Culture News

Midnite Movie Mamacita Opening The Royale in Downtown Mesa This Summer

After five years of screening films in theaters and venues across the Valley, Andrea Beesley-Brown (better known as the Midnite Movie Mamacita) is finally launching a place of her own.

Sometime this summer, the 31-year-old will open The Royale, a combination "community cinema and commissary" located in downtown Mesa that will be equal parts vintage boutique and arty repertory theater.

"It's going to be a fun spot where people can come watch funky movies in a comfortable environment," she says.

The Royale will be located in a 4,200-square-foot retail space at Main Street and MacDonald Road, directly across from the Nile Theatre.

Most recently the home of a secondhand furniture store, the building was constructed in 1908 and has housed a number of businesses over the last century (including a drug store and post office). Its historic status will lend itself to the vintage feel Beesley-Brown is envisioning for her venue that's not unlike The Duce.

Much like that downtown Phoenix favorite, The Royale will be a multifaceted establishment. Beesley-Brown is planning to fill the place with "funky and retro" décor and furnishings. The front will function as a retail space and eatery, selling throwback-style bottled soda and snacks, as well as such cinematic schwag as DVDs, posters, and tee shirts. Meanwhile, movies will be shown in the back with seating for 50 to 100 patrons via numerous vintage couches and chairs (which are also for sale).

"If people wanna buy the couch they're sitting on they can do that," she says, laughing. "It's going to be a movie-going experience that basically will be like relaxing in somebody's den and watching a great movie."

As for the movies themselves, she will continue to feature the kind of alt-cinema she's become known for, including plenty of B-movies, grindhouse flicks, campy favorites, and other left-field classics.

Beesley-Brown says The Royale will also host interactive events like Movieokie (which is similar to karaoke, but with participants acting out scenes from their fave flicks), as well as such shenanigans as the annual Air Sex Championships.

Currently, Beesley-Brown is seeking contributions to help raise money in order to buy seating, projectors, and other equipment for The Royale (more info can be found here.) She's also posted a video on YouTube earlier this week asking for help with the project and describing what she's got planned.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.