Saturday, August 6


Stanford Theatre reopens

Today the best place on Frisco Bay to watch a classic Hollywood double-bill, the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto, reopens after three months of having its curtain closed. During this period, the lobby underwent restoration and other improvements briefly described here were made. They're opening with six days of Laura and the Philadelphia Story.

Their new calendar has something for just about every classic movie fan. Ever-rewatchable standards from the both the AFI 100 and Jonathan Rosenbaum's Alternative 100 lists include Some Like It Hot (Oct. 1-6), Citizen Kane and All About Eve (playing together Aug. 27-30) from the former and Bride of Frankenstein (Aug. 20-23, with Sunset Blvd.) and an Affair to Remember (Sep. 10-13) from the latter. There's a week of Greta Garbo films in September, followed by an Ernst Lubitsch/Maurice Chevalier/Jeannete MacDonald double bill, and then two of the greatest European-flavored Hollywood comedies: Lubitsch's To Be Or Not To Be and Mitchell Leisen's Midnight. And peppered throughout the schedule are relatively lesser-known pre-code films, silent movies (always with a live organist like Dennis James or Chris Elliot) including one of Harold Lloyd's most underrated films Girl Shy (Sep. 7), and even a couple days of a Satyajit Ray double bill, Mahanagar and Charulata (Sep. 8-9).

I don't know how often I'll be able to get down there myself, but its a well-run theatre that always makes sure its screenings end in time to make the last Caltrain back to Frisco. Since I'm curious to see how the lobby looks as soon as I can, I'm hoping to fit in a trip to see a pair of John Huston/Humphrey Bogart films I haven't gotten around to yet: the African Queen and Beat the Devil, playing from August 12-16.

Switching gears to the more recent "classic" films showing this week at the Castro, I can't help but wonder if the decision to play the 1981 post-apocalyptic milestone action film the Road Warrior on the very day 60 years after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima is a bizarre coincidence or else a slightly twisted joke, but I may just find myself there tonight as I haven't seen that film since the 80's. It's part of a 70mm film series that also includes Ken Russell's Tommy on Tuesday and Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands on Wednesday. Here's a great website on 70mm film, in case you're interested in learning more.

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