Anti-valentine’s day screening takes place in Bakersfield downtown

Alexandra Apatiga, Editor-in-Chief

The Beale Memorial Library in downtown Bakersfield welcomed the public and film buffs alike to see the 1944 mystery-thriller classic “Gaslight” for a special anti-valentines screening, Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The film, starring the late actors Ingrid Bergman as Paula and Charles Boyer as Gregory, was based on a British play called “Angel Street” by Samuel French, which premiered on Broadway in 1941.

The film itself follows a chilling tale of a newly wedded woman – Paula – slowly being manipulated by her husband – Gregory – to believe she has gone insane. Gregory lies and tricks Paula throughout the movie, isolating her in her own home all while going about his own nefarious plans.

The film went on to become a box office success, being nominated for seven Academy Awards and winning Best Actress in a Leading Role for Ingrid Bergman.

The film has also been attributed for coining the term gaslighting, an actual form of psychological manipulation involving a person manipulating someone into a state of doubt, to the point of questioning their own sanity.

Ariel Dyer, the Children’s Library Associate for Beale Memorial, works in adult programing and puts on events, such as the screening of “Gaslight,” for those in the community.

According to Dyer, “Gaslight” was a last-minute addition to the library’s Cinema Macabre series, a showing of classic horror films from February through May. Dyer has also hosted other film screenings ranging from classics to family films, as well as international cinema.

“It’s hard to get adults out” explained Dyer. “What I’m trying to do is get people who like film to come out and hopefully introduce others to a new experience that they might like.”

Dyer shared that she herself is a fan of the horror genre and wanted to seek out others in the community who shared her enjoyment.

“I know there’s a group out there who enjoy things like this, like me, I hope it can get those people to come out more” said Dyer.

Dyer also shared that the library is not what it was in the past and that libraries in general are not “quiet” like most people think.

“I want people to realize that the library is changing, it isn’t what it was over a decade ago, that’s just not how it is anymore” explained Dyer. “Our library has resources and lots of things to offer for children and adults.”

“We don’t just do books; we do movies too.”

The Cinema Macabre series will continue to run at the Beale Memorial Library all the way through May, showing films like “Poltergeist” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” The next film screening will be March 1 at 5 p.m. with the movie “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?.”