Moonlight’s popular Fright Fest concludes this weekend

seating at Moonlight Stage Productions' Fright Fest outdoor movie series
For social-distancing reasons, only limited seats are available for sale at Moonlight Stage Productions’ Fright Fest outdoor movie series in Vista this month.
(Courtesy photo)

Moonlight Stage Productions in Vista was forced to cancel its 2020 season of outdoor musicals, but it has sold out virtually every seat for its Fright Fest series of Halloween-themed movies at the Moonlight Amphitheatre this month. The series concludes this weekend with Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” on Friday and “Ghostbusters” on Saturday.

Colleen Kollar Smith, Moonlight’s managing director, said just 100 of the 1,500 amphitheater seats were offered for sale for the films, which range from family-friendly titles to grown-up fare. It’s been such a success, Kollar Smith said Moonlight is now hoping to host a series of holiday-themed films in December.

Moonlight used federal coronavirus relief funds to purchase thermal scanners, hand sanitizer stations, seat covers for socially distanced seating and signs to make the amphitheater safe. Kollar and her husband, actor/playwright Lance Arthur Smith, have two daughters, Scottie and Pepper, and she wanted the environment to be a safe space for her own children as well as other Vista families.

“Lance and I have been extremely cautious and restrictive, as we have family with health concerns nearby,” she said. “When Lance and Scottie came and felt comfortable with their first night out of the house since lockdown, it affirmed the work that so many put in to make the theater safe.”

Moonlight has one more treat in store for Halloween, “Ka’davaret: The Broadway Villains Ball.” The streamed concert, featuring several Southern California performers, will feature songs by villains in Broadway musicals, including “Sweeney Todd,” “Damn Yankees,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Wicked,” “The Lion King” and more. The show will stream at 5 p.m. Oct. 31. Tickets are $10.31. Visit

Pam Kragen writes about theater for The San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at