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Popcorn Reef

SoCal County Fair Night at Popcorn Reef featuring SHE FREAK and FREEDOM [6/5/24]

SoCal County Fair Night at Popcorn Reef featuring SHE FREAK and FREEDOM [6/5/24]

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Co-Presented by The Casual Company at The Tenth Avenue Arts Center Downtown

Come hang out with us before the show, and grab beer to-go and food from Hodad's next door to bring into the theater all night long! (Details below)

Doors at 6:00 PM

6:40 PM - Join us for the Theatrical Premiere of local filmmaker Mitch Silva’s new short film THE RISE AND FALL OF GOJIGAMER (Details below)

7:00 PM - SHE FREAK (1967)

8:30 PM - FREEDOM (1981)

We will have doors open between films if you want to join at different points

If you’re a true San Diegan, you call it The Del Mar Fair. But even if you want to call it The San Diego County Fair, in this neck of the woods, we kick the summer off every June with funnel cakes, ferris wheels, and deep fried oreos. We wouldn’t, and couldn’t, have it any other way.

Since highlighting Southern California culture in film is what we’re all about here at Popcorn Reef, it’s been a dream of ours to have a Film Fair Night to kick summer movie season off too. So this June, we’ve put together a theatrical experience for you with two films, from two very different eras, that were both shot on location at SoCal County Fairs, but are related in unexpected ways. Step on up folks! Join us on June 5th for SoCal County Fair Night at Popcorn Reef.

First up!!!…1967’s SHE FREAK is arguably a loose remake of Tod Browning’s FREAKS, and that commitment to classic structure pays dividends, delivering a quality story for you while the kitchsy Technicolor visuals splash their way onto the screen. Vibe-wise, this is down and dirty early exploitation cinema at its finest. You’ll be shocked, you’ll scream, and you’ll probably also laugh your ass off a couple times.

And next!!!…A true bucket list title for us to screen, 1981’s FREEDOM, wonderfully directed by the great Joseph Sargent (THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE, GOLDENGIRL, JAWS: THE REVENGE). FREEDOM is a sincere emotional drama starring Mare Winningham as a teenage kid who just can’t get along with her mother, and runs away from home to join a group of carnies on the SoCal County Fair circuit. Breathtaking neon-lit carnival night scenes, screaming family matches, and soul searching follow. Originally made for TV (we’re very excited to present it in an opened up 1.85:1 version for one of the first times on a big screen) FREEDOM is moody and full of sentimental 80s-ness, to the same degree that SHE FREAK is all about late 60s camp with its cheapo-carnival-show-come-to-life-on-film ways.

But here’s the thing. Both of these films are almost identical thematically. They just approach the subject very differently. While SHE FREAK is about a young woman who runs away to the carnival and lives through the horrific reality that she might be turning into a monster, FREEDOM focuses on a young woman who feels the same way about herself, yet it spends the bulk of its runtime looking at her internal world, and the circumstances that created it, in a very deft and non-judgmental way.

While both of these films, of course, deserve to be celebrated on their own, we hope that when you join us on June 5th, you’ll let the pairing of these two create an additional narrative that you can toss around in your head long after you leave the theater. SHE FREAK is like having a nightmare, while FREEDOM is like going to your therapist to figure out what the fuck is going on.

On June 5th, it’s summer, so let’s go to the fair. We’ll see you there!

And about our pre-show short film, DreamSmileMagic's THE RISE AND FALL OF GOJIGAMER, which was produced locally right here in SD:

A video game streamer must make a change in direction for his channel or he will go homeless. Hilarity ensues.

Director, Camera - Mitch Silva, Cast - Carl Ling, Tanner Struyk, Angela Lin

SHE FREAK Trailer:

FREEDOM Trailer:


-This show is at The Tenth Avenue Arts Center (930 10th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101)

-Doors will open at 6:00 PM, and we encourage you to bring your own food in before the show to eat. Local eateries like Hodad's or Pokez are great options and are located within a block of the venue. You can now grab beer to-go from Hodad's and bring it in to the theater as well.

-Come hang out before the show! From now on, anyone who is doing anything cool and creative-related in San Diego will be welcome to bring their stuff and set up at our tables in a dedicated pre-show room (or on the rooftop terrace, weather permitting) at The Tenth before the show.

Do you have a creative business you're trying to get the word out about? Are you a filmmaker, and you're trying to build some buzz around your new project? Do you have a podcast that you want to start promoting? Please contact us and you're welcome to come showcase your stuff, free of charge. The amount of space we have to do this is the only thing that is limited, so please contact us ASAP if you want to reserve a space. Let's turn these pre-shows into a braintrust gathering for everybody who's as passionate about creativity as we are.

-Soft drinks, along with candy, chips, cookies, and crackers will be available for purchase during the show.

-If you are visibly intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, we cannot allow you into the venue. Thanks for your understanding.

-There will be no delivery of tickets via shipping or email - we'll simply have your name on the list at the door (plus however many tickets you buy). Please bring your ID for verification purposes to check in. We can check in partial parties too, so if you're buying for multiple people and you're arriving at different times, don't worry about it.

-If you have any questions at all, please contact

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