First opened in 1923, the Strand Theatre celebrates its 90th birthday with a series of classic films from each of the past nine decades, beginning August 17 and running through September 22. Each film will have a brief introduction from the Strand’s long-time Theatre Manager, Liz McLeod, who also programmed the series.
The series kicks off a 1923 silent comic classic Safety Last! Saturday, August 17 at 3pm.The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal. Chaplin was the sweet innocent, Keaton the stoic outsider, but Lloyd—the modern guy striving for success—is us. And with its torrent of perfectly executed gags and astonishing stunts, Safety Last! is the perfect introduction to his world. Lloyd plays a small-town bumpkin trying to make it in the big city, who finds employment as a lowly department store clerk. He comes up with a wild publicity stunt to draw attention to the store, resulting in an incredible feat of derring-do that gives him a head start on the climb to success. In honor of the film’s 90th anniversary, the film being shown at the Strand is a freshly-struck 35mm print, featuring Carl Davis's sparkling score.
Gold Diggers of 1933 screens Sunday, August 18 at 1pm. In this follow-up to 42nd Street, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, and Aline MacMahon star as out-of-work Broadway chorine - “gold diggers” who target Warren William, DickPowell, and Guy Kibbee for both money and romance. Busby Berkeley choreographed the spectacular musical numbers that include the ironic “We’re in the Money” and the anthem to the depression and returning World War veterans, “Remember My Forgotten Man.” This is a sharp, funny, and cynical film, and one of the all-time best Pre-Code musicals.
Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman rekindle their past and stir up wartime intrigue in Casablanca, the most popular screen romance of all time, Saturday, August 24 at 3pm. Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre and Dooley Wilson (singing "As Time Goes By") co-star. Winner of three 1943 Academy Awards, for Best Picture, Screenplay and Director (Michael Curtiz, director of Mildred Pierce).
In the landmark film From Here to Eternity, showing Sunday, August 25 at 1pm, passion and tragedy collide on a military base as a fateful day in December 1941 draws near. Private Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) is a soldier and former boxer being manipulated by his superior and peers. His friend Maggio (Frank Sinatra) tries to help him but has his own troubles. Sergeant Warden (Burt Lancaster) and Karen Holmes (Deborah Kerr) tread on dangerous ground as lovers in an illicit affair. Winner of eight 1953 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting awards for Sinatra in a career-defining role and for Donna Reed as a not-so-wholesome club hostess.
On Saturday, August 31 at 3pm, Alfred Hitchcock's chilling 1963 masterpiece The Birds stars Tippi Hedren as the chic, blonde San Francisco socialite, Melanie Daniels, who travels to the coastal town of Bodega Bay in pursuit of a potential boyfriend (Rod Taylor), a man she's only just met. Events slowly take a turn for the bizarre in the town when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness, and survival becomes the priority.
In 1973, Richard Fleischer’s prophetic film about the impact of diminished natural resources on Earth, Soylent Green, screening Sunday, September 1 at 1pm, was considered science fiction. Set in New York City of 2022, the town is bursting at the seams with a 40-million-plus population. With Earth’s food in short supply, most of the population's food source comes from synthetics manufactured in local factories, like Soylent Industries, a company that makes a food consisting of plankton from the oceans. When William Simonson, (Joseph Cotten) an upper-echelon executive in the Soylent Company is found murdered, police detective Thorn (Charlton Heston) is sent in to investigate the case. Helping him out is Thorn's old friend Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson), in his final film role.
Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, William Hurt, and Jeff Golblum are part of the powerhouse ensemble starring in 1983’s The Big Chill, showing Saturday, September 14 at 3pm. Lawrence Kasdan's variation on John Sayles's "The Return of the Secaucus Seven" finds a cluster of old college radicals - who have since gone on to sundry professions and various degrees of materialism - reuniting over the death of a friend. During the weekend that follows, they compare their 60s ideas with the harsh reality of their lives in the 80s, and discover that in a cold world, you need your friends to keep you warm.
Tom Hanks won his first Academy Award for his portrayal of an AIDS patient fighting for his legal rights and for his life in Philadelphia, screening Sunday, September 15 at 1pm. He plays Andrew Beckett, a talented lawyer at a stodgy Philadelphia law firm, and a homosexual who has contracted AIDS. When the lesions associated with AIDS become visible on Andrew’s face, the firm's senior partner, Charles Wheeler (Jason Robards) fires him. Andrew wants to take his wrongful termination suit to trial but, no lawyer in Philadelphia will risk handling his case. In desperation, he hires Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), a homophobic small-time lawyer willing to take the case for media exposure. At the time of its release in 1993, Jonathan Demme's groundbreaking film was the first big-budget Hollywood film to tackle the medical, political, and social issues of AIDS.
The Strand’s 90th birthday film series wraps Sunday, September 22 at 1pm with Sophia Coppola’s award-winning film Lost in Translation, released in 2003. Unable to sleep, Bob (Murray) and Charlotte (Johansson), two Americans in Tokyo, cross paths one night in the luxury hotel bar. This chance meeting soon becomes a surprising friendship. Charlotte and Bob venture through Tokyo, having often hilarious encounters with its citizens, and ultimately discover a new belief in life's possibilities.
All tickets are the $7.50 matinee price, available at the box office 30 minutes prior to each screening. For information about film ratings and about all Strand Theatre films, concerts, and events visit www.rocklandstrand.com or call (207) 594-0070.