The Arts

The Dawn of Art House Theater Day

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art_hosue_theaterSaturday, September 24th marks the very first “Art House Theater Day,” and where better to celebrate it than at a/perture cinema, Winston-Salem’s premier destination for independent and foreign films?

This day-long celebration of independent cinema and theaters is the creation of The Art House Convergence,the brainchild of Gabriel Chicoine of Amherst Cinema in Amherst, Mass. and Lawren Desai, curator of a/perture cinema, having been inspired by the success of Record Store Day and its ongoing mission to promote independent record stores. The Art House Convergence is an international consortium of independent, community-based, mission-driven movie theaters.

At this time, more than 200 theaters nationwide (and a few in Canada) will be participating in this special event.

As the official Art House Theater Day website notes, the event “celebrates the art house theater and the cultural role it plays in a community. It is a day to recognize the year-round contributions of film and filmmakers, patrons, projectionists and staff, and the brick-and-mortar theaters that are passionately dedicated to providing access to the best cinematic experience.”

The fun begins at 10:30 am with A Town Called Panic: The Specials, a pair of award-winning animated shorts from acclaimed filmmakers Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar (of Ernest & Celestine fame), detailing the antics and misadventures of plastic toys including Cowboy, Horse, Indian and Pig. The Christmas Log is a holiday-themed comedy, and the self-explanatory Back to School sees the characters tackling a class assignment.

Tickets are $6, and there are a limited number of collectible back-to-school pencil cases for ticket buyers.

The brand-new, 2K digital restoration of Terry Gilliam’s classic 1981 fantasy Time Bandits will be screened at 3 pm. Gilliam’s first directorial effort away from Monty Python proved a box-office smash and an enduring favorite for all ages, boasting a star-studded cast including Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Ian Holm, Ralph Richardson, David Warner, Katherine Helmond, and Gilliam’s “Python” pals JohnCleese and Michael Palin.

Tickets are $8 (general admission) and $7.50 (children and senior citizens). Ticket holders will receive a limited-edition 14” x 18” reproduction of the “Time Portal Map” showcased in the film and designed by Gilliam himself.

Writer/director Brendan Toller’s award-winning documentary feature Danny Says rolls at 8:30 pm. The film chronicles the life and career of music promoter, journalist and manager Danny Fields, into whose orbit circled the superstar likes of Cream, the Doors, LouReed, the Ramones, MC5, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Judy Collins, Nico, and many others. Fields was pivotal introducing, and promoting, punk music to the American masses.

Tickets are $10 (general admission), $9 (students and military) and $7.50 (senior citizens). The screening will be followed by a (slightly-delayed) live-stream Q&A with special guests.

The Art House Theater Day culminates at 10 pm with a screening of the digitally remastered, 4K restoration of Don Coscarelli’s 1979 cult-classic shocker Phantasm. Set in a small California suburb, the film introduced A. Michael Baldwin as “Mike,”  an all-American teenager who becomes convinced that otherworldly goings-on are taking place at the local mortuary. The film made character actor Angus Scrimman instant horror icon as the mysterious and malevolent undertaker known only as “The Tall Man.”

The Art House Theater Day screening of Phantasm acts as a warm-up for the release next month of Phantasm: Ravager, the fifth and (supposedly) final installment of the franchise, with original cast members Baldwin, Reggie Bannister, Bill Thornbury, Kathy Lester and Scrimm (in his final screen appearance) reprising their roles.

Want to go …? The “Art House Theater Day” takes place Saturday, Sept. 24 at a/perture cinema, 311 W. Fourth St., Winston-Salem. For advance tickets or more information, call 336.722.8148 or visit the official a/perture cinema website is: http://aperturecinema.com/.The official Art House Theater Day website is: http://arthousetheaterday.org/.

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