Totah Theater roars back to life with free film screenings event

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON – The Totah Theater is coming back in high fashion with a free red carpet movie premiere the night of Oct. 24 for two locally-produced productions.

The grand reopening day for the facility also includes a ribbon-cutting event at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 24 with the Chamber of Commerce Red Coats.

Seating at the free red carpet event is first-come, first served, the city’s announcement said. The evening event starts at 6 p.m. Refreshments and a cash bar will be available and the invitation said guests were welcome to dress for the Red Carpet.

The films, "Night of the Vampire" and "Red Rising," were both filmed and produced in Farmington.

Contact the Farmington Civic Center at 505-599-1148 for more information on the event.“Night of the Vampire is a horror short film shot in Farmington New Mexico,” the promo still posted on YouTube states.

Movie posters for two films to be shown Oct. 24 at the Totah Theater were released by the City of Farmington.

“Six people are trapped in a small store as a vampire invasion begins outside, a seventh sits in the back of the store already bitten,” the YouTube promo stated. “Unsure if the man will turn the people in the front must separate fact from fiction and decide whether or not to kill the man in the back.”

The movie was produced by Karen A. McCay and directed by Noah McCay, the promo stated. The movie poster states that cinematography was by Phoenix Zito.

A trailer can be found online via https://www.facebook.com/McCayProductions/videos/8007011556007113.

McCay Productions describes itself as a “local film production company founded by Farmington based Film Maker Noah McCay.’

Karen A. McCay is Noah’s mother, making it a family effort.

The newly renovated Totah Theater in downtown Farmington will serve as a live entertainment venue, movie theater and office space for film and TV producers.

McCay, 23, told the Daily Times he has been active in the film scene for about three years and earned his digital media degree at San Juan College. Once a student at Piedra Vista High School, he said his family moved around and he returned to study at the college.

Red Rising is a film that has been in the Four Corners Film Festival and has been screened elsewhere as well. It is from Tomahawk Ridge Productions.

“This is a partnership between our new production company Tomahawk Ridge Films, Film Four Corners, and amazing local filmmakers,” a notice on the Film Four Corners website stated in part. “This is part of our effort to drive the film industry in the Four Corners region.”

A short synopsis was found on the film’s Facebook page.

“Years after having to give up being a Ranger, Jason Lee Scott, the Red Power Ranger must deal with the trauma he received from his time as a hero. As well as try to survive, when demons from his past come back to haunt him,” a description on the film’s Facebook page stated.

The film comes with a disclaimer as well.

“This is a non-profit fan film. All rights and trademarks of Power Rangers or associated properties belong to their respective copyright holders,” it stated. “Please support the official release.”

A brief clip is available at https://www.filmfourcorners.com/team

Its Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/RedRisingPR.https://www.facebook.com/RedRisingPRRed Rising” was written by Gareth West and Directed by Brent Garcia, said Noah McCay of McCoy Productions.

The Totah Theater is located at 315 W Main St. in Farmington’s historic district. The building has undergone extensive renovation. The building's offices are intended to serve as a support hub for the local film industry.

Plans were announced in 2021 for a backlot village at the San Juan County Industrial Complex in far northern San Juan County. That site was one of three that were under consideration for the project, according to the Daily Times archive.

The project would be part of Totah Studios, which includes the recently renovated theater. Totah Studios is a joint venture between the City of Farmington and San Juan County to help promote the county as a shooting destination for film and TV producers as part of an effort to diversify the local economy.