The Renegade Picture Show was an idea I started in April of 2007. At the same, there were other guerilla-movie projectionist around the world who were doing similar things each in slightly their own way. The idea stemmed from the concept of a drive-up drive-in style movie venue. People could relax in their cars or hang out outside their cars and enjoy a film projected on the side of a building.
It came at a great time because my wife had our first child and we wanted a way to get out of the house, spend time together, and enjoy something social. We both loved movies and wanted to go but couldn’t bring our baby to theatre.
I enjoyed creating the RPS for the technical challenges of figuring out the projection issues, electrical setup, radio transmission for sound, screen design, etc. I also enjoyed the creative aspects of putting a show together. I never just showed the movie. I would organize a theme and program for every show, make up the flyers, promote the show, build the pre-show, put together a music playlist….all kinds of stuff!
The first show was Raising Arizona – still one of my all-time favorite films.
The shows continued into 2018 and included things like showing film festivals (like the Reel Rock) in conjunction with various partners.
Some of the best shows we did were the Big Lebowski shows. The first one we did we built an outdoor bowling lane out of plywood. I bought a couple of bowling balls on eBay along with some bowling pins. For the pre-show entertainment we held a bowling tournament and character look-alike competition.
As the years went on I changed the screen location for the show several times. In fact, I painted three different screens! The first the smallest one on the back of the silos. The second was on the back of the “East building” and was quite a bit larger. The third and final screen was painted on the north side of the “East building” adjacent to the silos and featured a very large screen.
In 2012 I did another showing of Big Lebowski (see flyer at the top of this post). We did the bowling contest again and a few people dressed up.
Thinking back to those shows – it was a good time.
The Renegade Picture Show website is still online and there is always the possibility of a re-boot! Maybe in this age of having to stay isolated, it might work again…
In an effort to preserve the history of those shows – I am going to work on revising the renegadepictureshow.com website and updated it with a complete history, photos and anecdotes. If you have pictures from any of the shows that you would like to share please tag this post and contact me.