Community Movie Night with Ygal Kaufman shows classic films every Tuesday

Taylor Collins Arts & Entertainment Contributor

Ygal Kaufman, an avid lover of film, decided to create an ongoing event where the Corvallis community can gather to watch classic movies.

Kaufman partnered with Darkside Cinema, an independently owned theatre located downtown, to host Community Movie Night every Tuesday evening. Unlike most theatres in the area, Darkside Cinemas shows silent short films like Charlie Chaplin’s “The Rink” (1916) or classics such as Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” (1942).

The idea of putting on movie screenings with free entry popped into Kaufman’s mind when he realized that the “The Most Dangerous Game” (1932) is considered in the public domain, meaning that anyone owns the rights to it.

“When I realized that it was free, I started wondering what other of these movies are technically free and why doesn’t a theatre just show classic movies all the time?” Kaufman said. “So I started doing it and it’s as easy as it sounds.”

Kaufman decided to collaborate with his friend, Justin Schepige to have live musical scores played throughout the movies. During screenings of silent films, Schepige performs solo on his organ or with his jazz band, Manhattan on the Rocks, to improv the soundtrack.

“This is a great way for me to practice and do something creative. We’re hoping by offering the unique experience of live music and silent movies we can grow even more from what Ygal has already set up with the Community Movie Night,” Schepige said.

As the event becomes more popular, Schepige would like to take challenge himself while he improves on his organ.

“So far we’ve just done traditional silent films but we are looking to get outside that box,” Schepige said. “I would love to play with something with dialogue but finding a movie that doesn’t have a soundtrack already in it or taking the soundtrack out of it might be a challenge. So we’re looking into that.”

This past Tuesday, Kaufman chose to screen Jean Renoir’s “The Southerner” (1945).  Kaufman decided to choose this film because it is one of his personal favorites. “The Southerner” stars Zachary Scott, Betty Field and Beulah Bondi and is about the life and struggle of a poor Texan family as they try to create a better life for themselves.

 In-between the silent film and the featured film, Kaufman screens short newsreels of documentaries and cartoons produced the same year of the movie. During the last screening, movie-goers piled into the lobby of the Darkside and greeted Kaufman before entering the theatre to take their seats. Inside of the cinema, there are three screening rooms and a concession stand that sells tickets, popcorn and candy. The cinema attracts people from around town, who attend the event frequently.

“The Darkside Cinema is great, we come here every Tuesday,” said Marie Roll, Corvallis local.

In addition to community members, Kaufman hopes to have the attendance of more students.

“It’s a great thing for students, you know? It’s the one thing that we don’t really get much of because I think there’s a huge disconnect between the university and Corvallis,” Kaufman said. “It’s just crazy that we’re not having more fun with each other.”

Community Movie Night will give younger generations the opportunity to understand the importance of cultural influences that films have, according to Kaufman.

“I think The Darkside gives them a more enriching film experience and they can really see better films and more important films and learn something about the exhibition of films,”  Kaufman said. “It’s sort of a dying artform. So I think that the Darkside is a great place to come and experience film.”

Community Movie Night with Ygal Kaufman starts at 7 p.m. every Tuesday and is located on 4th St. The weekly schedule of movies is listed on their website. The event is free but donations are welcomed.

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