News Column

Back to school on the Packard Campus

August 24, 2013


Aug. 24--The Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper celebrates back to school with an academic selection of free film screenings in September. Stand-up comics will also take the stage next month on Mount Pony even as the theater rejoices about the best in rock and roll

Funnyman Jack Black launches the scholastic theme with his intelligent "School of Rock" (Paramount, 2003) showing Sept. 6. Co-starring Joan Cusack and Sarah Silverman, the critically acclaimed comedy proves that substitute teachers can make a difference.

Sept. 19, director Jack Arnold explores the influence of drugs and rock music on impressionable youth in the campy classic, "High School Confidential" (MGM, 1958) with John Drew Barrymore and Jerry Lee Lewis as himself.

Silent film comedian Harold Lloyd (1893-1971) continues the school theme in the Packard Campus Theater in "The Freshman" (Pathe, 1925) screening Sept. 21. It's one of Lloyd's best-remembered features about a clueless first-year student who really wants to fit in. Andrew Simpson will provide musical accompaniment.

On Sept. 14, Washington, D.C.-area standup comics Mike Diesel and Mark Matusof take the stage in the theater for its first-ever live comedy show. The special free program will also include a presentation by Packard Campus staffer Dan Blazek about important comedy records on the National Recording Registry.

As for Diesel, he's been doing stand-up for 25 years up and down the East Coast and beyond. He's also an actor who's appeared in local commercials and played a dock worker on HBO's acclaimed "The Wire."

Matusof plays clubs, colleges, corporate events, country clubs and cruise ships and opened for magician David Copperfield for a CBS special. His comedy is clever, thoughtful and reportedly hilarious, according to

In addition to laughter, the Packard Campus likes rock music and will present a special series, "I Know It's Only Rock and Roll" including The Talking Heads concert film, "Stop Making Sense" (Cinecom, 1984) Sept. 7.

On Sept. 12, it's REM, Madonna, Duran Duran, Nirvana and more in "Music to Look At: An Evening of Music Videos," harkening back to the days when folks wanted their MTV for its music videos.

Sept. 20, the theater salutes New Wave and punk with "Urgh! A Music War" from 1981, an R-Rated concert movie featuring Joan Jett, The Go-Gos, UB40, The Police and more.

Finally, and most importantly, it's The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show as part of the Packard Campus Theatre's Sept. 27 presentation, "I Saw It on TV: Rock and Roll in Your Living Room." Also see Elvis and The Rolling Stones on the big screen that night in Culpeper.

Coming Soon:

Sept. 5 DOUBLE FEATURE "The Picture Snatcher" (Warner Bros., 1933) and "The Little Giant" (First National, 1933)

Sept. 6 "School of Rock" (Paramount, 2003)

Sept. 7 "Stop Making Sense" (Cinecom, 1984)

Sept. 12 "Music to Look At: An Evening of Music Videos" from the 1980s

Sept. 13 "Stand and Deliver" (Orion, 1988)

Sept. 14 "Indian in the Cupboard" (Columbia, 1995), 2 p.m.

Sept. 14 "Mike and Mark at the Mike: Celebrating Comedy on the National Recording Registry" (Live stand-up)

Sept. 19 "High School Confidential" (MGM, 1958)

Sept. 20 "Urgh! A Music War" (Filmways, 1981) Rated R

Sept. 21 "The Freshman" (Pathe, 1925) silent with live musical accompaniment

Sept. 26 "Up the Down Staircase" (Warner Bros., 1967)

Sept. 27 "I Saw It on TV: Rock and Roll in Your Living Room" (1960-1980)

Sept. 28 "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (MGM, 1939)

The Packard Campus Theater is located inside the Library of Congress National Audio Visual Conservation Center on Mount Pony at 19053 Mount Pony Rd. All shows are free and show at 7:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Make reservations up to one week in advance during business hours Mon-Fri at (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994, or show up early to get on stand-by. Reservations are held until 10 minutes before show time.


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