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Victoria announces 2014 summer film series

Weekday family matinees are being added

They come for the free popcorn and soda, for the pre-show sing-along with organist Martin Beavis, and for the welcome relief provided by air conditioning on a sultry summer afternoon or evening.

But mostly they come for the thrill of seeing a classic film on the kind of huge screen for which it was originally intended. Approximately 12,500 people showed up in 2013.

We’re talking, of course, about the Victoria Theatre Association’s summer Cool Film Series. The VTA has just announced the lineup of movies that will kick off on July 4 and run through August.

Films are shown at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. One hour before showtime, there are free refreshments; Fairfield’s Martin Beavis begins his popular organ concert a half-hour before showtime. And if that isn’t enough for your $6 — $3.50 if you buy the 10-ticket passbook — there’s also a classic cartoon just before the movie.

The big news this year is a new weekday family matinee slated for 10 a.m. on Thursday mornings. The “Reel Late at the Vic” series of late-night movies at 10:30 p.m. has been a success and will also continue with “The Toxic Avenger,” “The Big Lebowski” and “Psycho.”

How they’re chosen

VTA president and CEO Ken Neufeld says the series traditionally represents a mix between classic films from the Golden Age of Hollywood and newer titles. Scouting out quality 35 mm prints of the films is a challenge, he says, but worth it because it provides an authentic screen experience. This summer all of the films being shown are 35mm prints.

The new lineup includes the classic Clark Gable film “It Happened One Night,” “Silk Stockings,” featuring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charise, “Pillow Talk” with Rock Hudson and Doris Day, and James Dean and Natalie Wood’s “Rebel Without a Cause.”

Cult classics being screened are “Dr. Stragelove,” “The Big Lebowski” and “M*A*S*H*” and modern classics include “The Goonies,” “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” and “Groundhog Day.”

New family series

Gary Minyard, director of education and engagement for the VTA, says the Thursday morning series is ideas for families, youth groups and day camp audiences. The films are all “G” rated, and tickets are $3 each.

“We had received a lot of requests from local organizations asking that we do a daytime series,” says Minyard, who has fond memories of going to daytime movies in the summer. The films will be preceded by an organ concert as well.

Here’s the family line-up:

  • “Muppet Treasure Island” on July 10.
  • “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” on July 17
  • “The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again” on July 24
  • “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” on July 31.


For the complete list of films and dates, see

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