This is supposed to be a movie premiere. A skateboard flick on the big screen at the Tower Theatre. But local filmmaker Jack Mansfield and his movie are MIA. Hundreds of skaters, enthusiasts and tag-alongs front-load in the parking lot’s shadows around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. After an hour, the throng of 250 rears its collective head change and restlessly loiters in the theater foyer like vultures. They want a free skater flick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
Local Lurk Hard clothing mogul Rob Mason stands guard at Tower’s entrance, his waxed mustache getting in the way as he calmly shovels golden popcorn and stares out at the sea of plaid and flannel. Lurk Hard is co-sponsoring the screening, along with FTC and The Hundreds, but odds are it’s not gonna happen. At least according to the Tower management, who’re watching the clock.
Soon, a cop shows up to investigate. Mason yells, “Get the fuck back! Make a fucking line!” at the crowd, right in front of the cop, who’s impressively a lot calmer than he. The cop finally leaves, but Mansfield’s opus still hasn’t arrived; turns out, he’s at home still working on the final cut. Wonder if this ever happens at Cannes?
Anyway, like Moses, Mansfield finally emerges from the swarm toting a Mac G5 tower. Jaws of defeat, suck it.
The only memorable thing about watching a skateboarding flick with a crowd is the chock-nasty heckling. A skater bails and a guy taunts, “Gutter boy!” Then a glass bottle explodes on the concrete floor. Someone yells, “Modesto, biotches!” It’s like if Andrew Dice Clay curated Mystery Science Theater 3000.
This Lurk Hard screening is part of a larger weekend celebration. The occasion: local 26-year-old pro skater Omar Salazar’s first Nike shoe. If you have no clue about skateboarding, then you’ll never grasp what this means for Sacto. A hint: Only Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James currently have Nike basketball kicks.
Anyway, the weekend’s main event is Sunday’s skateboarding expo at the 28th and B streets Sutter’s Landing Regional Park, for which Nike donated permanent vertical ramps. Cops shut down the road leading to the skate hangar; parking lots max out and the nearly 500 in attendance trudge over the train tracks for a half mile, only to wait in a 40-minute queue. Some give up and watch through the wrought-iron fence.
DJ Whores spins the Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps in the Dark,” while Salazar and a dozen other local and pro skaters rip it. Hella kids tote boards and gawk at the elder skatesmen. It’s a far cry for the locals—Salazar, Tristan Moss, Stefan Janoski, John Cardiel, Matt Rodriguez—who probably grew up grinding the central city’s vacant urban milieu, cops hassling them all day long. And now, Nike has pimped out their local park—and the cops are guarding it, keeping order.