It made their millenniums!
Two long-time fiancees tied the knot in a strange and unusual “Beetlejuice”-themed ceremony in Bushwick on Sunday, during a screening and shindig inspired by the film’s would-be wedding scene. The Tim Burton-loving lovebirds say they learned about the event just a few weeks ago, and realized it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for their dream wedding.
“It was destiny,” said Luis Latorre, who finally walked down the aisle with his new wife Ryoko Sasaki after proposing to her 10 years ago. “I’d been jokingly planning a Tim Burton wedding with my brother, and by chance they put on this event.”
The newlyweds joined hundreds of other fans of the 1988 gothic comedy at circus venue the House of Yes for the gala organized by BBQ Films — an outfit that turns screenings of cult films into immersive parties, where attendees take part in scenes alongside costumed characters.
The organizers had been offering married couples the chance to renew their vows at the bash in the spirit of the wacko wedding between Beetlejuice and gothic teen Lydia Deetz, but say they were more than happy to accommodate Latorre and Sasaki’s last-minute request to get hitched for the first time, as it was right in the spirit of the event. Plus, the actor playing the title character happened to be an ordained officiant.
“When we decided to do ‘Beelejuice,’ we decided to do it for the love,” said BBQ Films founder Gabriel Rhoads, who has previously turned a Williamsburg warehouse into the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” headquarters, and music store Rough Trade into the titular “Empire Records” for previous events.
Latorre and Sasaki — former New Yorkers who now live in Pennsylvania with their 2-year-old daughter, 10 dogs, and a pig — also did their own part to help make the experience as authentic as possible, recruiting contestants from the Syfy network’s competitive prosthetic makeup artist series “Face Off” to transform them into the film’s main characters.
The couple did deviate slightly from the source material, however — they dressed as the characters from the ’80s cartoon spinoff of the movie, so they wouldn’t clash with the actors. And of course they actually got hitched, while in the film a giant worm devours Michael Keaton’s Beetlejuice before he can put a ring on Winona Ryder’s finger.
Rhoads says he has more over-the-top screening parties planned for Brooklyn venues later this year, and eventually hopes to work with movie studios to help them create similar events that get audiences back in the cinema instead of waiting for films to hit Netflix.
“We believe this is a real artform,” he said. “Our philosophy has always been that seeing movies in the cinema is a beautiful experience, a social experience. We bring movies back to their roots.”