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Now Playing; Cinema-Inspired Art at the Royale

​​The staff at Royale movie theater in Mesa is finding new ways to entertain lobby guests, including an old school VHS library, retro arcade games, and an art gallery.

Opening tonight at 5 p.m. and curated by Victor Moreno, Now Playing will be a rotating exhibit and, Moreno hopes, a mainstay in the Royale's lobby.

Each painting depicts an artistic rendering of various films, including the Shining, Fight Club, and the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The works are on display on the walls and in the windows, offering passersby a different look at the films the Royale screens apart from traditional movie posters.

"It's an independent movie theater, and I want to get that into people's heads," Moreno says. "There's things in there you wouldn't have in other theaters, and an art gallery in a theater isn't something you'd expect."

The exhibit will initially feature works by Moreno, Jessica Clair, and Justin Edwards, though Moreno hopes he can find more contributors in the Roosevelt Row, Scottsdale, and East Valley art scenes.

​"We're going to have a different theme every month; cult movies, poster art, art based on a certain kind of genre or movie," Moreno says. "The goal is to get film fans who'd also contribute art and build up a local scene dedicated to that."

Like at any traditional gallery, the works are for sale, and the artists plan to produce smaller prints for films the theater is screening.

​For tonight's double screening of Sam Raimi's boomstick-and-chainsaw-wielding cult-classic Army of Darkness, Moreno has created a 11-by-17-inch print that movie-goers can purchase for $10. Tickets are $8 for this one night event, and the film will be playing at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m..

Expect similar prints for future films and more exhibit contributions from local artists. In the meantime, if you're not into nerds punching nazis, head to the Royale and check out Bruce Campbell grow a second head in the hokiest medieval romp since Willow

Now Playing opens tonight, alongside an exclusive screening of Army of Darkness, at the Royale at 108 West Main Street in Mesa. Entrance to the gallery is free; tickets for the film cost $8. Visit the Royale's website for more information
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