Event Information
Rooftop Films, Inc. Presents
Plagues And Pleasures On The Salton Sea
Saturday, July 15, 2006

A sea in the middle of a desert that is even more unusual than you would imagine.

Length: 1 hr 10 mins
Intermission: None
Seating: General Admission
You choose your seats when you get to the theater.

8:00 PM - Doors Open
8:30 PM - Live Music by Hero Park
9:00 PM - The Feature (which will be preceded by two short films)

Once known as the "California Riviera", the Salton Sea is now called one of America's worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up dead fish and birds by the thousands. Yet a few hardy eccentrics hang on to hope, including a roadside nudist waving at passing European tourists, a man building a religious mountain out of mud and paint, beer-loving Hungarian revolutionary Hunky Daddy, and the real-estate "Ronald McDonald" known simply as The Landman. Through their perceptions and misperceptions, the strange history and unexpected beauty of the Salton Sea is revealed.

"Accidentally" created by an engineering error in 1905, reworked in the '50s as a world-class vacation destination for the rich and famous, and then suddenly abandoned after a series of hurricanes, floods, and fish die-offs, the Salton Sea has a bittersweet past. Congressman Sonny Bono himself was once dedicated to saving the lake, until he went skiing one day...

Now among the ruins of this man-made mistake, these few remaining people struggle to keep a remodelled version of the dream alive. However, this most unique community is now threatened by the nearby megalopolises of Los Angeles and San Diego, as they attempt to take the agricultural run-off that barely sustains the sea. The fate of this so-called ecological time bomb and the community that surrounds it remain uncertain, as the Salton Sea might just dry up.

While Plagues & Pleasures covers the historical, economic, political, and environmental issues that face the sea, it more importantly offers up an offbeat portrait of the eccentric and individualistic people who populate its shores. It is an epic western tale of fantastic real estate ventures and failed boomtowns, inner-city gangs fleeing to white small town America, and the subjective notion of success and failure amidst the ruins of the past. Hair-raising and hilarious, part history lesson, part cautionary tale and part portrait of one of the strangest communities you've ever seen, this is the American Dream gone as stinky as a dead carp.

Press for Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea:

"Jaunty and funü with a cast of colorful locals who make the residents of Vernon, Florida seem normal."


"It's a winner. This odd, but accessible documentary is reminiscent of Errol Morris' early workü Metzler & Springer are no less talented."

Pitch Weekly

"The human heart is found in the oddball locals, as Metzler and Springer eschew the role of muckraking filmmakers, training their lens on the lake and letting it tell its calamitous and complicated tale."

Albuquerque Tribune

How many people in your party need a wheel chair seat?

This event is general admission and no seating is assigned at this time. You will choose your seats when you arrive at the venue. Please view the 'More info' link to view if the venue is ADA Complaint.