Horrorthon Reflections

|Velma Caty Rent|

Closeup of a small, shiny black button with a red bold font that reads "Trylon Horrorthon Survivor" pinned onto the top of a pocket of a light blue denim jacket.

The Horrorthon is a yearly event that happens in October at the Trylon Cinema. This year, it takes place in two iterations, as an all-day and all-night event on October 14th. Visit trylon.org for more information (tickets usually sell out hours after they are released).

The Trylon All-Night Horrorthon is one of my all-time favorite events of the year! I’ve had the opportunity to attend and/or work at each one, including the Horrorthon-adjacent Friday the 13th marathon. I have found over the years that when I’ve discussed this annual event with friends and co-workers, they have been confused as to what it is, so here’s a little backstory and waltz down memory lane. 

The year was 2017, and I had been volunteering at the Trylon Cinema for five years. The current program director, John Moret, was talking about doing something totally new and different at the theater. He wanted us to show horror movies all night once a year. Our Theater Director, Barry Kryshka, was on board—and everything changed. Trylon Horrothon was born! 

The first one was still in the old space and included a fundraiser for the expansion; family and friends would “pledge” money to see how long you could make it at the theater overnight. No one in the audience knows what the films will be until they are on the screen, so it can be fun speculating as to what will be next. Each Horrothon has a different vibe, and I appreciate the cadence. 

Two excited and masked individuals standing together under a marquee that reads "Horrorthon All Damn Night"
Two very tired yet happy looking individuals holding up a poster with drawings of horror movie characters and script in red bold font that reads "Trylon All-Night Horrorthon"

Arrival times have fluctuated, but it typically begins between 8-9 pm and ends around 5-6 am. The microcinema space was a bit smaller, so there were fifty of us in attendance. Thankfully, there were donuts with Jason masks and plenty of Peace Coffee flowing from the cafe down the hall! 

Our emcee is former long-term Trylon volunteer Michael Popham. He keeps track of the kill count from each film and records it on a big poster board. Usually, he’s sporting a lab coat to report the numbers to the audience. 

A poster board with the words "Horrorthon VI: The Curse of Horrorthon Official Kill Count" and listed underneath in much smaller writing is a list of how individuals expired during the films

At the end of the night, anyone that made it through to the bitter end receives a small “Horrorthon Survivor” pin and a poster created and printed by local legend, Tim Holly. 

The second Horrothon was in the new space, so it almost doubled in size. We added pizza slices so that hungry horror movie fans would have something else to munch on besides popcorn and candy. We took pre-orders for slices when patrons would come in, and had them ready to consume between the 2nd and 3rd movies where there’s a little longer break than usual. We used to get our pizzas from Geek Love inside Moon Palace Books, but since they’ve closed, we’ve been going to the Longfellow neighborhood staple, Parkway Pizza. 

Every Horrothon is a new opportunity for us to adapt and change. We’ve tried things that didn’t work and some things that have stuck; for example, last year we added wristbands, which I think was a nice touch. We’ve had special guests, we’ve tried different methods of caffeine, and this year, we’ve changed the ticketing system, as well as offering two shows instead of only one. We’ll see how it goes! I’m very much looking forward to another fun time of collectively viewing murder and mayhem. 

I’d like to end this piece with appreciation to the Trylon Cinema staff & volunteers, to our sponsors, and of course a big thank you to all the horror fans that come out because we really couldn’t do this without you. ❤️

Edited by Finn Odum

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