Film & TV

Classic Films Showing in Miami This October

With October arriving and the smell of pumpkin spice in the air, it's the season for freaky midnight movies full of ghosts and gore. But it's also just another month in Miami, where there are always plenty of classic films to go around. Spooky or not, these screenings are sure to stir your blood.

Cosford Cinema

Some folks go for scary costumes, and others put on their best cowboy outfit and go full-blown Western. That’s what’s happening at the Cosford this month, with a 35mm screening of John Ford’s The Searchers — presented by New York Times best-selling author Scott Eyman — hitting the big screen October 28.

Coral Gables Art Cinema

Gables Cinema is filled to the cauldron brim with films this month, and one of its events is especially exciting and rare. Amid all the great 35mm screenings going on around town, Gables is stepping it up with a mini film fest dedicated to showing works shot on 70mm. That means this October 7 and 8, you’ll get to see 2001: A Space Odyssey as it was originally shown and indulge in the beauty of David Lean’s masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia October 8 and 9. Following those will be Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet adaptation October 10 and 11, and closing out the series October 12 and 13 will be Baraka, directed by Ron Fricke (who just happened to deliver the visually immaculate Samsara years later and was the cinematographer for Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi).

Outside of the 70mm fest, the cinema has its After Hours series showcasing five features this month: Shaun of the Dead on 35mm October 1; Halloween on the 8th; Kill Bill Volume 2 on 35mm on the 15th; Leon: The Professional on 35mm on the 22nd; and the silent film Nosferatu, with a live score by Richard Vergez, on the 29th. But that’s not all. There’s also a 4k screening of Josef von Sternberg’s precode masterpiece Shanghai Express on the 4th, Family Day weekend screenings of Charlotte’s Web on the 8th and 9th, and both Now, Voyager and Casablanca on the 21st. 

Miami Beach Cinematheque

MBCinema offers a cool little collection of flicks, with one director being highlighted throughout the month: Tod Browning. This is the man who brought us a ton of old-fashioned horror movies and the series Life Is a Twisted Circus, featuring some of his best work. The Unknown kicks off the series October 5, followed by Freaks on the 12th and The Devil Doll on the 19th. As for the special closing event, MBCinema pairs up with Obsolete Media Miami to present an exciting dual presentation of Dracula and Drácula — both of the feature films made in 1931 on the same set, one by day and the other by night, one in English and the other in Spanish. OMM’s Barron Sherer has mixed the soundtracks to alternately follow the two narratives, and they’ll be presented side-by-side on the 27th at this world-premiere event.

As for the rest of the month? Stay tuned for an October 16 screening of Thom Andersen’s essential Los Angeles Plays Itself, presented by ArtCenter/South Florida and MBCinema. And nothing says Halloween like the Florida premiere engagement of John Waters’ “celluloid atrocity” Multiple Maniacs, recently restored and finally on the big screen for everyone to see Divine in her full glory October 14 through 23.

O Cinema

Oh, the horrors to be found at O Cinema! Popcorn Frights owns the spotlight at the Wynwood location with a screening of Halloween II October 14, but over at the Beach location is where the bulk of things are going down. Secret Celluloid Society kicks things off with a spirited bang October 1 with Ghostbusters on 35mm. Phantom of the Paradise on 35mm follows that up on the 8th, and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me on 35mm screens on the 15th. And after Santa Sangre on the 22nd comes a special Friday-night event instead of the usual Saturday screenings: a double feature of Blood Diner and Spookies, both on 35mm, to celebrate the Halloween weekend.

The cinema’s family series continues with Neverending Story on the 22nd, but when it comes to Halloween tradition, nothing screams O Cinema like the art house's yearly Rocky Horror Picture Show event on the 29th. Whether it’s your fifth time or your first at this shebang, it’s worth stepping out in your best outfit to do the time warp again.
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Juan Antonio Barquin is a Miami-based writer who programs the queer film series Flaming Classics and serves as co-editor of Dim the House Lights. Barquin aspires to be Bridget Jones.