Community parties for ‘Purple Rain’

Promotional photo from official Facebook page.

Promotional photo from official Facebook page.

The musical power of Prince and The Revolution had moviegoers uneasy in their seats, turning the theater’s aisles into a dance floor. It was almost like an evening at a live concert rather than a movie screening.

On Thursday, May 5, the Pageant Theatre sold out for a night of “Purple Rain” as a tribute to the fallen rockstar Prince who died last month.

The audience clapped and sang along with Prince and his band,The Revolution, as he played his role as “The Kid,” a house band musician who tries to make it in the music industry but is faced with problems at home with an abusive father.

Every time Prince would do some provocative dance move, which was often, the crowd would embrace it with applause and laughter.

Watching Prince in “Purple Rain” reminded people of the type of artist he was. Some considered the night an emotional experience because Prince meant that much to the music community.

“We love you Prince!” some audience member would yell out occasionally.

“I felt really sad, but at the same time I really connected with him again by seeing the movie,” said Daphne Raitt, a Prince fan at the showing.

The same feeling that Raitt discussed was shared even by people that had never seen the movie before.

For Charlene Abinante, Chico resident, watching the film was a little emotional.

“I don’t think I appreciated him as much as I might have now if had followed him more as an artist,” Abinante said.

For many, Prince will be remembered for his flamboyant attitude or wardrobe, but for Sienna Orlando-Lalaguna, she said she liked Prince for his music and what he stood for.

“I will remember him as a true artist in many forms,” Orlando-Lalaguna said. “He kind of crosses media between art, music, film, dance, performance and just sort of reaching people. His goals were really love and spirituality. That’s what I see.”

When “Purple Rain” the song was performed, the entire crowd was singing the chorus back and applauded the screen as if Prince had played his last song of the concert.

Michael Arias can be reached at [email protected] or @mikey_arias on Twitter.