#TravelTuesday – Tampa Theatre Announces Lineup for 25th Annual Summer Classics Movie Series

Tampa movie-goers know that when it comes to beloved classic films, there is no better experience than seeing them at the city’s majestic movie palace. For 2 ½ decades, the community has flocked to Tampa Theatre on hot Sunday afternoons to enjoy Summer Classics as they were meant to be seen: on the big screen, surrounded by friends, with a bag of fresh popcorn and a cold soda in hand.

cd071097-51d3-4446-a486-7d0e7f2f3296For this – the 25th anniversary of Tampa’s longest-running classic movie series – and in honor of Tampa Theatre’s 90th birthday this fall, the 2016 Tampa Theatre Summer Classics lineup is composed of films also celebrating landmark anniversaries of their original release. The newest, FARGO, is celebrating its 20th anniversary; the oldest, M, its 85th. The theatre has also extended the series into September to include three of the all-time most popular Summer Classic films, culminating with a special screening of CASABLANCA on Sept. 18 in conjunction with our “Caskablanca” WineFest weekend.

 

 

FARGO (1996 – 20th anniversary)

3 p.m. Sunday, June 5

The Coen Brothers’ classic noir deconstruction turned shocking comedy – murderous, clownish criminals (Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare); a pregnant police chief (Frances McDormand) with the demeanor of a garden club matron; a snowy little town filling in for slick urban labyrinth; and the best accents ever. The new Netflix TV spinoff has the movie back in public attention, so come see what the fuss is about, don’tcha-know. 1h 38m/Rated R/Crime Thriller

USF film professor Harriet Deer will lead a short discussion of Fargo immediately after the film. The session is free and open to the public.

 

THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951 – 65th anniversary)  

3 p.m. Sunday, June 12

Humphrey Bogart only ever won one OSCAR, and it wasn’t for Casablanca – it was for this. Thrilling one moment, touching the next, and funny pretty much all the way through, The African Queen showcases both Bogie and Katharine Hepburn at the height of their powers. It’s two of the most magnetic actors of the time in the best odd-couple romance since King Kong, all wrapped up in a John Huston high adventure about a little steamboat in the Congo trying to do some good. 1h 45m/Rated PG/Drama

USF film professor Harriet Deer will lead a short discussion of The African Queen immediately after the film. The session is free and open to the public.

 

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981 – 35th anniversary)

3 p.m.  Sunday, June 19

George Lucas made Star Wars partially as a love letter to the serials he loved as a kid: Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and the like. But that wasn’t enough. Raiders of the Lost Ark takes the two-fisted adventure cliffhanger formula and practically asks for its hand in marriage — Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is witty, sly, a bit of a rake and all pulp hero; Marion (Karen Allen) is a damsel in distress with steely nerves and a hard right hook; and the movie pulls them around the (literal) map on individual episodes that all feed into one big story. It’s unabashedly a movie’s movie, and it’s the reason our seats have edges.
1h 55m/Rated PG/Action-Adventure

 

 

FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956 – 60th anniversary)                 

3 p.m.  Sunday, June 26

When people talk about Forbidden Planet, they typically mention Robby the Robot (who established the movie image of robots for decades to come), or the groundbreaking special effects (like the animated monster sequence, created by Walt Disney artists on loan to MGM). Maybe they mention that it’s one of the best and most ambitious early Hollywood sci-fi movies. But it’s a shame they don’t also call it one of the best film adaptations of Shakespeare, which it is: a retelling of The Tempest on a hostile alien world. Great stories are timeless. That’s why you’re at Tampa Theatre. 1h 38m/Not Rated/Sci-Fi

St. Petersburg Times film critic Steve Persall will lead a short discussion of Forbidden Planet immediately after the film. The session is free and open to the public.

 

 

PRETTY IN PINK (1986 – 30th anniversary)

3 p.m. Sunday, July 3

One of the quintessential love stories of the ‘80s, Pretty in Pink starts Molly Ringwald as Andie, a working-class high school student with feelings for Blane (Andrew McCarthy), a rich boy from the other side of town. If that wasn’t bad enough, her best friend Duckie (Jon Cryer) is in love with her too, but won’t admit it. Young love is tough enough without running in different crowds and sorting out another person’s feelings, but John Hughes’ movie presents a touching, evergreen take on what love and confidence might mean. And the soundtrack is just as classic and definitive as the movie itself. 1h 36m/Rated PG-13/Comedy

 

 

NOTORIOUS (1946 – 70th anniversary)

3 p.m. Sunday, July 10

You could, if you wanted to, divide Alfred Hitchcock’s career as a director into two halves: before Notorious, and after it. He is firing on all cylinders here, putting together the first movie in his filmography that has all of the visual hallmarks of later Hitchcock; he famously storyboarded every shot completely, and it shows. Some of the most famous shots have names: The Kiss, The Key, The Hangover. That’s putting aside the taut, thrilling story itself — Ingmar Bergman as a suffering woman, recruited by a spy she loves (Cary Grant) to manipulate an enemy who loves her. Unbelievable cinematography, a gut-punch of a screenplay; Notorious is a master class in tension and suspense. 1h 41m/Not Rated/Film Noir


USF film professor Harriet Deer will lead a short discussion of Notorious immediately after the film. The session is free and open to the public.

 

 

THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971 – 45th anniversary)

3 p.m. Sunday, July 17

Gene Hackman plays Popeye Doyle, an undercover detective who stumbles on a plot to move serious amounts of heroin into the US from France. Featuring a groundbreaking car (and train) chase through New York City, The French Connection is a gritty cop drama that sets the course for gritty cop dramas to come. Doyle is rough-edged, obsessed, and deeply unlikeable; his single-minded fixation with stopping this deal pushes him to treat foe and friend alike with startling violence. Coming out the same year as Dirty Harry, The French Connection presents a different, more complex look at what you get when the law takes the law too far. 1h 44m/Rated R/Crime Drama


USF film professor Harriet Deer will lead a short discussion of The French Connection immediately after the film. The session is free and open to the public.

 

 

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966 – 50th anniversary)

3 p.m. Sunday, July 24

Sometimes the best way to examine the stories a culture tells about itself is to ask someone outside of the culture. Italian Sergio Leone’s vision of American fables of the Wild West (and Enrico Morricone’s iconic score) cast our history in a very different light than American westerns did. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly asks the viewer new questions: what’s life really like for an outlaw? What can greed drive a person to do? And how good is “Good”? 2h 41m/Not Rated/Western

St. Petersburg Times film critic Steve Persall will lead a short discussion of Forbidden Planet immediately after the film. The session is free and open to the public.

 

 

SWING TIME (1936 – 80th anniversary)

3 p.m. Sunday, July 31

Lucky Garnett (Fred Astaire), a dancer and a bit of a gambler, gets tricked by the rest of his troupe into missing his own wedding. By the time he arrives, all the guests have left and the father of the bride is very angry indeed. The only way he’ll agree to let this layabout marry his daughter is if Lucky can raise $25,000, so he heads off to New York City to try to start earning. Along the way, he meets dance instructor Penny Carroll (Ginger Rogers) and they begin falling in love. But Lucky still feels tied to his fiancée, and Penny has trouble breaking it off with her band leader and former romantic partner. That’s all fine, but the plot isn’t why you come. You come for Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire dancing, and they never did that better than they did in this film. Swing Time is their masterpiece of filmed dance.
1h 43m/Not Rated/Musical

 

USF film professor Harriet Deer and her son, musical theater expert Joe Deer, will lead a short discussion of Swing Time immediately after the film. The session is free and open to the public.

 

 

ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN (1976 – 40th anniversary)

3 p.m. Sunday, August 7

Two reporters, Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) and Bob Woodward (Robert Redford), find themselves working the kind of story that doesn’t just make careers, it leads others to the guillotine — five burglars are found in the headquarters of the Democratic party, located at a pretty distinctive address: Watergate. All the President’s Men aims to reinforce the importance of a free and independent national press, the fearsome peril of unchecked power, and how gravitationally charismatic Hoffman and Redford can be. 2h 18m/Rated PG/Biographical Drama

 

USF film professor Harriet Deer will lead a short discussion of All The President’s Men immediately after the film. The session is free and open to the public.

 

 

M (1931 – 85th anniversary)

3 p.m. Sunday, August 14

M would be a classic if it was just the first sound film Fritz Lang — by this time already a hugely influential director — had made (which it was). It would be a classic if it was just Lang’s favorite of his own films (which it was). It would be a classic if it was just an early example of proto-film-noir, and if it just made a main character of a child murderer who is somehow still sympathetic (it is, and it does). Even without all of that, M would be a classic just for how it still lives on the screen. Every frame is composed like a painting, and the story it tells of blame and judgment and our own responsibility for the dark at the heart of human life is as relevant now as it was in 1931. 1h 39m/Not Rated/Mystery


USF film professor Harriet Deer will lead a short discussion of M immediately after the film. The session is free and open to the public.

 

A RAISIN IN THE SUN (1961 – 25th anniversary)

3 p.m. Sunday, August 21

The great Sidney Poitier plays Walter Younger, head of a family in desperate straits. He and his wife, his sister, his mother and his son all live together in a tiny apartment, and their stress has them sometimes at each other’s throats. A substantial windfall means they may soon be able to improve their situation, but what will they do with it? And what doors will society even allow to open for a black family striving for more? Adapted from the acclaimed play, A Raisin in the Sun is an unblinking, stark examination of the midcentury African-American experience. 2h 8m/Not Rated/Drama

 

 

THE MALTESE FALCON (1941 – 75th anniversary)

3 p.m. Sunday, August 28

John Huston’s directorial debut, The Maltese Falcon is the definitive film noir. From the cinematography, to the script, to the score, all the way down to the way Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) dresses and holds his cigarette, The Maltese Falcon established rules for the genre that would hold for decades. It features a literal murderer’s row of memorable characters:  Spade, the detective; Archer, his partner, now dead; Brigid O’Shaughnessy (Mary Astor), a woman with dangerous secrets; and a whole playbill full of fantastic villains, including Peter Lorre, Elisha Cook Jr., and Sidney Greenstreet in his first film role. There’s not a second of unnecessary action or a syllable of wasted language in this classic mystery thriller.
1h 40m/Not Rated/Film Noir

 

THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

3 p.m. Sunday, September 4

The Wizard of Oz has permeated popular culture to such an extent that, even if they haven’t seen it themselves, most people know it almost by heart. But to watch the movie as if you’ve never heard of it can give you a special thrill; it is certainly true that they don’t make them like this anymore. It’s a musical, and it’s a fantasy story, and it’s a kids movie, and it’s a morality play about having inside yourself the things you want from the outside world. But it’s also kind of a road-trip movie – Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion make friends and get up to some antics on the Yellow Brick Road. And it’s also kind of a disaster movie – the tornado scene would have been terrifying, for the time. And the moment of transition from black & white to color is maybe the most iconic instant of film since we started adding sound. We encourage you to bring somebody who’s never seen The Wizard of Oz to the Theatre. You might find something new in it yourself. 1h 42m/Not Rated/Fantasy

 

Local film expert Bob Ross will lead a short discussion of The Wizard of Oz immediately after the film. The session is free and open to the public.

GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)

3 p.m. Sunday, September 11

Gone with the Wind is epic — in scale, in social impact, and in artistic influence. The first cut of the movie was four and a half hours long. The premiere was a three-day party. Just casting the two lead characters took two years. But the story of Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), her suitor Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) and the object of her love, Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), told against the backdrop of the Civil War and Reconstruction, might just have required a movie that big. There are certainly problematic aspects to the film; at best, the story sympathizes with slave owners, and at worst it dehumanizes its black cast members and dismisses them with stereotypes. Still, Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American Academy Award winner for her role as Mammy, and the industry’s recognition of her work was a very early step in the (ongoing) process of equal recognition of people of color in Hollywood. It’s a huge movie, in every possible sense of the word. 3h 58m/Rated G/Historical Drama

 

 

CASABLANCA (1942)

3 p.m. Sunday, September 18

Casablanca lands so routinely in listings of the top two or three movies of all time, it’s become almost boring to call it “great.” It’s the definition of a Hollywood masterpiece. We keep in our hearts the characters, the scenes, the songs. But Casablanca manages to be strongly original while also synthesizing parts of many films of its time: a wartime setting, a hero (Humphrey Bogart) with shades of grey in his past, a female lead (Ingrid Bergman) who wants something she can’t have, humor and tragedy and parody and sacrifice. And, of course, doomed love. Good art tells us stories; great art makes demands of us. Casablanca demands we break our own hearts like Rick, make dangerous choices like Ilsa, sing like Sam and scheme like Louis.  And the movie remains timeless because those feelings are. 1h 42m/Rated PG/Drama

 

St. Petersburg Times film critic Steve Persall and local film expert Bob Ross will team up to lead a short discussion of Casablanca immediately after the film. The session is free and open to the public.

 

TICKETS FOR THE SUMMER CLASSICS MOVIE SERIES are $10 for adults and $8 for Tampa Theatre Members, available at the Box Office or online at www.TampaTheatre.org ($2 convenience fee applies).