By Sean Ryan
Imagine it’s a Saturday night in the middle of the summer of ’97.
You and your closest friends are driving up Main Street in Corona to a show you’ve been waiting to happen since you saw the flier. You have a brand new roll of film for the 35mm camera you borrowed from your parents and have X’s marked on your hands from a black sharpie. Not only are you going to see Ray Cappo and “Better Than a Thousand,” you’re also going to see your favorite straight-edge band from Boston “Ten Yard Fight” at the Showcase Theatre.
From 1993 to 2008, fans of the underground music scene in Riverside county had an all-ages venue that they could call home.
Logan Patrick, director and editor of the “Showcase Theatre Documentary,” set out to make a film that would tell the story of this legendary venue in Corona.
“When the word got out that I was going to put this film together, people who were involved and musicians who played Showcase reached out to me and wanted to help out any way they could,” Patrick said. “They were excited. Any time you start talking about the Showcase Theatre with people, their faces light up and they can’t wait to talk about what it meant to them.”
During its existence, bands and musicians that were on tour or coming from areas outside of Riverside County were excited to make the stop in Corona to play at the Showcase. Artists knew they were guaranteed to see their fans slam in the pit while others were stage diving.
David Ingram, who is involved with promoting and putting together the documentary as well as being Patrick’s longtime friend, used to frequent the Showcase in his youth.
“The Showcase was important for me at that time in my life,” Ingram said. “I was a musician in a death metal band and I played shows, hung out at shows and sometimes I didn’t have the money to get into shows. The owner would ask me to do security and that’s how I got to keep hanging out at the venue. That’s the type of community we had at Showcase.”
Venues like Showcase provided a safe space for youth and young adults to create and share communities for themselves outside of school, work, home or whatever it happened to be.
Whether it was punk, hardcore, or Ska bands playing at the Showcase, the people in this community had their own scene right here in the Inland Empire.
Just like the scene in New York had CBGB’s and A7, Boston had The Ratt, or Los Angeles and its many notorious clubs, the underground music scene was alive and right here in our backyard.
“Many notable bands got their start at Showcase,” Patrick said. “Many kids who grew up going to shows there, got their start as photographers. Others found different avenues within the music industry.”
The Showcase Theatre Documentary will premiere at the Concert Lounge in downtown Riverside May 16.
“I think the younger generation needs to see this film,” Ingram said. “I don’t believe that there is a documentary out there that is so raw and unfiltered about our generation.”
Find more information for screening times and other dates for showings at showcasetheatredoc.com