On Wednesday, October 28th, The Frida Cinema Drive-In presented Defunctland’s world premiere drive-in screening of Live from the Space Stage: A Halyx Story. This crowdfunded documentary tells the story of a band that was created by Disney Records in 1981 that also performed at the Space Stage at Disneyland for one summer. Along with the world drive-in premiere of this documentary, the evening also included a virtual Halyx reunion Halyx: Reunited and it Feels So Good along with the world premiere of Hail Halyx: The Tribute Band Music Video.
The event took place at Zion Lutheran Church & School’s baseball field on a lovely October evening. The ticketed event was free but only open to those with reservations. Shortly after 6:30, cars began to stream into the field. In total, over 130 cars ended up attending the event. Food trucks were on hand along with a concession stand for guests to enjoy.
A giant blow-up screen was set up for the event. Before the documentary began it showed slides that had Disney trivia from the 1980s, details about how to watch the movie, concept art for Halyx, and other slides about upcoming events from The Frida Cinema. As guests entered the viewing area, they were given a pin celebrating the event.
Live From the Space Stage: A Halyx Story began at around 7:45. During the introduction to the documentary, viewers were encouraged to honk their horns whenever they liked something they saw. The documentary itself was then played. Throughout the film, horns could be heard honking at various times as viewers were excited about what they saw on the screen. Ahead of the film’s beginning, some retro theatrical ads were shown. Overall, it gave a wonderful feel for the evening that was classic and fun.
The documentary itself is a must-watch for any Disneyland regular or Disney fan. The Halyx of 1981 was most likely similar to the Mad T Party band decades later in the way it drew fans in. The big difference was that nothing like this had ever been done before. Also, it was basically a band that was inspired by Star Wars and rocked out in Tomorrowland. What’s not to love!? Watching the documentary, it is very easy to see why Disneyland guests loved the band and many would come back night after night!
The documentary wasn’t the only highlight of the night, however. Following it, a virtual reunion was presented. Halyx: Reunited and it Feels So Good was hosted by Richard Kraft. He was joined by Matthew Serrano, the director of Live From the Space Stage: A Halyx Story, along with Roger Freeland, Felipe Fassnacht Leeds, Jeanette Clinger Hurley, Tommy Coppola, and Jeanie Cunningham. Together they shared memories of the band that were nearly four decades old.
Throughout the panel, some fun tidbits were shared about the band and also the documentary. Director Matthew Serrano shared that the footage of the band performing came from Bruce Lucas’s brother. This 8 year old filmed two performances. Serrano complimented the footage that was shot and was clearly impressed with the different shots they were able to use in the film because of this kid.
Jeanie Cunningham, who wrote one of Halyx’s most popular songs called Jailbait reminisced about how she submitted a demo to Disney and forgot that the song was on it. She was very surprised to discover that Disney wanted to use it but was also excited to get to work with Disney.
Jeanette, Tommy, and Roger all shared memories of lead singer Lora Mumford who eventually died of complications to diabetes. Sadly, a lot of the band lost contact with her after the band ended its run. Jeanette always looked up to Lora as a big sister and was always impressed with how she owned every room she entered. Tommy also lost contact with Lora and always assumed she went on to go do bigger things. Roger remembered how Lora was always so “easy to hang with.” He shared how Lora “was not a diva. She was a very talented singer.”
As the panel went on, Serrano shared that he wished he could have found the commercial that was apparently made for Halyx’s summer at Disneyland.
Those who had been connected to the band had varied reactions to seeing the documentary nearly four decades later. Jeanie found herself being proud to have been a part of its legacy but wished she been able to talk with the band back in the day. Roger enjoyed seeing that his memory of how good the band actually was confirmed in the documentary. Tony found himself getting emotional as he watched the documentary and realized that Lora’s real future after Halyx wasn’t anything like he had imagined it. Felice was quite proud of what they did and was very grateful to Matthew Serrano for putting together the documentary.
Richard Kraft wrapped up the panel sharing about how Halyx shows how there are people we have hopes and dreams for but that doesn’t always mean that they happen. He also shared at how things that could be forgotten can also have a ripple effect. Kraft shared that this weird optimism that is really quite a blessing.
Following the reunion, a music video was presented. This might have been the highlight of the night. Hail Halyx: The Tribute Band Music Video was, to put it simply, epic. It played through some of Halyx’s music while also connecting with some of Tomorrowland’s iconic attractions. This included Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. As the cover band sang, it went on a journey aboard a Starspeeder, fought Zurg, and raced through the world of Tron. This is a video that was awesome and I truly hope ends up online for the world to see. I definitely had it stuck in my head as I drove home from the drive-in.
The world drive-in premiere of Live From the Space Stage: A Halyx Story really was a fantastic night. The only downside was that more people couldn’t be there. It is a fantastic documentary that was coupled with a wonderful virtual reunion and epic music video. I was Incredible grateful to be able to experience it. I sincerely hope that this is presented again at some point. Everything together made for an incredible night. It was a created by Disney fans and loved by the Disney fans who were in attendance.
This drive-in event was a beautifully organic event that was so magical because of the passion of the people who created it. This kind of organic passion can’t be faked. The result of it is something that creates incredible experiences that will be remembered by those who got to be a part of them. I, for one, am glad to have been in one of the 130 plus cars that got to be on that baseball field that night!