Victor Moreno on Cult Films, The Closing of The Royale, and the Future of Local Programming

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Victor Moreno says he remembers checking out Andrea Beesley Brown's Grindhouse Redux double features and events at the Paper Heart and Chandler Cinemas back when he first moved to Phoenix. 

The local movie fanatic and artist started programming with Beasley Brown (aka The Midnite Movie Mamacita) when she opened The Royale in 2011. At the Mesa Theater, Moreno ran Cult Classics, and continued Reel Horror, a secret horror film screening series he developed with Justin Edwards, as well as a rotating artwork project that featured movie posters designed by local artists. 

​When Beasley Brown announced the closing of The Royale in December (and her future at FilmBar), Moreno says continuing his film programming and events was a no-brainer. 

"I think with the death of venues like Evermore Nevermore, The Royale and Red Hot Robot, there's a displaced audience looking for a community connection," he says. "I'm hoping my programming series can help fill that void."

Moreno's programming will continue at Tempe's MADCAP Theaters, where he'll continue programming he says differs from what's being offered at local indie film venues including Filmbar and Phoenix Art Museum.

"My intention is to screen some of my favorite films and show them in context, with preshows with trailers tracing the film and filmmaker's influence and period trailers and videos," he says. "And really try and help shape a film culture in Phoenix and the East Valley that I feel my programming at The Royale was really grooming."

On January 27, he'll show Back to the Future for the kitch 80s pop culture fans with Spielberg trailers and clips by Joe Dante and Robert Zemeckis. Later that night, he'll launch New Cult Midnights, a monthly midnight screening of films he believes will be the "next" cult classics and a few that have a burgeoning cult following. On New Cult Midnight schedule for January 27: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. 

In addition to cult movies, Moreno says you can keep an eye out for neo noirs and independent and foreign horror films, as well as limited edition art prints available for each Cult Classics, New Cult Midnights and Reel Horror screening. 

"[Working with MADCAP] gives me the opportunity to screen films in 35mm if the opportunity arises," he says. "That's something that you can't get at any other curated film programming venue in the state other than The Loft in Tucson."

Tickets are available for the first two events at Brown Paper Tickets. For more info and upcoming shows, stay tuned to The Cult Classics page

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