-- By Brett Stillo
Halloween weekend is upon us, and what better way to start things off than with a cinematic ghost hunt in an old, haunted San Francisco theater.
The Super Shangri-La Show, hosted by the intrepid Kai Wada Roath, is more than a movie night at your neighborhood theater. It is an exploration of the uncanny through the medium of cinema. Week after week, Roath takes his audience on a quest for myths, monsters, witchcraft, and lost civilizations inside a haunted movie theater -- the historic Balboa Theatre in the Outer Richmond. The Super Shangri-La Show is like a live-action version of the old Leonard Nimoy television program In Search Of, with Roath acting as a paranormal guide through a lost world of Drive-In and B-Movie monstrosities such as The Legend of Bogey Creek, The Devil’s Rain, Atlantis: The Lost Continent, and The Legend of Hell House, just to name a few.
Friday night’s double feature offers an ectoplasmic spectrum of haunted house stories. 13 Ghosts is a classic 1950’s spook show courtesy of legendary showman William Castle. Castle was notorious for the outrageously wacky gimmicks he built into his movies and 13 Ghosts is no exception. When the film was released in 1960, audience members were issued special filtered “ghost goggles” to view the cinematic poltergeists on the big screen thanks to a Castle-contrived process called “Illusion-O!”