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Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

Desolation Center

2018, Stuart Swezey, USA, 95 min.

Show Times

  • Fri, Oct 18th 8:00pm
  • Sat, Oct 19th 7:45pm
  • Sun, Oct 20th 3:30pm
  • Mon, Oct 21st 6:00pm
  • Wed, Oct 23rd 8:00pm
  • Thu, Oct 24th 8:15pm
First Chicago Run!

"Fascinating…an entertaining ride even for people without any interest in California's early 1980s punk-rock scene."—Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter

"Essential documentary…It somehow manages, against almost impossible odds, to capture the power of events that revolutionized pop music as we knew it."—Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

In the early 1980s, in the depths of the Reagan era, Los Angeles spawned an explosive punk scene that was relentlessly harassed by the LAPD. In response, 21-year-old Stuart Swezey founded Desolation Center, a DIY organization that staged events in remote desert locations where fans and performers (including Meat Puppets, Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Savage Republic) could cut loose in environments that mirrored punk's elemental ethos and gave free rein to its anarchic energy. These legendary events were amazingly influential (the founders of Burning Man, Coachella, and Lollapalooza were all present and inspired by them), but their story had never been told before this eye-opening documentary (directed by founder Swezey himself) that draws upon a trove of previously unseen archival footage. Winner of the Audience Award at the 2019 Chicago Underground Film Festival. DCP digital. (MR)

Buy a ticket at our regular prices for either DESOLATION CENTER or MY CHAR-BROILED BURGER WITH BREWER, and get a ticket for any show of the other film at this discount rate with proof of your original purchase: General Admission $7; Students $5; Members $4. (This discount price applies to the second film only. Discount available in person at the box office only.)

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