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story.lead_photo.caption With a Movie Mash event Saturday, Oct. 24, the Perot Theatre hosts haunted happenings with two movies: "The Shining" at night and the delightful Disney film "Coco" during the day. Photo by Gazette file photo

TEXARKANA, Texas — Imagine Jack Nicholson's maniacal face on the big screen at the historic Perot Theatre.

With a Movie Mash event Saturday, Oct. 24, the Perot Theatre hosts haunted happenings with two movies: the Nicholson classic "The Shining" at night and the delightful Disney film "Coco" during the day.

"The Shining" is a frightful Stanley Kubrick-directed masterpiece, a horror classic with truly iconic images. It's shown at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8.

Though not scary, the family-friendly, Academy Award-winning animated feature "Coco" explores one young Mexican boy's encounter with his deceased grandfather on the Day of the Dead. Tickets are $5 for a screening at 1 p.m.

Because of COVID-19, Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council was unable to recreate ghost stories that were part of the Perot's Halloween movies last year, but the movies will still be screened to put fear in your heart or a smile on your face.

Tiffani Whitehead, marketing coordinator for TRAHC, said they decided it would be safer for people to enjoy the movies at the theater without the festival side of it. Masks are required and the theater will be cleaned between showings.

"We are encouraging costumes and hopefully we'll have some goodie bags for kids and try to be as interactive as possible but still maintain that safety that's needed for what's going on right now in the world," Whitehead said.

Photo by Submitted photo
"Coco" has one showing. Then once the lights go down and the sun goes down, "The Shining" comes alive. "It's going to be quite terrifying," Whitehead said.

The movies were selected by a committee. Because of the colorful, dynamic appeal of "Coco," TRAHC thought it would look beautiful on the screen, the marketing coordinator said. They had many classics to choose one for the night-side flick.

"Ultimately, we just really felt like Jack Nicholson's face on the big screen was going to be the seller," Whitehead said, noting seeing a classic like this on the large screen may be motivating for those who haven't seen it like that before.

"It is a psychological thriller, for sure," she said. Without the ghost tours they staged successfully last year, having a truly scary movie would fit the event, she said.

Seating is being arranged to ensure social distancing. People must call the box office or buy tickets in person. Up to six tickets can be purchased at the same time, so family members are preferred for buying together.

"If you do choose to purchase and share with friends at your own discretion, they still have to be purchased at the same time. So if you want to double date or have a group go with you, they all must be purchased in the six-lump at the same time," Whitehead said.

In this way, seating is being spread out. If needed, seating will move to the balcony, where there's still a great view of the screen, she said.

They've had to be fluid in planning this event and making changes according to what's safe for staff and patrons, Whitehead said. They hope to bring ghost tours back next year.

"We safely feel comfortable knowing we can do the movies and do our best to keep everyone safe," Whitehead said.

While the box office will be open the day of the event, seating might be limited by then. Buying tickets in advance is encouraged.

(Get tickets at the Perot Theatre Box Office by phone at 903-792-4992 or in person at 221 Main St.)

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