By John Hanley
Get excited, film buffs. The Manship Theatre in downtown Baton Rouge has rolled out The Film Lounge Series with Capital City Grill, a new film series in their Hartley/Vey Studios, and it’s geared toward movie lovers—or anyone interested in weird, offbeat, or otherwise unusual films. According to the theatre’s website, the series is geared toward “hardcore film fans,” focusing on “new and old Horror, Hollywood Classics, Retrospectives, Local Filmmaker Showcases, and the best B-Movies we can find.”
The series offers a high-quality experience with a large movie screen, plush lounge seats, a bar, and food service courtesy of Capital City Grill. For only six bucks a pop, you’ll get a quality movie experience for much less than your typical theatre. Admission price does not include the cost of dinner.
“We hope to schedule at least two of these a month, but it could expand to once a week depending on Hartley/Vey Theatre’s schedule,” said Jason Langlois, the director of Film Programming at Manship Theatre.
As of now, the theatre premiered the series on July 8 with a showing of The Stranger, a 2014 indie horror film from executive producer Eli Roth. Next up in the lineup is Bound To Vengeance, another indie horror film from producer Eli Roth about a girl who escapes an abductor and, after discovering that he has several other hostages, goes on a vengeful mission to free them.
“We like the idea of showing films that are a more off the beaten path. It could be a classic indie or foreign film, retrospective, new release indie[s] like the Tangerine screening in August, or even B-Movies,” said Langlois. He says the series got started when they set up shop in the Hartley/Vey black box studio.
“We had been trying to work out a way to add a second screening room for our film program and our black box space…was the obvious choice,” he said. “We invested in a new screen and projector and decided to take it a step further with adding a food and bar element.”
Langlois says that it’s typically difficult to bring or eat food in the main stage of the Manship, so the black box offered an area for that. Once Capital City Grill came on board to sponsor the series, everything fell into place.
“The movie and dining concept is nothing new, but we hope to offer a downtown version that people will really enjoy,” said Langlois.
Langlois described the feeling of the series as similar to an intimate art house, and added that the producers of the Manship’s film series don’t ask much from their attendees.
“I think the only requirement we have for our audience is that they are film fans. Hopefully, that includes a lot of different people and tastes, and hopefully, we can make them all happy.”
The next screening will be on July 29 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 and are available through the Manship’s website or at the theatre. Anyone under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for R-rated films (including Bound To Vengeance).