The Nitty Gritty
- Showing is on Saturday, November 14th at 9:30 p.m.
- Each purchase covers one person
- No cancellations within 48 hours of your show
- No refunds for missed shows
- Bring photo I.D. to redeem at the ticket window at Plaza Theatre
If you think Madonna invented Voguing, you're dead wrong, friend. That’s right, the queen of striking a pose got a little help bringing the underground style of dance to the mainstream, and now everyone’s posing like a supermodel in the middle of the dancefloor. So where did this inspiration come from? We’re glad you asked, because it’s a wild story of underground queer culture in 1980’s New York. Back before RuPaul’s Drag Race introduced drag to the masses and brought phrases like “throwing shade” to the lips of suburban housewives, the ball culture in New York was raging. Ball culture sounds like it might have something to do with princesses and dancing, and you're not too far off- ball competitions featured “walking,” kind of like a model would on a catwalk, which looks a whole heck of a lot like dancing. The contestants were judged on the realness of their drag, their style, their moves, their whole aesthetic. Paris is Burning is the only film that’s taken an honest, documentary look at this phenomenon, introducing iconic ball culture to a wide audience. For many in the queer community, including trans, African-American and Latino people, ball culture was their only outlet for creativity, and the only place where they could be themselves. Members of these marginalized groups often were disowned or abused at home and had no other place to go, which made balls not only a spectacle, but also a lifeline for many involved.
The Plaza Theatre, WUSSY Mag and Scoutmob are proud to show Paris is Burning on the big screen for the first time in 20 years. You can bet this screening is going to be more than just a viewing- we’re looking for a whole immersive experience, and hosted by Ellisorous Rex, mother of the Village Queens of East Atlanta and creator of the drag movement at Mary’s, surely we won’t be disappointed. Joining Ellisorous are Brigitte Bidet and Taylor Alxndr, both performers at Burkhart’s and Mary’s, and we’ve been promised Rocky Horror-style live accompaniment, a sickening opening performance, and a Butch Queen contest, based on the movie. That’s right, everyone should dress up in their best Butch Queen gear and walk in the ball at the screening, no matter how busted you look. (Maybe if we play our cards right, we can get a voguing contest!)
Paris is Burning is finding its way to the big screen, thanks to WUSSY mag, an online compendium of alternative queer culture. WUSSY was created out of the Legendary Children movement, which is an artist collective focusing on drag as an art form. (You may know Legendary Children’s most famous member, Violet Chachki.) Editor in Chief Jon Dean was a founding member of Legendary Children and started WUSSY with the same group of people as a way to shine a light on the younger, punk rock-ier, DIY queer culture thriving on the east side of town. Although Mary’s in EAV is a hotbed of events, WUSSY also focuses on events all over Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. And now, they’re the ones showing the world where RuPaul learned to be a supermodel of the world, and where we all learned how to become legendary.