Lights, camera, altar

Lights, camera, altar

A Pennsylvania Catholic church is transforming itself into a theater to show The Passion of the Christ.

Troy Waligura of WAVE Systems of Uniontown explained how the company will convert the church into a theater.

“We have permission to pipe and drape the entire altar. We will build walls out of curtains,” he said. “We will have a 9-by-12-foot rear projection screen with an LCD projector.

“We’ve never done anything like this before,” Waligura added. “But basically a church is built with everything focusing on the center. It looks like it will come out well. We’ll be tied into their sound system and bring other speakers, so it will be a full theater experience.”

Yeah, everything focuses on the center because that’s where the Eucharist is. I do have a problem with this because I think there’s a real danger of confusion. The church is a sacred space where the Sacrifice of Calvary is memorialized every day, but what they’re doing is setting it up as a space where a fictionalized presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary will be shown instead.

Hey, I’m a fan of the movie, but this goes directly to some people’s criticism of it, that a realistic portrayal of the Passion will cause people to confuse the movie with reality. I think making the same place where you celebrate Mass into a movie theater adds to that tendency.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli