Bill Skarsgård plays Pennywise the Clown in the remake of Stephen King's IT.EXPAND
Bill Skarsgård plays Pennywise the Clown in the remake of Stephen King's IT.
Photo by Brooke Palmer/Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Two Movie Theaters Will Screen the New IT Film for Crowds of Creepy Clowns

Clowns look scary. Even if their intention is to entertain children, their wide, painted smiles instantly become menacing with a droop of their makeup-coated brows.

That's why, in 1986, horror writer Stephen King chose a clown named Pennywise to be the child-eating villain of his classic novel IT. In 1990, ABC turned King's book into a two-part TV miniseries starring acclaimed character actor Tim Curry as Pennywise. It became the stuff of nightmares for '90s kids with distracted parents.

Now Warner Bros. is bringing the clown to the big screen. The new IT stars Bill Skarsgård as the world's scariest pronoun and opens Friday in theaters nationwide.

The only thing that could make the movie scarier would be to look around in the theater and see clowns surrounding you in the seats. You can have that experience during two screenings of the new IT movie in DFW.

Studio Movie Grill in The Colony will host the first clown-filled IT screening at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, as part of Cheri Garcia's fifth annual Halloween Bash. The Alamo Drafthouse Cedars will host a clown screening of IT at 8:40 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9.

Garcia, the Dallas entrepreneur who organized the Studio Movie Grill event, says her IT screening will admit both clowns and people in nonclown attire and feature a prescreening party with music by Sketchy the Klown and actors from the Fearaphobia Haunted House in Bridgeport.

James Wallace, the creative director of the Alamo Drafthouse's DFW theater chain, says only people in clown attire will be admitted to his theater's IT screening. The Drafthouse will also host a postscreening party in the Vetted Well with live music and clown-themed karaoke.

Wallace says the idea of a clown-only IT screening "started as a joke" between the Dallas and Austin Drafthouse theaters' creative teams. It turned into a real event, Wallace says, because he's "a sick and twisted individual."

"What could be more awesome than watching IT dressed as a clown surrounded by fellow clowns?" Wallace says. "We're just going to have to confiscate their novelties so they don't disrupt the movie."

Garcia, the founder of the felon rehabilitation group Cornbread Hustle, says Halloween is her favorite holiday and she loves to throw a big, scary party every fall. She started working with Studio Movie Grill a year ago when she first learned a new IT movie was coming to theaters, she says because "I get pleasure in scaring people using horror and fake blood."

"It's kind of like watching Jaws in the ocean,"  she continues. "That would definitely enhance the experience, wouldn't it?"

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