’s the way we can all be kids again in our treehouse, refusing to let adulthood get in the way.”
Follow Hope on Twitter @maddwolf and listen to her horror movie podcast, FRIGHT CLUB.