Witch way: Brooklyn celebrates ‘Hocus Pocus’

Triple threat: The Disney flick “Hocus Pocus” has become a Halloween tradition in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Paper
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They’ve put a spell of us!

During this Halloween season, Brooklyn has become enchanted by “Hocus Pocus,” a goofy movie from 1993 that celebrates witches, black cats, and all things spooky. A Bushwick movie theater will screen the film every day next week, and three different nightlife events will elevate the magical movie.

Several factors explain the renewed popularity of the flick, said the nightlife producers. For one thing, it is just a really fun movie — especially because of the performances from the three witches at its heart.

“You can’t deny how fun the movie is, and how much fun the three stars are having — meaning Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy,” said Pete McElligott, whose group of comedians will perform the film “Entirely From Memory” at Littlefield on Oct. 25, while adding lines and scenes suggested by the audience.

Also, he spelled out, there are plenty of horror films, but not many that focus on the Halloween holiday.

“There’s not too many Halloween films,” he said. “This one really celebrates the season.”

Finally, kids who grew up watching “Hocus Pocus” on the Disney Channel are now old enough to drink, and want to celebrate their favorite spooky season film, said one participant with “A Drinking Game NYC,” which will host a boozy reading of the witchy film on Halloween.

“We’re all around the age when we grew up watching it on TV, and now it’s become a tradition,” said Cali Daby. This will be the group’s fourth October doing the show, and audiences go wild for it every year, she said.

“It’s become of our favorite shows that we do, something that we look forward to,” said Daby. “And this year is going to be a blockbuster!”

The show has also become a tradition for Dave Oliver, who has hosted a Halloween trivia night based on the film for years.

“ ‘Hocus Pocus’ is a beloved Halloween movie. It draws really well in October,” said Oliver, who will host trivia in Bay Ridge on Oct. 15.

“Hocus Pocus” at Syndicated [40 Bogart St. between Thames and Grattan streets in Bushwick, (718) 386–3399,]. Oct. 14–20 at various times. $7.

Hocus Pocus Trivia at Delia’s Lounge (9224 Third Ave. at 93rd Street in Bay Ridge, Oct. 15 at 8 pm.

“Hocus Pocus Entirely From Memory” at Littlefield (635 Sackett St. between Third and Fourth avenues in Gowanus, Oct. 23 at 8 pm. $12 ($10 in advance).

“A Drinking Game NYC presents Hocus Pocus” at the Bell House [149 Seventh St. between Second and Third avenues in Gowanus, (718) 643–6510,]. Oct. 31 at 7:30 pm. $20.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Posted 12:00 am, October 11, 2019
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