News Nearby: ‘Purple Rain’ Dance Party at Hollywood Theater
Rare Prince photos, memorabilia and music will be part of the event by Dream Catchers Films.
Few performers draw a crowd as eclectic as Prince, and Dream Catchers Films wants to celebrate those fans—and their favorite artist—with a special event.
The film company will turn Dormont’s Hollywood Theater into the Purple Rain Dance Party on June 30, featuring all things that celebrate this famed eccentric artist.
In addition to a showing of Purple Rain, the event will include an art gallery of rare photographs of the artist, as well as his music. Guests are welcome to show up in costume.
“Last year, while the film was on and we were playing music, people were kind of dancing in the aisles and in their seats,” said Leonard Lies of Dream Catchers Films. “I think even the people working there were surprised at how much fun it was."
This is the second year Dream Catchers Films has held the event at the Hollywood, and Lies and co-owner Frank Cosentino hope it won’t be the last.
But why Prince? Why now?
Prince’s birthday is this month, for one thing. Last year’s event did well. But there’s a lot more to it than that, Lies said.
“He has such a strangeness and an eccentricity about him,” Lies said. “He’s brilliant, but difficult to work with. He composes all his own music and is just a fanatic. He’s a God-given talent.”
Lies said part of the appeal is that people of all ages are attracted to Prince and his music. Last year, the Purple Rain Dance Party brought in teens as well as adults in their 60s.
Cosentino has been a Prince fan for years, and said he’s not surprised to find so many Prince fans in the area.
“He has his own little purple army, so to speak,” Cosentino said. “He knows how to evolve with the time, which a lot of artists don’t have.”
Cosentino said he thinks the reason parents want their kids to listen to Prince is because it’s real music—nothing remixed or auto-tuned, and Prince’s band plays their own instruments. It’s somewhat unique to see that today, he said.
Cosentino has been collecting Prince’s albums and memorabilia since his older cousin played him an 8-track tape of 1999. Some of his collection, which includes rare photographs, albums, and costume pieces Prince wore will be on display at the Hollywood event.
In the way that trends cycle and recycle, Lies said he thinks the 1980s generation is ready to relive their time and their music.
“Movies from the '80s are sort of coming back again. There’s a core group in the '80s that really wants to see their movies now, and their music,” Lies said. “Prince is part of that '80s era that people are magnetized to now. That decade now wants to recognize itself and be recognized.”
Most generations copy the trends of their parents’ generations, and now that the teens of the 1980s have their own children, there’s a whole new generation of Prince fans. Lies and Cosentino hope to see them all on June 30.
“Whether five people or 250 people show up I want them to enjoy themselves,” Cosentino said. “That’s what we achieved last year. I want them to walk in there and walk out with an experience they won’t forget.”
If you're going:
- What: Purple Rain Dance Party
- Where: Hollywood Theater, Potomac Avenue, Dormont
- When: June 30. Doors open at 6 p.m. and movie starts at 8 p.m.
- Cost: $7.
For more info, see the Hollywood Theater website.