the Parking Lot Movie tonight!

March 27th, 2010 · 4 Comments · By

After three years, it’s finally here: the Parking Lot Movie will make it’s Charlottesville debut at the Paramount tonight. It starts at 8:00pm, and is probably going to sell out, so you might want to buy your ticket now!

During all of the awesome attention and press that this movie has been getting, everyone keeps asking the question: “Who would think to make a movie about a parking lot?” Clearly, this is not a question that anyone from Charlottesville should ask. The CPL has been a cultural institution in town for as long as I can remember; in fact, as a youngster here in the 80’s, my primary exposure to “college student culture” was through places like the Parking Lot (not to mention WTJU, Grad students in the A school, etc), leading my impressionable young mind to believe that UVa Students were, on the whole, a lot more interesting and cultured than a lot of them actually are (of course, this was before the great town/gown cultural schizm of the early 90’s…)

Anyway, for the unobservant or uninitiated, the Corner Parking Lot is that parking lot behind what used to be Plan 9 and Satellite Ballroom, whose various employees of years past have included members of bands such as Yo La Tengo, Pavement, the Landlords, Happy Flowers, Red Wizard, Reptilian Shapeshifters, and innumerable WTJU DJs (in fact, Tyler and Davis’ TJU Marathon show from a few years back, “Charlottesville Über Alles,” included a whole section dedicated to CPL-affiliated bands) — as well as countless philosophers, weirdos, and fascinating characters. Several friends of mine have worked there over the years, and I’ve spent many a summer evening hanging around and shooting the shit with the Lot’s attendants; if you’ve ever done the same, you know what a vibrant and unique spot it is.

Meghan Eckman is a local filmmaker who began filming the lot a few years ago with the intention of making a short documentary; three years later it’s ballooned into a very successful 90-min feature (which made its premiere at SXSW two weeks ago and has been the subject of an NPR feature.) At some point during the production, Chris Hlad became the co-director; in addition to being a former CPL attendant, Chris and Meghan are also both housemates of mine (in fact, our house is deeply entwined with CPL lore; I believe it actually makes a cameo appearance in the movie.)

I’ve seen a half-dozen rough cuts of the movie over the years (although not the final version), but I believe that no CPL employees have been allowed to see anything until tonight — both to keep them from influencing the film, but also to make tonight a special event for the CPL staff; in fact, I’m told several alumni of the lot are making lengthy trips back to town tonight to see the film.

It’s showing at The Paramount tonight at 8pm, tickets are $8 (with a $2 service fee if you get them online), and you are strongly advised to buy them in advance, since it’s looking very possible that all 1000 seats at the Paramount might sell out!

Tags: charlottesville · feature · preview

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Andy // Mar 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    ARGH! I wish on a night like tonight, there was no show at The Southern, but alas…

    I personally can’t wait to see this film and dang it would be awesome to see it at The Paramount!

    Hope everyone goes and checks it out and has fun.

  • 2 Sarah // Mar 28, 2010 at 2:00 am

    made me think how RAD a clemons night shift documentary would be…steve snider knows what i’m talking about!

  • 3 Dave // Mar 28, 2010 at 9:12 am

    The movie was excellent! Tyler Magill deserves an Oscar, or at the very least a Razzie, for his performance!

  • 4 Davis // Mar 28, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Really jealous of all those that got to be there for this, makes me really happy that it happened though. Reason #… never to leave Charlottesville. Tyler deserves a lot of things. If you are looking to contribute real-life accolades/awards, may I suggest a pork product, he is a big fan.