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Byrds of a Feather

By Amber Bacote, Virginia State University



Photo 92655474 © Carol Bell | Dreamstime.com



1. FADE IN: OVERLAY OF WHITE TEXT THAT READS:


“This is a documentary about the Historic Byrd Theatre, located in Richmond, VA.”


Text is displayed over footage of Carytown, VA and the outside of the Byrd Theatre.


FADE OUT TEXT:


2. FADE IN: OVERLAY OF WHITE TEXT THAT READS:


“The participants in this documentary are real people, not actors.”


FADE OUT TEXT:


SCENE 1. EXT. BYRD THEATRE - DAY


SOFIA (20s) stands in front of the theater as a camera crew sets up in front of her. The camera shifts and moves as the camera crew sets up their shot. Behind Sofia, two Byrd employees scale a latter to adjust the marquee.


CAMERA MAN (O.C.)

Whenever you’re ready.


Sofia adjusts her hair and smoothes out her shirt.


SOFIA

Here?


Before the camera man can answer a letter falls from the marquee and falls on top of Sofia’s head. Sofia yells in pain and rubs the top of her head and begins to yell at the employee on the latter. Sofia’s talking head starts here.


SCENE 2. INT. BYRD THEATRE OFFICE


SOFIA TALKING HEAD - INT. - DAY


SOFIA

I’ve been working at the historical

Byrd Theatre for about a year now.

We’ve got a bunch of creatives

working here, this place attracts a

lot of...artists.


Another coworker, WARREN (late 20s) enters the office then awkwardly closes door once he realizes it’s being occupied. He speaks through the crack of the office door.


WARREN

Sorry. Lila says you need to come

back down.


CAMERA MAN (O.C.)

Are you not the manager?


SOFIA

(embarrassed)

No, I’m-It’s not...no, I’m not.


SCENE 3. INT. BYRD THEATRE BALCONY


WARREN TALKING HEAD - INT. - DAY


WARREN

Yeah, I’ve been here the longest of

the group. Everyone here’s just

really free spirited and funny,

it’s cool to be around. All of my

band members work here.



CUT TO:


Warren and his band member LUKA (Late 20s) mimic playing different instruments for the camera.


CAMERA MAN (V.O.)

What’s it like working with them?


WARREN (V.O.)

I mean, it’s cool. We also live

together so I see them, like, all

the time. It’s cool but sometimes

it’s like ugh! Ya know? Yeah, no

it’s cool.


CUT TO:


SCENE 3 - INT. BYRD THEATRE OFFICE


Many of the employees walk around as they get ready to open the doors for tonight’s screening. Lila’s talking head starts here.

LILA TALKING HEAD - INT. - DAY


LILA

I’m the shift manager, not the

general manager. That’s something

else entirely.


CAMERA MAN (O.C.)

So what are your responsibilities?


LILA

Uh, mostly just reports, the

marquee and managing day to day

issues.


CAMERA MAN (O.C.)

Day to day?


LILA

(exasperated)

Yeah, man. That could mean just

about anything. Our general manager

comes in now and then but he kinda

just complains and smokes outside.



CUT TO:

EXT. BYRD THEATRE ENTRANCE - NIGHT


SIMON (40) can be seen slouching in the corner of the building, pacing and smoking a cigarette.

CUT TO:


CLOSE UP OF SIMON TAKING A FINAL DRAG OF HIS CIGARETTE AS HE REALIZES HE’S BEING FILMED. CAMERA IS QUICKLY TITLED DOWN.


SCENE 4 - INT. BYRD THEATRE - EVENING


Sofia and EDDIE (20s) stand behind the concessions stand, waiting, with their hands perched on the plexiglass. Inside the concession stand is plethora of different kinds of candy and drinks--alcoholic drinks included.


SOFIA

This is where all the magic

happens!


EDDIE

The magic?


SOFIA

(disgruntled)

Shut. Up.


Eddie throws his hands up in defeat and walks away. ZOOM IN to Sofia awkwardly posing as if the camera is capturing her picture.


1. The text “6:30 P.M. OPEN DOORS” overlays Lila unlocking the door and letting waiting customers in. A group of twenty to thirty people enter the theater.


The large brass theater doors open and people begin to file in and find a seat. A MALE CUSTOMER (60s) and his wife, FEMALE CUSTOMER (60s) stand to be interviewed for the camera.


MALE CUSTOMER

We’ve been coming here for decades

now.


FEMALE CUSTOMER

Mhm, since before tickets cost so

much!


CAMERA MAN

And how much are the tickets now?


FEMALE CUSTOMER

Six dollars! I mean, can you

believe this economy?


1. FADE IN: OVERLAY OF WHITE TEXT THAT READS:


“Bill Golding - Resident Organist for 30 years.”


Behind the counter stands an grumpy older man, BILL (70). As the resident organ player he arrives fifteen minutes before the show and leaves after he plays the organ for fifteen minutes. He stands in the corner of the theater and often mumbles to himself.


Sofia and Eddie stand behind the counter serving people popcorn, candy, and drinks. Sofia’s talking head starts here.


SOFIA TALKING HEAD - INT. - NIGHT


SOFIA

Most people usually get a large

popcorn and soda, the usual. After

making popcorn so often, it becomes

an innate skill.

(whispers)


SOFIA (CONT’D)

Out of everyone, I think I make the

best popcorn.


Behind Sofia, Eddie adds an excessive amount of extra butter to a large popcorn bag with a squeeze bottle and hands it to a suspicious customer.


SCENE 5 - INT. BYRD THEATRE - NIGHT


Sofia, Warren, Eddie, Luka, and Lila sit behind the counter aimlessly as movie plays inside the theater.


WARREN

(to camera)

There’s not much to do while the

movie plays, it’s the most boring

part of the night.


EDDIE

Want to play UNO?


Everyone eagerly agrees to play and the crowd around the counter of the concessions stand as Eddie deals out cards.



CUT TO:


INT. BYRD THEATRE - NIGHT


UNO cards cover the floor and counter and Sofia, Lila, and Eddie are arguing over the game. Warren and Luka sit on the staircase, watching.


LILA

You have to draw 18 cards!


EDDIE

That’s bullshit! You can’t stack a

plus two on top of a plus four!

There’s already four plus four

cards on the deck!


SOFIA

(hysterically laughing)

You just can’t accept that you

might lose!


EDDIE

No, I can’t accept that this is

cheating! You guys just want to see

me lose!


Their argument progressively gets louder until customers come out to watch the group argue. A group of regular customers have began to place bets on who they think will win the next round. Warren and Luka collect small change from customers and keep track of everyone’s bet. After a long round, Lila is victorious and there’s a diverse reaction of disappointment and glee from the staircase. Camera holds on Eddie looking upset and Sofia laughs so hard she falls to the floor.


CUT TO:


SCENE 6 - INT. BYRD THEATRE - NIGHT


All of the customers have left and the Byrd employees have begun to sweep inside the theater. On screen displays the credits of the movie that was screened tonight. The employees are illuminated by the giant white text on the screen as the employees clean.


EDDIE

(to camera)

Sometimes we find some really cool

stuff after cleaning. Like this.


He picks up the weed pen and takes a pull.


Sofia unwraps a vacuum cleaner and begins to drag the vacuum up and down the theater’s aisles.


Warren and Luka stand outside and smoke a cigarette each. Lila is upstairs, locking the office door for the night.


LILA (V.O.)

It’s nice when the movie is short,

it means we can leave and still

enjoy the rest of our night.


Inside the theater, lights switch off one by one. Doors close and brooms are put away in the closet. Each employee gathers their things and waits at the front door as Lila turns off all of the lights in the lobby and sets the alarm.


SCENE 7 - EXT. BYRD THEATRE - NIGHT


Lila, Sofia, Eddie, Warren, and Luka stand outside the theater doors and wait in awkward silence for a minute.


WARREN

(pause)

All right, have a good night, guys.


Luka waves goodbye and begins to walk away in the same direction as Warren. Sofia, Eddie, and Lila now stand together.


LILA

Want to grab a drink at Deli?


Sofia and Eddie shrug in agreement.


CUT TO:


SCENE 8 - INT. NEW YORK DELI BAR AND RESTAURANT - NIGHT


Lila, Eddie, and Sofia sit at a table, a few beers in. It’s trivia night and both Sofia and Eddie both eagerly try to answer each question as quickly as possible. Lila’s talking head starts over this.


LILA TALKING HEAD - INT. - NIGHT


LILA

Most of us are close here, some

more than others. But we all get

along.


CAMERA MAN (O.C.)

Does anyone get along better than

others?


Camera FOCUSES to see Eddie smiling at Sofia as she pays keen attention to the front for the next trivia question, oblivious to anything around her.


REFOCUS:


LILA

I guess you’ll just have to stay

around to see.


ROLL CREDITS.


TAG

SCENE 9 - INT. BYRD THEATRE - NIGHT


An OLDER MAN (60s) exits the family bathroom of the theatre and wanders confused in the dark.


OLDER MAN

Hello? Hello--I think I’ve been

left behind! Hello!


FADE TO BLACK.


END.



About the Author

Amber Bacote, Virginia State University


Amber Bacote is a graduating English major at Virginia State University. Her interests include film, pop culture, literature, and fashion. Her least favorite question is “What’s your favorite move?” because, how could you expect her to pick just one? After she graduates, she plans to pursue a career in film production and screenwriting. She recommends everyone watch a foreign film or two, in their free time.


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