Embattled actor shares survival story that cuts deeper than fred kreuger’s glove…
It seems as though every horror movie franchise has an entry that’s perceived as the “red-headed stepchild”. There’s JASON X, in which Friday the 13th’s hockey-masked slasher is sent into space. HALLOWEEN 3 replaced Michael Myers with a mask-making Irish warlock (sounds absurd but is actually freaking awesome!).
Some of these films eventually gain a huge cult following for being ‘ahead of their time’. That’s exactly what happened to A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: Freddy’s Revenge. A sequel to Wes Craven’s 1984 breakout hit, 1985’s homo-erotic Part 2 broke nearly all the rules. “Nancy”, the survivor of the first film, was written out and forgotten. Robert Englund‘s dream-stalking Fred Kreuger was now able to occupy the real world. But the most daring decision was to make Kreuger’s new target an awkward teenage boy.
That might not seem like such a big deal now, but remember that in the 80’s, Jamie Lee Curtis and other female “scream queens” were screeching their way to the top of box office and video rental charts. To complicate matters, Elm Street 2‘s sensitive male protagonist “Jessie Walsh” seemed to be (despite initial denials by the writer) more than just a little gay. He appeared to be PLENTY gay. And as it turned out, so was Mark Patton, the actor who brought Jessie to life.
I could delve into great detail on how Patton’s breakout role, combined with his closeted homosexuality, made life a living Hell for the young man. But you can relive it through Mark’s own words via the award-winning Scream, Queen – My Nightmare On Elm Street. This powerful documentary, which holds a 100% critics rating on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, dives deeply into Patton’s painful treatment, fan backlash, casting-director blacklisting, public slandering, and his eventual decision to leave Hollywood and the United States behind.
Decades later, Mark was found in Mexico by private investigators who were hired on behalf of NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. This four-hour Elm Street documentary (ironically spearheaded by Heather Langenkamp, the actress he replaced) allowed Patton to revisit his experiences on Part 2, which now carries the label of “gayest horror film ever made”. Thus began his journey back into the limelight, one that changed Mark’s personal outlook from “victim” to “survivor”….and eventually to “social activist”.
Patton believes that his personal survival of Hollywood homophobia can inspire today’s LGBTQ youth, so he’s coming to Las Vegas for a special screening of Scream, Queen. What’s more, he’s inviting a group of gay Las Vegas teens (some of them homeless) to attend. Cineloggia Movie Prop Museum Gallery, in conjunction with THE CENTER (also known as the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Las Vegas), will welcome these young people free of charge.
Mark Patton devotees, Elm Street enthusiasts, and the general public are invited to purchase tickets to Scream, Queen and two related events. Here’s the press release:
As you may remember from my previous articles, fan-centric events really are a hot ticket. I’ve covered the annual Star Trek Convention, told you about meet-and-greet opportunities at The 35 Cinema, and given you insider details on this year’s DAYS OF THE DEAD in downtown Las Vegas. Now Sin City cinephiles have the rare opportunity to spend a few intimate hours with horror cinema’s most reclusive trailblazer.
Westgate Las Vegas has graciously offered their services as host hotel for Mr. Patton during his first appearance in Sin City. The iconic resort will present MUSIC FOR LIFE, a benefit for Victoria’s Voice Foundation, on the same weekend. I’ll be providing information on that concert, which raises funds to combat America’s youth opioid crisis, in an upcoming article.
If you’d like to attend any or all of Cineloggia‘s Mark Patton/Scream, Queen weekend events, tickets can be ordered here. And if you’d like to offer support for THE CENTER, they always welcome sponsors, volunteers, supply donations, and financial aid. Click here to learn more about THE CENTER.
….and you can make it possible through a perks-packed campaign…
If you only visit Las Vegas from time to time, you might be surprised to learn that Sin City has a lot in common with Hollywood. Not only have dozens of blockbuster movies and televisions shows been filmed here, but there is a vibrant community of filmmakers and actors. Production studios benefit from our gorgeous cinematic locations, wealth of acting talent and the tech industries that call our valley “home”.
In addition, movie-going itself is a staple activity of our residents and visitors. Nearly every off-Strip hotel casino has a multiplex theater off the gambling floor. Our six-screen drive-in was one of only a few in the nation that were able to operate throughout last year’s closures. And during any normal year, Las Vegas attracts thousands of fans, celebrities and Hollywood heavy-hitters for conventions like Star Trek, Days of the Dead and CinemaCon (formerly known as ShoWest).
The most recent only-in-Vegas experience came when The 35 Cinema opened this February in downtown Las Vegas. I told you all about the super-cool retro cinema here, and profiled its owner/creator John Lohmann in this piece. The response to his venture was so overwhelming that Mr. Lohmann decided to expand it into a three-screen multi-plex, keeping the concept intact while adding even more unique elements.
Relocating to Commercial Center is a no-brainer for The 35 Cinema. As a hotbed for fan-centric activities, this unique plaza will allow moviegoers to visit other movie-related businesses all in one visit. An expanded footprint for the Cinema makes it possible to run three movies at once (the former location was a single-screener) while providing hundreds of free parking spaces, on-property security, expanded hours, all-ages admission (not possible under their previous leasing agreement at Neonopolis), bar service, and lots more.
I so believe in and support this venture that I helped Lohmann to draft crowd-funding proposals to bring a bigger, better The 35 Cinema to Las Vegas. Here is the link to the IndieGogo campaign, which you can see in its entirety below:
The 35 Cinema: Where FILM comes BACK to the Cinema!
There’s never been a better time to rediscover movie-going. And Las Vegas has the ultimate way to experience the magic at The 35 Cinema….movies the way they were meant to be seen.
The 35 Cinema is the only multiplex theater of its kind in the world. What makes The 35 Cinema so special? It’s a retro movie house that presents timeless classics and cult favorites the way they were originally made and shown…with genuine 35 millimeter film and projectors.
There are only a handful of theaters running 35mm film in the US. But what make The 35 Cinema stand out above all the others is that it’s the only 100% revival theater in the world running exclusively on 100% film! We will not be playing anything after the year 2000!
Today’s modern megaplexes utilize a totally digital format, essentially transforming their screens into over-sized televisions. Computers and electronic devices generate sound and imagery that are often called “hyper-realistic”. While the goal of this technology is a perfect presentation, what’s lacking is charm, warmth, and the intimacy of an old-time cinema.
The 35 Cinema restores the original format of movies, once thought to be lost forever. Let the sounds and flickering of 35mm projectors whisk you away on an unforgettable adventure. Classics like The Wizard of Oz, Singing In The Rain, Alien, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, Star Wars, Tron, A Nightmare On Elm Street…all of them were created using movie film, and nothing can replace the thrill of watching them that way.
The above video is not ours, but gives you an idea of the workings of a 35mm projector.
At The 35 Cinema, our meticulously-restored systems are a part of the show. Projectors are located within view of the auditorium, not hidden out of sight. Arrive early to watch our projectionist thread your movie through complex gears and pulleys, into a powerful lamp housing and onto massive take-up reels. Grab an ice-cold soft drink and a bag of the best popcorn in town, then settle in for vintage coming-attraction trailers before the landmark main feature.
Along with being the coolest retro theater in the world, The 35 Cinema is the ultimate gathering spot for cine-philes of all ages. We offer an ever-expanding schedule of fan events, celebrity appearances, themed festivals and all-day marathons. Rare props, movie memorabilia, and dozens of autographed photos take you back to when you first saw your favorites on the silver screen.
One of the many events we’ll be hosting will be our “Breakfast with the Toons” every Saturday and Sunday morning. You’ll be served a continental breakfast and get to watch two to three cartoon shorts before an animated feature! The fun part about it is it’ll be just like when you were a kid watching cartoons Saturday morning…you wont know what will be playing until it starts!
The 35 Cinema has so much to offer so…don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of the greatest cinematic experience of all time. The 35 Cinema – Movies The Way They Were Meant To Be Seen.
Here is a rough draft of the floor plan for our new location in “The Commercial Center” of Las Vegas!
As you can see above, the floor plan for our new location includes a large concession stand, liquor bar and three cinemas. We also have areas of the theater that will be able to host VIP celebrity guests, original movie props and so much more.
Media on “The 35 Cinema”
Here are just a few of the news broadcasts “The 35 Cinema” was featured on at our first location!
What the money will be used for
We already have some of the 35mm equipment in our possession, but we need more for additional auditoriums. We also require funding to secure our new Las Vegas location, construction, additional concession equipment and more.
As a contributor you can take advantage of our many Rewards:
Risks & Challenges
And what happens if The 35 Cinema doesn’t meet its goal? If we don’t succeed — It would be a sad day for 35mm, cinemas and Las Vegas as a whole. We’re relocating into a space 6 times the size of our first location and we’ll finally be family friendly (our first location was 21 and over due to the venue we were in.)
Our audience is growing and people are finding the magic of 35mm movies is still alive and we would love to keep it that way. You have to try our popcorn as well… It has been called “The Best Popcorn In Town!”
If we succeed with your help, we’ll immediately proceed with showing movies the way they were meant to be seen…on film and on a silver screen! We are The 35 Cinema…together!
To be a backer of The 35 Cinema and reap rewards like the opportunity to meet movie stars, hold private screenings and much more, click here.
Frights and excitement collide this weekend at star-packed fan convention…
Update 5/10/21 -Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the film Richard Dreyfuss is currently working on is going longer than expected and has to cancel his Las Vegas appearance.
Grab your hockey mask, bite down on some garlic and fill your bottle with holy water. The official Days of the Dead convention is coming to downtown’s Plaza Hotel May 14th through the 16th. And if you’re into horror films like I am, you’re sure to have a chilling, thrilling good time.
The three day spook fest will be packed with stars, both big names and cult favorites. Perhaps the best-known celeb will be actor Richard Dreyfuss, who rose to fame in Steven Spielberg‘s JAWS. The two followed that blockbuster with their landmark sci-fi classic CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND.
Dreyfuss will be on hand for photo ops and autographs, so bring your memorabilia and a whole lotta cash (star signatures aren’t cheap). Also from JAWS will be Susan Backlinie, who portrayed the ill-fated “Chrissie”. Backlinie’s character opened the film with one of the most famous scenes in movie history…a horrifying sequence that still makes people think twice about swimming in the ocean after dark.
While we’re on the subject of Steven Spielberg, there will be a reunion of cast members from ET – The Extraterrestrial. Actors Dee Wallace, Robert Macnaughton and Henry Thomas are all slated to appear. Unfortunately, Drew Barrymore (“Gertie”) will not be among them. As for Dee Wallace, she also appeared in the cult horror classic The Howling, directed by Joe Dante (Gremlins, Eerie Indiana, Innerspace).
Are you a fan of the Halloween and Friday the 13th franchises? Then you’re in bloody-good luck, as actors from both series will be appearing next weekend. Singer/actors Alice Cooper (John Carpenter‘s PRINCE OF DARKNESS, JASON LIVES) and Slipknot‘s Corey Taylor (FEAR CLINIC, SHARKNADO 4) are on the roster as well.
Another big reunion involves the unforgettable “Dream Warriors” team from A Nightmare on Elm Street Pt. 3. Six of the original cast will be sharing memories of the shoot, posing for photos and answering questions. Freddy Kreuger‘s arch-nemesis Heather Langenkamp, who appeared in three of the films, was scheduled but had to cancel.
Robert Englund and Lisa Wilcox in Elm St 4: The Dream Master
You may remember that Lisa Wilcox, the star of Elm Streets 4 and 5, resides in Las Vegas and is manager of The 35 Cinema. The retro movie house is currently closed while expanding into a larger location (see below). Ms. Wilcox will be meeting fans separately from Days of the Dead at Cineloggia, a unique museum for movie props. Be there between 5pm and 8pm on Saturday May 15th to chat with “Alice”, the only character to survive Freddy Kreuger twice.
Lisa Wilcox isn’t the only Dream Master alumnus to have feet on both Las Vegas Boulevard and Elm Street. Cineloggia proprietor Nick Benson created the groundbreaking make-up and special effects for Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. And….he shares a birthday with “twinsie” Lisa Wilcox! Cineloggia is located at 900 Karen Ave. Suite D214 in the historic Commercial Center Plaza off Sahara Avenue.
Classic and cult movies will be presented using pristine vintage film reels and true analog projectors, as they were originally meant to be seen. Look for The 35 Cinema to reopen in its new home sometime in early July.
The visionaries of Commercial Center include (left to right) Bobby Watson and Tom Michel (The Vegas Room/The Nevada Room), Shane Bingham and John Lohmann (The 35 Cinema) Nick and Marla Benson (Cineloggia) and actress Lisa Wilcox (also of The 35 Cinema)
Myself with Lisa Wilcox
Along with Cineloggia‘s meet-and-greet for Ms. Wilcox, there will be official Days of the Dead festivities at downtown’s The Nerd. The sci-fi/superhero bar hangout inside Neonopolis is set to host a nighttime launch party on Friday the 14th at 10pm. Click here for the latest events schedule from the official Days of the Dead site.
Days of the Dead host hotel The Plaza is rich with its own cinematic history. Casino‘s famous dinner scene between Robert DeNiro and Sharon Stone took place in what is now Oscar’s Steakhouse. Sci-fi and fantasy films Cool World with Brad Pitt, Back to the Future II and Honey I Blew Up The Kid featured the casino resort. The 1994 version of Stephen King‘s THE STAND was set within its iconic tower, where devil’s spawn Randall Flagg took up residence in the penthouse.
It’s great to have conventions back in town, and Days of the Dead is sure to be a big success. VIP Packages are already sold out, as are discounted hotel rates for attendees, but you can still save money by ordering advance full-weekend passes. Members of the military are free with proper ID.
If you’re a high-level enthusiast, why not consider becoming a volunteer? I’ve worked several fan conventions and been assigned to some incredible celebrities. Plus, your entry is free. You can do so by clicking here.
Days of the Dead will take place May 14-16 at Plaza Hotel at the corner of Main Street and Fremont in downtown Las Vegas. To make hotel reservations for The Plaza, click here. For tickets to Days of the Dead fan convention, click here. A COVID-19 protocol/safety page for the event is here.
Photos: Sam Novak, Days of the Dead/Cineloggia/Plaza Hotel/ via Facebook. Banner photo: Zach Zeller