Frights on the screen, six feet in between

The Perot Theatre’s grand reopening takes on Halloween theme


Photo by Abby Elliott

photo illustration.

Story by Cate Rounds, editor in chief

The popcorn is popping. The lights go dark. An eerie sense of fear fills your bones as the screen illuminates. It is time for Halloween in Texarkana. Although the spooky season looks a little different this year, people can still take part in festivities beginning with the Perot Theatre’s first-ever “Movie Mash” held Saturday, Oct. 24. This will be the first event held in the Perot since the coronavirus outbreak in March.

“Past movie events have had extra activities; however, Movie Mash will simply play movies on the largest indoor movie screen in Texarkana,” TRAHC Marketing Director Tiffani Whitehead said. 

The day will begin with the screening of the Disney Pixar movie, “Coco.” There will be two showings, one at 1 p.m. and another at 3 p.m. Tickets for these showings are $5. In the spirit of Halloween, this family-friendly flick encourages attendees to come in costume.

“When looking for something to do with the family or for a night out with a fright, we offer a sanitized, indoor and comfortable environment,” Whitehead said. “‘Coco’ is a vividly colorful movie that promotes cultural diversity, the importance of music and family development through young Miguel’s journey.”

For those who are looking for a film that is more bone-chilling, a special after-dark screening of the classic horror movie, “The Shining,” will be showing at 7 p.m.

“While ‘The Shining’ is considered a classic, it debuted in 1980, meaning it has never played in our theater,” Whitehead said. “This terrifying movie about a haunted hotel could bring out a few of our local apparitions to watch with you. You didn’t think those social-distance seats would be totally empty, did you?”

TRAHC is using this event to try implementing new practices to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions. The audience will be socially distanced and masks are required. To ensure the socially distanced seating, tickets have to be purchased beforehand either over the phone or in person at the Perot Theatre. There can be no more than six tickets to a group. The restrooms have also been updated to motion sensored faucets and toilets to minimize contact.  Sanitation stations will be placed throughout the theater for patron and staff use. 

“In light of the current dynamics, it has been very difficult to bring live entertainment to the stage,” Whitehead said. “Keeping the movies as our primary focus allows the staff to ensure the plan of safety and sanitation is executed successfully. Knowing what works and what does not will allow for plan modification for upcoming events that will have a larger crowd or more patron interacting festivities. The team has worked diligently to implement a plan for the safety of patrons and staff. We feel confident opening our doors again.”

Whether attending in a group or going solo, this event will have something for people or all ages and horror levels. Tickets can be purchased by calling 903-792-4992 or by visiting The Perot Theatre at 221 Main Street.

“Movie Mash will give people an opportunity for family friendly or thriller fun in a safe, climate controlled environment,” Whitehead said. “Our goal is always to bring high quality entertainment to our theatre for the enjoyment of our community and region.”