Plenty of cities with art cinemas pride themselves on their classic film programming. There's always some kind of retrospective, screening of an old favorite on 35mm, or just an abundance of restorations or thematic programming. And Miami is finally stepping up to the classic film plate.
Every month, the city offers a pretty rich selections of classic film screenings, at locations like the Coral Gables Art Cinema (CGAC), Cosford Cinema (CC), Miami Beach Cinematheque (MBC), O Cinema Wynwood (OCW), the Miami Beach SoundScape ExoStage (MBSS), Blue Starlite Drive-In (BS), Shirley's at Gramps bar, and Actors' Playhouse (AP).
So, if you're a fan of classic films -- or just stepping outside of your comfort zone -- here's what you can look forward to this month.
Wednesday, March 4: Ghostbusters at MBSS, free; The Big Lebowski at Cosford, 9:30 p.m., free.
The Miami Beach SoundScape ExoStage has been doing their free films on the lawn for nearly forever. Their first film in March is the classic Ghostbusters. Over in Gables, you've got the Dude and the Coen Brothers with The Big Lebowski, which is pretty much the ideal late night movie. And just in case you can't make that, there's even a repeat screening on Saturday, March 7, at the same time.
It's a night of many options! As part of the Miami International Film Festival, the fascinating, Rita Hayworth-starring, noir film, The Lady from Shanghai, is the perfect kick-off to the Cinematheque's retrospective of Orson Welles' career.
Relatively nearby and outdoors, there's yet another extra classic option: James Dean's final film, Giant. Over at the Blue Starlite, you've got the Tiki Horror Rum Movie Nite event, with drinks and comedic commentary alongside the '77 flick Shock Waves.
And for those eighties sci-fi loving audiences, the Shirley's screening of Liquid Sky boasts something rather exciting: a Q&A with Slava Tsukerman in accompaniment with the film.
Everything's going on in the Gables tonight! In tune with MIFF and MBC, the Cosford also joins the Welles party with a digital restoration of another one of his noir films The Stranger.
Over at Actors' Playhouse, quintessential rom-com When Harry Met Sally will be showing in conjunction with upcoming play, First Date. It will also repeat on March 8th at 3 p.m.
Later that night, the Secret Celluloid Society brings another 35mm gem (their last was Scorsese's After Hours) to Gables Cinema. This time it's Tobe Hooper's classic Poltergeist, which everyone should see before the awful-looking remake hits theaters.
Sunday, March 8: Shoah at Jewish Museum of Florida, 12:30 p.m., $5.
Shoah is likely the best-known, and the most highly-regarded, Holocaust documentary. It's not exactly an easy film to swallow, and it's over nine hours long, which is why the Miami Jewish Film Festival has split it up into three portions. The first two were shown on March 1st and the third screens on the 8th.
Tuesday, March 10: Shakes the Clown Shirley's, 11 p.m., free.
Bobcat Goldthwait certainly left a weird impression on the world in '91 with his debut film, Shakes the Clown. It's the raunchy, ridiculous story of an alcoholic clown, so if that sounds right up your alley, go for it.
Thursday, March 12th: Citizen Kane at MBC, 6:50 p.m., $8-11.
Nobody should have to emphasize how important Orson Welles' Citizen Kane is to the history of cinema, but we're gonna do it anyway. It's so important and so good and you should be rushing to watch (or re-watch) it on the big screen, especially if you've never done so before.
Saturday, March 14: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at CGAC, 11 a.m., $5. They Live at CGAC, 11:30 p.m., $5
Perfectly tailored to two completely different audiences (unless you're a fan of both classic musicals and John Carpenter's screamfests), Gables Cinema has two classics on the 14th. Their family feature for the month (which also plays Sunday morning at the same time) is the delightful Ken Hughes musical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and their late night flick is one of Carpenter's coolest flicks ever. Just don't be out of bubblegum when you get there cause there's no ass-kicking allowed.
Tuesday, March 17: Blade Runner at BS, 8 p.m. $7-55. Porky's at Shirley's, 11 p.m., free.
This week at the drive-in, Blade Runner, one of the best sci-fi films of all time, is showing on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Later that night, Shirley's screen Bob Clark's original sex comedy, chock full of dick jokes, Porky's.
Wednesday, March 18: Strictly Ballroom at MBSS, 8 p.m., free.
Baz Luhrmann's first feature film! On the big screen and outdoors! It's a spectacularly entertaining movie all about ballroom dancing that no one should miss. And there's nothing else tonight anyway.
Thursday, March 19: Othello at MBC, 6:50 p.m., $8-11. Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan at BS, 8 p.m., $7-55.
Orson Welles does Shakespeare! And it's a newly restored version of the film yet to be seen in Florida, which is pretty exciting. Just as cool is the chance to watch the best Star Trek film on the big screen in memory of Leonard Nimoy's passing. The film also repeats on Saturday the 21st. KHHAANNNN!
Saturday, March 21: Tosca's Kiss at CGAC, 1 p.m., $7-11.50. A Clockwork Orange at CGAC, 11:30 p.m., $5.
Fans of opera, look no further! The restoration of documentary Tosca's Kiss is just for you (and also playing Sunday the 22nd). And there's no such thing as a bad Stanley Kubrick film. A Clockwork Orange is definitely a great one, so go indulge in some of that good ol' ultraviolence.
Tuesday, March 24: Penn & Teller Get Killed at Shirley's, 11 p.m., free.
This strange little film often gets overlooked in comparison to Arthur Penn's other films -- Bonnie and Clyde for instance-- but with a surprise Q&A featuring actors still unannounced, it's one for fans of the film not to miss.
Thursday, March 26: Touch of Evil at MBC, 6:50 p.m., $8-11.
The Welles retrospective continues late into March, closing with the incredibly well-crafted and well-regarded Touch of Evil. It's your last chance to jump aboard the Welles train, so don't miss out.
Saturday, March 28: Kiss of the Spider Woman at CGAC, 1 p.m., $8-11.50. The Land Before Time at O Cinema Wynwood, 6 p.m., free. El Topo at CGAC, 11:30 p.m., $5.
You can kick this Saturday off with film showing on actual film: Kiss of the Spider Woman (on 35mm and showing again on Sunday). As part of O Cinema's Cine Al Fresco series, you've got a pretty perfect family movie in the classic animated dinosaur flick The Land Before Time. And the late night movie of the week back at Gables Cinema is Jodorowsky's classic El Topo, a must-watch for any midnight movie fan.
Sunday, March 31: Weird Scienceat OCW, 9 p.m., $12.
You've made it through a month of classic films, and assuming you've seen a lot of these films by this point, you deserve a light treat. So why not have fun at the 30th anniversary screening of the '80s sci-fi comedy Weird Science on the last night of the month?
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