Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Lake Charles Faithful

THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2009

As I drove into Lake Charles, Louisiana today it really did feel like a ghost town.  Shops, restaurants and even Subway were already closed when I rolled into Downtown.  The streets were empty and repeat Louisiana thunderstorms from the night before threatened to appear again.  

I walked into the Arts and Humanities Auditorium and met the very friendly and funny Scott, my projectionist for the evening.  I asked him if they usually get good audience turnout and he said it really depends on the weather and if other events were happening in the city at the same time.  Well, based on the empty streets I just saw I knew there couldn't possibly be another event in this town this night.  So I wondered if the threatening storms would deter folk from coming out to watch All About Us.

To my surprise, about 10 minutes before our start time people began to file into the auditorium.  Elegant, middle-aged Black women decked out in their Sunday best poured in.  High school students and their teachers began to fill up the seats.  Then married couples and mothers and daughters strolled in.  Aspiring writers and actors also showed up.  I began to realize that this screening, despite the now very loud thunder and driving rain outside, might be our best attended screening on the Circuit Tour yet.  I was really happy to see such a truly diverse audience.  The "Lake Charles Faithful" thoroughly enjoyed our movie and asked great questions.  They also probably purchased the most All About You and All About Us DVDs and soundtracks than any other audience this week.  

Since I had to fly out of Lafayette, LA pretty early the following morning, I decided to make the 1 hour drive in the pouring rain that night instead of staying overnight in Lake Charles (I'd do anything to sleep in an extra hour).  The Lake Charles Faithful really made this screening experience fun and memorable. -Michael Swanson