Steve Simpson knows movies. As a collector of obscure old trailers and a longtime projectionist at the Tivoli, he's no casual moviegoer. He also knows Troost -- he's lived near the street for some time. Enter Charles Monroe, head of the Troost Corridor Community Association. When Simpson and Monroe got together, a beautiful tradition began: Troost Movies, projected on the side of the building at 4743 Troost every Sunday at dusk.
At about 8:30 or 9 p.m., people begin parking their cars along Forest, one block east of Troost, and walking to the parking lot with lawn chairs and blankets.
"I think of it as a new kind of sit-in," Monroe explains. "To take back the community, you enjoy it."
There's always weather to consider, but assuming the stars are all aligned, the movies go on. And if any of Simpson's collected trailers relate to the themes of the feature presentation, he projects those as well.
On a breezy night that concluded one hot weekend, a crowd gathered to watch Casablanca, and the atmosphere was almost as romantic as the movie. Before the film, the audience was privy to bizarre old black-and-white trailers, such as one in which a woman getting spa treatments sings about her loneliness while a masseuse and her client smile on contentedly -- nay, eerily. And during the scene in Casablanca when the expatriate members of the French resistance fervently sing their national anthem, one moviegoer went to his car to honk in time to the music. Then every heroic man said to a beautiful woman, "Here's lookin' at you, kid."
This week, moviegoers enjoy Die Another Day. ("You know, you gotta love James Bond!" Monroe exclaims.) And next week, they'll be showing The Blues Brothers. Be there, or be somewhere less fun.-- Gina Kaufmann
The time is finally right for dancin' in the streets. As part of this weekend's Kansas City Lindy Exchange, swing dancers from all over the country take a few hours to dance at 12th and Main Saturday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. That's impressive, because they will have spent Friday night dancing at Union Station until midnight, and then at an after-dance party (location to be announced) until 5 a.m. After this outdoor spectacle, the dancers head back inside for a Saturday evening at the historic Muehlebach lobby inside the downtown Marriott. Another afterparty follows. Sunday's events take place at the American Jazz Museum. Just writing this has completely exhausted us. A weekend pass costs $55; admission to individual events varies. Call 785-393-9425 or 913-403-8218 for information. -- Kaufmann
Ever since Adam and Eve got kicked out, mortals have been trying to get back into paradise. The fabled place is celebrated in songs, films, comic books and even porn (Panty Paradise). But Los Angeles-based artist Greg Rose's view of Eden has less in common with the vengeful angels in Milton's Paradise Lost and more to do with the City of Angels. Rose's exhibit Paradise Redux, at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (4420 Warwick), offers Elysium in the "flat, psychedelic-colored style" of modern SoCal painting, with a splash of Japanese ikebana flower arranging tossed in. The result isn't just multicultural; it's also meditative, complete with a Ming Dynasty bench for getting into the zen. Call 816-753-5784 for more information.-- Charles Ferruzza
Anyone who harbored a childhood crush on Matt Dillon (we did, too!) will love the Fahrenheit-curated exhibit at the Dental Arts Building (1819 Wyandotte), for which Lauren McEntire has created a nostalgic installation that involves a looped quote from 1983's movie version of The Outsiders. It's the "nothing gold can stay" line that Ponyboy recites. Still, it looks as though McEntire is trying to make something gold stay as long as possible, having built a wooden bunk bed, knitted bedcovers and etched hearts and initials into the frame, sleepover-camp style. For more information on viewing McEntire's installation, call the Fahrenheit Gallery at 816-304-5477.-- Kaufmann