There is too much to see this weekend. Oddly enough, the place to be for movies this Friday and Saturday isn't the multiplex, but the historic single-screen theaters still standing in Indiana.
First, over 60 short films are showing at the Royal Theater in downtown Danville. With the elegant, old-fashioned wall drapery leading up its aisles, the quaint movie house makes viewers feel like they are stepping into history. The Indiana Short Film Festival aims to evoke the same feeling, celebrating its fourth year and recent recognition from Audience Awards as the fourth best short film festival in North America.
The films are broken into eight sets of screenings, starting Friday Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. The selections span the globe and cross several genres. In honor of Halloween coming up, Saturday night’s screenings are dedicated to horror films. Sunday’s “Hoosier Only” screenings spotlight up-and-coming filmmakers from Indiana.
Audience awards will be given for each genre of the films submitted. The Grand Jury award will be presented to the film that receives the highest composite score from the judges.
Down the road a piece, in Franklin, another historic theater is hosting a festival at the same time, honoring one of cinema's greatest contributors. The Historic Artcraft Theatre is having its second Alfred Hitchcock festival. Hitchcock's illustrious career began around the same time the Artcraft opened in 1922. Friday and Saturday, it will show six of his films — Psycho, The Lady Vanishes, The 39 Steps, Rebecca, Rear Window (my personal favorite), and Rope. (Oddly enough, another Hitchcock film, Shadow of a Doubt, is showing at IU Cinema on Saturday at 3.)
Although not an old movie house, IU Cinema is offering old-fashioned entertainment this weekend as well, with a screening of the 1957 film Desk Set — a romantic comedy set in a TV station, starring Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. It is showing Saturday at 7 as part of the theater's Social Computer series, which highlights films that explore the relationship between society and emerging technologies.
IU Cinema is celebrating the 60th anniversary of Godzilla with a screening of the classic monster film Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 3.
While there are lots of new releases at your local megaplex, the smaller theaters in town are making the old new again in exciting ways well worth seeing.