Reefer Madness

What does a nearly 90-year-old anti-drug exploitation film have to offer 2024 audiences? Join us as we look back on Reefer Madness, how it saved the Harris Theater (at the time named the Art Cinema) in the early 40s, and how it was reborn 30 years later as a staple on the midnight movie circuit.

In the summer of 1940, the Art Cinema introduced Pittsburgh to Reefer Madness, a movie following a group of high school students who start smoking pot and quickly descend into manslaughter, attempted rape, suicide, and murder. Many have called it “the worst movie ever made” – and yet it was a record-breaking hit for the theater, running continuously for 17 weeks.

Now, Pittsburgh Sound + Image brings it back to 809 Liberty Ave. as it was meant to be seen: with an audience, on 16mm film, and on 4/20. We’ll set the midnight movie tone with 16mm shorts preceding the feature: a Betty Boop surprise and Boogie-Woogie Dream!

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