Whiteside Theater to show Halloween movies

Jen Waters, personnel and volunteer manager at the Whiteside Theater, discusses their Halloween showings. 

James Trotter, News Contributor

Halloween is just around the corner, and Corvallis communities are getting in the mood for the holiday with themed events. This season, the historic Whiteside Theater, located in downtown Corvallis, will be showing classic Halloween movies for all age groups, including movies such as Donnie Darko, Beetlejuice and Halloween.

Jen Waters, the personnel and volunteer manager at the theater, works as the head of the film committee that selects the films that the theater shows. According to Waters, the Halloween showings are a part of the Whiteside’s overarching goals.

“The overall goal of the Whiteside theater is basically to create a community space,” Waters said. “This has always been the largest theater in this town, so we’re trying to create a place where people from Oregon State University, the Corvallis community and surrounding areas can feel like they can put on events, see a movie, or see a music act.”

The upcoming Halloween features are part of a drive by Waters to expand their movie showings to a wider audience. As such, the theater will be showing “Hocus Pocus” and “Beetlejuice,” two family Halloween movies, alongside darker movies like “Donnie Darko” or “The Birds.”

“The film committee was not necessarily selecting films that I think appeal to the general population. They were doing a lot of art films or nice classics that appeal to a particular set of folks, but not the general population of Corvallis,” Waters said. “Generally, when I try and plan a month of movies, I try and ask people on the Corvallis Facebook groups what they want to see. And it’s October, so we try to have an array of spooky movies.”

These changes are similar to the changes coming to the regular Wednesday movie showings that the Whiteside hosts, according to Waters. The theater will be broadening its movie showings with popular films in addition to classics and art films, said Waters. These changes will be seen as early as November, when the films “The Big Chill” and “The Fifth Element” will be shown at the Wednesday showings during the month.

“The goal for the Wednesday movies in general is to maintain doing one classic movie a month. We still want to appeal to our patrons who were here before, and then also kind of spice it up a bit,” Waters said. “I actually want to make the late-night horror a repeat event. Not just every Halloween, but every other month. We’re going to try it and see how it goes.”

The late night horror movies are a little more difficult for the theater to hold due to volunteer availability, according to Waters. The Whiteside’s current volunteers are older, and might not necessarily come out to later events, Waters said.

“But as we’ve been showing a wider variety of movies we’ve been getting younger volunteers in,” Waters said. “They’re more willing to come at 7:45 instead of 5:45 to come volunteer and stay until like 11.”

As for live events, the Whiteside will be hosting Scottish folk players Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Hass on Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m., according to the theater’s website. Dr. William Ripple, a professor with OSU’s College of Forestry will be giving a presentation about his working on the impact that wolves have had on Yellowstone National Park’s ecosystem on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.

Continuing the Hallowing showings, “Hocus Pocus” will be playing on Saturday at 3 and 7 p.m. and Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” will play on Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. Additional information can be found on the Whiteside Theater’s website.