Apparently, scaring people in movie theatres is not enough for Jason Blum, whose upcoming SINISTER is due to hit screens on October 5. The Hollywood producer, whose Blumhouse Productions is the company behind PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and INSIDIOUS, will take to scaring his fans in person this Halloween season, when he opens the Blumhouse of Horrors in the old Variety Arts Theatre in downtown Los Angeles on October 4. (One can only imagine the company synergy involved in having the live event start the day before SINISTER opens nationwide. UPDATE: SINISTER has been pushed back to October 12.)
An article in the Los Angeles Times explains the rational behind the Halloween attraction: Although Blum does not expect to lose money on the event, nor does he expect profits to match those of the successful PARANORMAL ACTIVITY films. Instead, Blumhouse of Horrors is a way of connecting with fans, building the brand name of the company, and possibly laying the groundwork for spin-offs and tie-ins:
And like any good producer, Blum is thinking multimedia. The story of a magician who absconded with a beautiful woman more than 80 years ago and still haunts the theater owned by her husband could live on past Halloween.
“There may be a movie or a TV show or a reality idea here,” Blum said.
The back story of the Blumhouse of Horrors is that the theatre owner’s wife wanted to be the magician’s assistant, but she literally disappeared from the stage on closing night back in the 1930s, never to be seen again. Since then, the theatre has been closed, until now. Visitors who want to explore the mystery will weave their way through the Variety Arts Theatre from top to bottom, encountering scares provided by a a 25-person crew, many of whom have worked on Blumhouse productions. At a cost of several hundred thousand dollars (i.e., not quite what Blum spends on a PARANORMAL ACTIVITY film), the Blumhouse of Horrors will feature a cast of fifty ghosts and ghouls haunting the corridors and stage of the venerable Los Angeles landmark.
Blumhouse of Horrors runs from October 4 through November 3, with performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, plus Halloween night and the two nights prior (that is, Octber 29-31).