With Halloween rapidly approaching, about four months out now, this means ScareLA is even closer. ScareLA has become known as the world’s first summer Halloween Convention featuring educational programming, presentations, celebrity guests, and vendors. Outgrowing its home for the past two years at the Pasadena Convention Center, the unique Halloween convention will be setting its roots in a much larger and centralized location – The Los Angeles Convention Center.
Check out our interview below with ScareLA founder Lora Ivanova and see what the premiere Halloween convention has to offer this year, you’ll be glad you did! #StayScary
“ScareLA’s 2017 theme, “Monsters Come Together,” celebrates diversity, unity, and tolerance. Created to bring people together in a celebration of the scary and unusual, the convention aims to build and strengthen community ties across diverse groups, backgrounds, and interests.” – ScareLA.
Interview With ScareLA Founder Lora Ivanova
“When Monsters Come Together.”
Ryan T. Cusick: Hi Lora! I love hearing your voice because I know that its “Almost Time!” [Laughs] It is hard to believe that we are already back again,
Lora Ivanova: [Laughing] I know time flies!
RTC: So I’ve heard that you have moved to a new space?
LI: Yes, this is really exciting big news, it is the LA Premiere Venue [LA Convention Center]. The show had originally started downtown, so I have always wanted to try and mix that atmosphere. I always feel that we need to be agnostic to all the neighborhoods here in LA and that is the only place where we can do that. We can welcome the west-siders, the east-siders, the people from the south and the people from the north to come down to Los Angeles. This has kind of been my dream ever since we moved up to Pasadena to reclaim our spot in the heart of Los Angeles and take over the biggest venue in town.
RTC: How much more space?
LI: We are going to be over 200,000 square feet. We are going to be taking over the entire West Hall, so we are going to take the big show floor there. A significant change is going to be making the show more immersive and interactive than it has ever been. This is the biggest space we have ever been in so now we can bring these Panels, Classes, and Presentations under the same roof and keep everybody close together.
RTC: That will be really nice, this will actually be my first time at that facility, I have never been to the LA Convention Center
LI: Oh, wow! It’s quite different, there are bit more nooks and crannies to explore. Since it is a big open show floor, we are going to be creating everything from scratch; there will be no buildings for us to play off of. We will be building the entire thing from people’s imaginations and nightmares.
RTC: A haunt that you had last year was the Iron Witch. Are you going to have a similar haunt this year?
LI: We are doing something even more creative and crazy. So basically what we are doing this year is dividing the entire 200,000 square foot hall into two parts. One of them we are dedicating to the day of Halloween, Which is everything that you need to do to prepare yourself for Halloween. Go to panels and presentations to learn about events, get your makeup done by some of our artists; you can purchase merchandise and costumes; you can learn how to dress up your house or maybe learn how to make a creepy creature. From there on you will move into the night of Halloween. Over a third of the space will be dedicated to the night of Halloween, and we will be introducing for the first time the little town of “ScaryWood.”
LI: Which will have its own little neighborhood that you can trick or treat in. It will have different areas throughout the space that you can really be kind of immersed and dropped into the middle of summer of the middle of downtown Los Angeles, be dropped into this fantasy world the night of Halloween.
RTC: Wow, that just sounds like A LOT of fun!
LI: I am very excited!
RTC: A unique idea too.
LI: We are also bringing out some of the biggest attractions out on the show floor. So what we did with the Iron Witch, we did our own self-produced haunt, but it felt as though it was not big enough, and we always want to do BIGGER and better things. Instead of trying to do more little haunts we are actually going to have a full sized haunted house on the show floor from a new attraction that is looking to build in the LA area, it will have the giant arena style with zombies, and it will have an interactive experience. Things are getting bigger across the board.
RTC: Do you plan on having more vendors than you have had in the past?
LI: Yeah, I think we are going to hit at least 250 vendors. I know that we are going to have more than we have had in the past. We are focusing on more of the experience side this year, not necessarily looking to grow the vendor floor; we are trying to grow more of the actual elements of the show. But I think that we will most definitely end up having more this year.
RTC: As far as any guest are you able to say if you are having any this year?
LI: We have not pushed a big focus, particularly on guests this year. We are actually going to have some of the biggest names in horror coming to the stage and doing presentations and panels. We will have some signings; I want to make sure what is unique about our show is really the fun fact for when you meet your idol, it is a moviegoer experience. So instead of flopping into a booth and getting something signed, you actually get a chance to listen to them speak, you get an opportunity to interface with them, you get the chance to watch maybe the movie that they are famous for, and watch a Q & A with them at the end. So we are doing more with that type of lineup.
RTC: Wonderful, we all love panels.
LI: I always want to make sure that Halloween in my mind has not always been about the convention, it has been about the fans. It has always been about the people creating the experiences; it has never really been about famous people, it has really been about expressing yourself, bringing out your real corky visions that usually hide in your day-to-day job. So this what we want to focus on this year, so the theme is: “Monsters Come Together, ” And we want to celebrate diversity. All of us embracing our dark side all of us expressing our thoughts to the fullest.
RTC: I do believe that is what sets you apart from the standard type of conventions that have been popping up all over the world. Lora, thank you so much it was great speaking with you today.
LI: It was great chatting with you.
RTC: Take Care.
-About The Author-
Ryan T. Cusick is a writer for ihorror.com and very much enjoys conversation and writing about anything within the horror genre. Horror first sparked his interest after watching the original, The Amityville Horror when he was the tender age of three. Ryan lives in California with his wife and twelve-year-old daughter, who is also expressing interest in the horror genre. Ryan recently received his Master’s Degree in Psychology and has aspirations to write a novel. Ryan can be followed on Twitter @Nytmare112