Paramount: Summer Film Series, New Film Fan Benefits


Paramount's summer movies begin

The Paramount Theatre has just released its 2009 schedule for the Summer Film Series, which has been going on for how long? 34 years, according to the website. I remember seeing MASH there in the summer of 1994, even though I had such a bad cold I could barely speak. I had never seen an unedited version of the movie, nor seen it in a theater, and I pretty much forgot about my cold for 2 hours. The print was pink from old age, but that didn't matter.

Over the years, the summer film series has grown bigger and more varied, and the quality of the prints has improved greatly. But they still start every year with Casablanca in late May, and reserve Labor Day weekend for Gone with the Wind.

Some of this year's highlights are a special screening of Buster Keaton's The General with music by Guy Forsyth; a double-feature of Chaplin's City Lights and Modern Times; Hal Ashby's 1970 film The Landlord, which isn't on DVD yet; and the little-seen Frank Capra film American Madness from 1932.

American Madness is part of a series the Paramount is running called "Good Times from the Great Depression" that includes all kinds of delightful 1930s movies (which you know I can't resist) including a double-feature of The Awful Truth and The Philadelphia Story, an even more apt double of Easy Living and My Man Godfrey, musicals like The Gay Divorcee and Dames, and naturally It Happened One Night.

The lineup also includes tributes to Horton Foote and Paul Newman, several movies in 70mm, and some "Girls Night Out" double-features about which I have no comment. Many of the films are accompanied by Warner Bros. cartoon shorts this year, which I love much better than the short serials the Paramount has shown in previous years, so that's a plus.

Another plus is the way in which the Paramount has improved its Film Fan Club recently. At first, the program seemed more like a donation program for people who wanted to support movies at the Paramount. Now, however, they've added lots of benefits. Members get discounts on individual tickets or Flix-Tix books, free popcorn, and seating in a reserved section of the theater. Not only that, but the Paramount is holding a special kick-off party for Film Fan members before the May 21 screening of Casablanca, with free appetizers and drinks. Looks like a good deal. You can find more information on the Paramount website.

And what movie are you looking forward to seeing most at the Paramount this summer?

[Aside to my husband: Of course they're showing Breakfast at Tiffany's, which a lot of people adore who aren't ourselves, but you were wrong about Baraka this year; it's not on the schedule.]

Summer Classic Film Series

I can't wait for the Jaws/Jurassic Park double feature!