Colusa County fair offers free vintage movie series – started last night with “Dracula,” continues through October

Colusa is a neat little town, south of Chico along the Sacramento River. I read in the Territorial Dispatch that they are having free movies at their fairground for the next couple of months. It’s a “creature feature” series, and will include some of the greatest films of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Last night they played Bela Lugosi in “Dracula,” tonight it’s “The Mummy”. I’ve seen both of these so many times, but could see them another 20 times again.  See the rest of the schedule here, some great flicks:

When I saw the schedule Colusa is offering, I can’t help but be jealous. CARD runs a pretty sad-sack film series at One Mile, but they only usually offer two films per Summer. Some years they play the classic 1930’s “Robin Hood,” scenes for which were shot in Bidwell Park. And then they play movies like “Bees,” which had already suffered a pretty lackluster run at the box office. Nothing to blog about, that’s for sure.

It seems they run a “Classic Movie Series,” afternoons at Lakeside Pavillion

Those movies are interesting to me, but 1pm on a weekday is hardly appropriate for a “community” movie series. This would mainly serve older retirees living out at Cal Park.

There are rules – you are not allowed to show movies to the public without permission. That’s fair – why should you be allowed to profit from somebody else’s work?  You pay for that permission, a few thousand dollars a year. You can get fined a few thousand if you are caught playing movies publicly without permission, even if you don’t charge admission.

The library has such permission, they show movies in the meeting room on a TBA basis. They notice these movies on the bulletin board, but a library employee told me they can’t advertise, something to do with the legalities of their permission slip. 

Frankly, I think they don’t advertise because they’re afraid of overflow, but whatever. I read the rules. As long as you pay the fee you can do what you want, including, charge admission for fundraisers. You are limited in how many times you can play the movie, and if you make over a certain amount I believe you are supposed to kick back. 

The library actually offers some pretty good movies – recently run as well as classics. They don’t usually get more than a dozen people, but it’s fun.

I’m sorry CARD can’t offer better movies, more often. I have never been in on the conversation they have about their annual film “series” (two movies is a “series”?) so I don’t know the reasoning behind it. I’ll never forget the year they played “Grease.” We lived about a mile from One Mile at that time, but they were playing it so loud I could hear John Travolta and Olivia Newton John blarting out “You’re the One That I Want!” over my own television. 

When we attended a showing of “Robin Hood,” we saw about 50 people in attendance (I made a rough head count), and the kids were playing and wandering around, you couldn’t hear the audio, and people were constantly requesting the volume be turned up. That explains it.

CARD does a lot of questionable things, the way they spend money, the way they staff  their activities – that is all discussed at regular public meetings, for which very few if any members of the public ever show up.





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