Saturday, April 21, 2007

Guerilla Drive-In Celebrates Five-Years of Fighting the Man


Guerilla Drive-In Celebrates Five-Years of Resisting Authority

Grassroots project shows free movies, builds community, and challenges ideas about public space

Santa Cruz, CA, April 10th, 2007: This spring Santa Cruz Guerilla Drive-In celebrates its five-year anniversary with a showing of Dr. Strangelove in GDI's original Harvey West location on Friday April 20th at 8pm. The five-year anniversary showing will feature subversive short films, food, entertainment, and music.

For half a decade, Santa Cruz Guerilla Drive-In has shown over a hundred free films to the community in regular Summer and Winter Series. Movies are always free. Beyond showing great movies and bringing a broad community together, part of their mission is helping reclaim public space and transforming our urban environment.


Guerilla Drive-In is a grassroots project of ordinary people from the community. Movies are chosen and decisions are made collectively by members of the small collective. It has no city- nor corporate-sponsorship and is supported only by donations from movie-goers and the work of collective members.

In the last five years, GDI has shown subversive features such as Cool Hand Luke, Truman Show, Nine to Five, Fight Club, and 1984, as well as a host of lesser-known films dealing with resistance and celebration. GDI also works with other groups to help with events such as the Reel Work Film Festival, Santa Cruz Film Festival, and the Santa Cruz Bike Film Festival.

All over the world, Santa Cruz is setting an example for do-it-yourself public nighttime entertainment. Guerilla Drive-Ins have sprung up in San Francisco, Berkeley, Dallas, Maine, NYC, Florida, Pennsylvania, Minneapolis, and as far away as Norway and Sweden. The GDI website provides detailed step-by-step suggestions of how to set up a Guerilla Drive-In.

Guerilla Drive-In has had its share of run-ins with authority. For instance, two years ago, a half dozen police officers surrounded a Guerilla Drive-In showing under the Soquel Avenue Bridge. Police shut down the movie because movie viewers were technically in a city park area and were violating park hours. In downtown showings, police have tried unsuccessfully to shut the movies down.

Guerilla Drive-In recognized years ago that in our city, a community focused on art and connection, there is no place to meet in public that is unmediated by commerce. They note that all the parks, beaches, the wharf, the boardwalk, the levies, state parks, the University, and the Pogonip are all closed after dark. If you want to meet friends or strangers at night, your only option is to dive into the stream of commerce, bars, cafes, restaurants, or movies.

For the last few years, summer movies have been shown along the railroad tracks on the west side of Santa Cruz. The summer series this year will feature special showings in unusual and surprise locations.

To find out more about Guerilla Drive-In, the Summer Series schedules, and locations for special showings, go the GDI website at www.guerilladrivein.org.

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