May 30--The late W. Curtis Montz loved the movies.
He came to every film shown at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre, said Anne Rodella, marketing manager. The theater, and the summer film series named for him, were his passion, she said.
His death in February effected the way employees chose the films for this year's series, which debuts Wednesday with screenings of Academy Award-winning "Argo" at 1 and 7:30 p.m. The organizers were more thoughtful about the films they wanted to present, including a few classics Montz enjoyed in addition to the usual independent and Oscar-nominated flicks, Rodella said.
"I feel confident he would approve of what we booked," she said.
Classic selections include 1941's "Citizen Kane," an Oscar-winning film they wanted to show for a while, Rodella said. They started incorporating classics into the schedule a few years ago with "Casablanca," which was well-received.
"The night had a special feel," she said.
Organizers filled the remaining slots with a combination of award-winning and critically acclaimed films, like "The Sessions," "The Master" and "Life of Pi." Some of their selections did not get much local screen time when released.
"We read a lot of film critic articles, and took into consideration what films didn't show around here for an extended period of time and what you might want to see on the big screen rather than at home," Rodella said.
When the theater announced its selections on Facebook, patrons responded strongly to "Searching for Sugar Man," a documentary about 1970s rock musician Rodriguez, and "Raiders of the Lost Ark," the first installment of the Indiana Jones series, starring Harrison Ford.
While some of the films in the series are available to view at home, watching them in a theater provides patrons a different experience, Rodella said.
"I think it's more the experience, rather than just going to the movies when you come to the Kirby," she said.
The theater offers tickets at lower prices than first-run films -- $4 for matinees and $6 for evening shows. Student tickets are $3 with valid identification. Patrons can also bring drinks from the theater's bar back to their seats to enjoy during the film.
W. CURTIS MONTZ SUMMER FILM SERIES
Matinee tickets cost $4, evening tickets cost $6 and student tickets cost $3. Students must present valid I.D. Screenings of all films take place at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Titles include:
- Wednesday: Argo (R)
- June 12: The Master (R)
- June 19: Citizen Kane (PG)
- June 26: Life of Pi (PG)
- July 10: Searching for Sugar Man (PG-13)
- July 17: To Kill a Mockingbird (NR)
- July 24: Amour (PG-13)
- Aug. 7: The Sessions (R)
- Aug. 14: Raiders of the Lost Ark (PG)
- Aug. 21: Hyde Park on Hudson (R)
- Aug. 28: Hitchcock (PG-13)
- Sept. 4: Psycho (R)
Visit www.kirbycenter.org or call 570-826-1100 for more information.
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