Once you outgrow trick-or-treating, the next best thing is getting your own treats and cozying up for a spooky movie.
The Plaza Theatre’s Halloween game is coming in strong with this year’s movie lineup. They’ve got cult classics, audience participation, delicious snacks, and maybe even a few otherworldly residents…
We’re not saying you’ll spot a ghost, but you might up your chances.
Keep reading to uncover the story behind a Calgary landmark and get excited about what’s playing this Halloween season.
The Plaza Theatre
You might be surprised to learn that The Plaza didn’t begin as a movie theatre. The building was built way back in 1927 and opened in 1928 as Mac’s Garage. It wasn’t until January 1935 that the building reopened as the Plaza Theatre, and it remains the oldest inner-city first-run theatre in Calgary that’s still in operation.
(Special shoutout to our friends at Calgary Ghost Tours for the info!)
Like many businesses during the pandemic, The Plaza was hit hard. Things were looking pretty dismal until Fatima Allie Dobrowolski came to the rescue. Through a labour of love and personal investment, Fatima resurrected the struggling theatre so that future Calgarians could enjoy this iconic landmark.
What’s New at the Plaza
The Plaza Theatre has always been known for its thoughtful programming, and that’s one thing that has remained the same with a mix of the latest blockbuster movies as well as the best of independent cinema, mostly coming a week or so after initial release. They also do fun throwback movie series and retrospectives. But aside from that, there have been a lot of upgrades to the amenities and attractions. The concession area has been completely revamped – you’ll spot it immediately because it’s fantastically retro pink! The dedicated cafe has Phil & Sebastian coffee and tasty baked treats, and if you come at happy hour, you can enjoy a boozy beverage in the Sidebar – 18+, of course!
The Plaza is now a fully licensed venue, so even if you’re not coming for a movie, you can hang out at the cafe, speakeasy-style cocktail Sidebar or on the patio near the refitted Airstream food truck, which will be launched in 2024 – though watch out for some pop ups in the truck between now and then! Of course, it wouldn’t be a theatre without the popcorn, and you can buy this from the concession whenever you like – no movie ticket required!
The Plaza Theatre is so much more than a boutique film experience. It’s a place to gather, enjoy, and connect. It’s a point of Calgary pride you can’t miss experiencing for yourself.
A Spooky Past
Of course, you don’t have a building that’s nearly 100 years old without some spooky stories lurking beneath the plaster.
As the years passed, strange rumours began to emerge. From footsteps when no one is around to a popcorn machine that starts up by itself – even when unplugged. There have also been reports of haunting piano melodies drifting through the building. Too bad there’s no piano on site!
Believe it or not, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Patrons and employees have reported ghostly apparitions in the theatre and projection room – but you can be the judge. Pay attention next time you catch a show. You might just spot some otherworldly spectators watching along with you.
If your curiosity is peaked, learn more by checking out Calgary Ghost Tours. They have a few final ghost tours for the season, and The Plaza is a stop on their Kensington walk.
Halloween Movie Lineup
Whether or not you plan to rub elbows with the resident ghosts, here’s the rundown of everything playing at The Plaza Theatre this Halloween season.
Coraline Jones is a curious girl who one day discovers a door to a secret world. But not everything is as it appears, and when things take a sinister turn, it’s up to her to find a way back home.
This film is rated PG but cautioned to parents as it has a few frightening scenes. Use your best judgement before planning a family outing – you can also just go yourself!
This classic horror movie was just added to The Plaza’s programming for Halloween, and it’s guaranteed to sell out fast!
This film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel tells the story of a remote hotel with a troubled past and the winter janitor who retreats there with his family – until things start to turn to the macabre.
The 70’s cult-classic Halloween film is back! Newlyweds Brad and Janet find themselves stuck with a flat tire during a storm and discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Innocence is lost, and the fabric of reality is tested as the wild adventure unfolds.
This screening encourages audience participation with special prop bags available for purchase in advance or at the door. Outlandish costumes are welcome but not mandatory.
Tickets for these Halloween screenings are already almost sold out, so don’t wait to get yours if there’s something you want to see!
Experience the iconic movies that make the spooky season in a setting rife with history, character, and some good ol’ ghost stories. What could be better for Halloween?
When: Find showtimes online
Where: The Plaza Theatre, 1133 Kensington Road NW
P.S. If Halloween isn’t your jam, stay tuned for the list of fan-favourite holiday films that will be hitting the screen later in November.