Big Gay Sing-Along Presents 'Best Little Whorehouse In Texas'
Two screenings Wednesday at Digital Gym Cinema
Bobby Gordon has loved musicals all his life.
"I've been a lifelong fan of Broadway, musicals, movie musicals and all that stuff," Gordon said. "I've seen in other cities and even here in San Diego where people will host movie musicals and people can sing along and have fun as opposed to a real stuffy atmosphere like when you go to a regular movie to go see something.
"And so when I arrived in San Diego last year, I decided, 'You know what? Let's go out and just start this up.' So I started a not-for-profit Big Gay Sing Along here in San Diego. I'm currently working with Digital Gym Cinema, which is a non-profit and it's a really great partnership. So I host musicals on the big screen every month at Digital Gym and they range in titles from 'Grease' to 'Moulin Rouge' to 'Best Little Whorehouse in Texas' this week."
With streaming services, it is easy to watch musicals on Netflix or old classics on TCM. But watching these at home is just not the same as seeing it on the big screen with an audience. The Big Gay Sing-Along is designed for people who can’t help but clap their hands, stomp their feet and yes, sometimes even sing out loud with the movie.
"I don't know if you've ever seen Mystery Science Theater 3000 where sometimes the guys in the audience will make quippy jokes or kind of make funny statements about whatever is being said on screen. So sometimes people do that," Gordon said.
One of the reasons he enjoys doing this is that it creates a sense of community as some attendees become regulars.
"It's amazing to me to see the people that come back," Gordon said. "I had a guy that came once. He said, 'I can't stand Mamma Mia but I needed to get out of the house and I really wanted to come to that and then afterwards it was so much fun. I still don't like the film but hey, it was a fun event.' So it's definitely creating a community.
"And Digital Gym is an intimate theater. It's only 50 seats. So it's really intimate. It's not a 200, 300 seat venue so it sort of forces people to be friendly and interact. And we always have the pre-show event, a little reception out front and people are so friendly and afterwards, it's so refreshing to see people with smiles on their faces and be happy."
Part of the experience for Gordon is to invite LGBTQ+ organizations to come and speak at the screenings and use the event to do their own fundraising.
"The LGBTQ+ community is near and dear to my heart. I've spent about the past 10 to 12 years volunteering and giving back to the community, especially in the areas of HIV prevention and treatment and services, but also LGBTQ+ youth and homeless youth and helping to prevent suicide and services in those types of things," Gordon said.
"So I provide LGBTQ+ non-profits the opportunity to come each month. So that's the half of the gay part of the Big Gay Sing Along. The other gay part is not so much LGBTQ+, it's more about just being gay and happy and fun and celebrating. The title Big Gay Sing Along, I certainly didn't create it. So I can't take credit for inventing that, but it certainly just fit with the tenor and the fun and the vibe of the event that I wanted to create."
"The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," starring the trending Dolly Parton (for #DollyPartonChallenge) and Burt Reynolds screens twice on Wednesday at Digital Gym Cinema on El Cajon Boulevard. You are not required to sing along but it is encouraged.