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Indie Movie: In its a centesimal 12 months, Rockland’s Strand Theater hosts a yearlong celebration of movie

A single-screen arthouse venue that opened in 1923, The Strand Theater is exhibiting motion pictures from throughout the final century all 12 months lengthy to mark its 100-year anniversary. Picture courtesy of The Strand Theater

Rockland’s Strand Theater opened in 1923, simply as this newfangled shifting footage factor was proving itself one thing apart from a fad. Nicely, it is 2023, The Strand remains to be right here, and the venerable single-screen film home is throwing us fortunate Mainers a yearlong get together.

The 100 Years of Motion pictures collection will rejoice the Rockland landmark’s century of cinematic greatness with a collection of throwback screenings culled from the best movies ever proven at The Strand. 100 years is a complete lot of celluloid to select from, however The Strand being The Strand, theatergoers can rely on an equal measure of thought and creativity going into the number of every month’s choices.

“All of us simply thought, ‘What a great way to rejoice via your entire 12 months,’ ” stated Strand Government Director Jessie Davis of the genesis of this yearlong movie competition. “It simply made sense to look again over the tons of of years’ price of movies that we might have been exhibiting via the many years. It made a lot sense, it was virtually like no one’s concept.”

As Davis explains of the number of the movies for 100 Years of Motion pictures, a easy chronological order for screenings was dominated out in favor of one thing extra enjoyable, evocative and compelling. Every month will see plenty of movies plucked from over the century and paired based on a theme. This month’s theme is Showbiz Satires, which kicked off on Jan. 7 with the 1928 King Vidor-directed “Present Individuals,” which starred Marion Davies as a starry-eyed ingenue hitting it large within the early days of Hollywood. Developing on Jan. 28, the theme continues with Preston Sturges’ traditional 1941 comedy “Sullivan’s Travels.”

As Strand moviegoers of the time would know, it is a couple of well-intentioned “severe” movie director (Joel McCrea) satisfied he should be taught the struggling of the widespread man with a purpose to create his magnum opus. Dressing as a hobo, and accompanied by a struggling actress (Veronica Lake), the director is summarily subjected to some actual struggling (together with amnesia), discovering greater than he imagined in regards to the powerful life exterior of Hollywood.

Says Davis: “These should not simply the massive classics everybody is aware of, however we took the chance to delve into titles and filmmakers who aren’t as well-known – however who ought to be. They’re all movies we predict are price having a look at.” The mammoth job of choosing, pairing and presenting every of the 100 Years of Motion pictures collection fell to Strand home supervisor and movie historian Liz McLeod and Turner Traditional Motion pictures host (and buddy of The Strand) Alicia Malone, who each present a useful wealth of movie data to the collection, Davis says.

“Liz offered ‘Present Individuals,’ and simply from her 10-minute spiel introducing the movie, I used to be in a position to watch the movie via a complete completely different lens,” Davis stated. “It completely enhanced the expertise – in the event you go to each movie within the collection, it’ll be like a category in traditional movies.” To that finish, Davis factors to the theater’s yearlong move, known as The Large Ticket, the place not solely are subscribers assured a spot in The Strand’s lavish, 350-seat theater, however will even obtain a reduced admission. “It is a large dedication,” Davis stated of the coveted $150 Large Ticket, “but it surely’s a very good one.”

Dedication is one thing that modern-day moviegoers have largely forgotten up to now few years. Streaming, your couch, that pesky pandemic – all these components have chipped away at what was as soon as a central and common custom for film lovers in really deciding to stand up and go to the flicks. For Davis and the opposite devoted individuals at The Strand, the 100 Years of Motion pictures collection is one other try and remind film lovers of how particular and distinctive an expertise watching a film because it was supposed may be. Particularly once you’re sinking into the plush seats of a lovingly restored, century-old film palace like The Strand.

“Film theaters are hurting,” Davis stated. “Motion pictures are being distributed otherwise, and a few persons are forgoing the theater expertise collectively. At The Strand, we present new, indie and arthouse movies, however we’re excited to discover the general public’s urge for food for older movies, traditional movies. It will likely be nice to see if that is an avenue we’ll have the ability to proceed to discover going ahead.”

For somebody like me, who remains to be baffled that large, artsy Portland would not have a single-screen arthouse movie show whereas the tiny, Knox County metropolis of Rockland most assuredly does, the 100 Years of Motion pictures collection is sort of a sure-fire lure. For one, The Strand is gorgeous, the type of meticulously maintained and preserved film vacation spot of my desires. For one more, this collection, plucked and culled and curated by a handful of educated and devoted movie people, is simply the type of artistic and imaginative challenge I can really feel in my movie-loving soul.

Davis, citing the beforehand talked about vicissitudes of the movie distribution enterprise, can solely verify which movies will grace The Strand’s large display screen some 90 days upfront. However she was sort sufficient to share the theater’s want record for this yearlong, decade-by-decade celebration, and it is a majestic, adventurous roster that has me already reaching for my automotive keys.

February’s theme can be Unconventional Romances, which, distributors prepared, will embrace one among my favourite movies, a beloved intergenerational love story from the Seventies (you possibly can most likely guess), plus a sure finest image winner from the current previous a couple of memorable interspecies romance , which you’ll most likely additionally work out. March will see McLeod and Malone selecting a wildly dissimilar pair of flicks from feminine filmmakers, a part of what Davis says is the Strand’s ongoing mission to champion the unfairly ignored individuals and movies from movie historical past.

“For us, celebrating via the entire 12 months is about attempting to achieve visibility, attempting to ensure The Strand may be sustainable, and to have individuals come out, purchase a popcorn and have an expertise. The movie show is an expertise.”

Amen.

Yow will discover out extra about The Strand Theatre’s 100 Years of Motion pictures collection at rocklandstrand.com. The Large Ticket prices $150 and consists of particular occasions, plus cake! Particular person tickets for the matinee exhibiting are $8 or $7 in the event you’re a Strand member, which all of us ought to be. “Sullivan’s Travels” screens on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 2 pm For tickets, instructions and extra, head to The Strand’s web site.

Dennis Perkins is a contract author who lives in Auburn along with his spouse and cat.


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