July 11--Willy Wonka. Norman Bates. Holly Golightly. These iconic characters and others are returning to the silver screen to delight, thrill or charm audiences decades after their original releases, as the Golden Isles Arts and Humanities' Summer Classic Movie series kicks off today at the Ritz Theatre, 1530 Newcastle St., Brunswick.
Since 2007, the arts organization has shown movies at the Ritz, bringing back the classics to the Golden Isles and introducing iconic pillars of cinema to a new generation.
For Heather Heath, executive director of Golden Isles Arts and Humanities, showing classic movies is something the community looks forward to each year.
"The Summer Classic Movies usually have a great turnout, and some (movie showings) are close to full ... usually the sing-a-longs are close to capacity. I think last year's screening of 'Grease' had almost 400 people," Heath said.
This year's lineup includes a range of genres, from today's showing of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" to Hitchcock's "Pyscho" with its antagonist Norman Bates, showing next Thursday.
Audrey Hepburn fans will enjoy the July 25 showing of her iconic portrayal of Holly Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany's." And let's not forget the epic white jumpsuit of John Travolta that will grace the screen in "Saturday Night Fever" on Aug. 1. The series will conclude with everybody's favorite alien from the 1982 Steven Spielberg classic, "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" on Aug. 4.
The movies selected each year depend largely on what residents say they want to see, Heath said.
"We like to get feedback from patrons and the community about which films they would like to see ... and we have our own long list of classic movies. We really try to have a mix of films that will appeal to a lot of people and films that are just plain fun to see with a whole lot of people," Heath said.
Four of the five films will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursdays, with "E.T." at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4.
There also will be contests, including costume contests for "Willy Wonka" and "Saturday Night Fever," as well as door prizes and free popcorn (as supplies last). Short films and cartoons will be shown about half an hour prior to each film, so Heath suggests arriving early to get a seat. Doors will be opened an hour before each showing.
DeeDee Cate, owner of Daddy Cate's Coffees on Gloucester Street, Brunswick, saw some of the movies last year and talked with Heath about getting the coffee shop involved. She will be donating an item each week as a door prize, along with other businesses, including Ned Cash Jewelers, C.A.P.E. Theater and Main Street Frame Shop.
Some downtown restaurants are also getting in on the action. Fox's Pizza, across from the Ritz, is giving 10 percent off and Tipsy McSways has special beverage discounts for patrons with a ticket.
Cate, who has been watching the new A&E cable television show, "Bates Motel," a prequel to "Pyscho," is looking forward to next week's showing of the original film.
"I have never seen the movie all the way through, but I know the story from the show, so I am excited to go back and see it," she said.
Heath is also looking forward to watching "Pyscho."
"I love 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,' because I remember everything about seeing it when I was a kid. But I think seeing 'Psycho' with a lot of people will be fun. We can all scream together," she said.
-- Lifestyle Editor Bethany Leggett writes about lifestyle topics. Contact her at email@example.com, or at 265-8320, ext. 316.
The 2013 Summer Classic Movies will run from today through Aug. 4 at the Ritz Theatre, 1530 Newcastle St., Brunswick. Tickets go on sale at 5 p.m. for Thursday showings and at 1 p.m. for the lone Sunday showing, Aug. 4. Admission is $5 for each movie. Doors open an hour before the show times:
-- July 11: "Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory," 7 p.m.
-- July 18: "Pyscho," 7 p.m.
-- July 25: "Breakfast at Tiffany's," 7 p.m.
-- Aug. 1: "Saturday Night Fever," 7 p.m.
-- Aug. 4: "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," 3 p.m.
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