In some ways, the CAPA summer movie series never really went away.
The Ohio Theater’s series of classic films has continued during the pandemic, but the past two editions have been unlike any other.
In September 2020, a 10-day series took place just as cinemas reopened for reduced-capacity audiences, while last July and August, a compressed five-week series with digital screenings rather than prints of Hard-to-obtain 35mm films helped keep classic movie fans satiated.
Now the film series is set for a full comeback: twenty-five feature films, plus two programs of cartoon shorts, will screen over nine weeks, from June 16 to August 14.
CAPA officials haven’t exactly had the last two years off, but it was like that as they prepared for the return of the full series.
“Coming out of COVID, it was like, ‘Oh, we’re just gonna do the movie series,'” vice president of programming Rich Corsi said. “(We) just forgot how difficult it is.”
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For example, organizers are again looking for 35mm prints for as many films as possible – a difficult task as other cinema programs across the country resume, making some prints rare. Films for which copies cannot be obtained will be screened digitally, Corsi said.
What movies can moviegoers expect during the Summer Movie Series?
All of this hard work is sure to please fans of classic films, who will be treated to an eclectic lineup of films from the 1920s to the 1990s.
Some of the most recent films to screen include the series opening June 16, Mike Nichols’ 1996 comedy “The Birdcage,” starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a gay couple who resorts to subterfuge to pacify the step-law future of their son, a Republican politician and his equally conservative wife: Lane’s character, a drag queen, poses as Williams’ wife.
The film was chosen to coincide with Pride month, Corsi said. (The Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival is scheduled for June 17-18 and the Pride March for June 18.)
“There are so many amazing, incredible Pride activities happening this weekend,” he said. “We thought it would be really good for people coming to town and people living here.”
During the first weekend, from June 17 to 19, will also be played the masterpiece of the mafia by Francis Ford Coppola, oscar winner in 1972, “The Godfather”, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
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“We’ve shown it a few times and people love it,” Corsi said. “It’s almost as if they came to live here for 3 and a half hours. . . It’s a pretty long movie!
Classic films also on view
Other highlights run the gamut of Hollywood Golden Age fare, including the musical “My Fair Lady” (June 25-26), Frank Capra’s “It Happened One Night” (13- July 14) and “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Ford. (July 27-28) — to a series of series premieres from more recent years.
Kevin Costner-Whitney Houston’s 1992 romantic thriller “The Bodyguard” premieres July 20, as does the 1989 original “Batman,” starring Michael Keaton, August 5-6.
A surprising film that will never be included in the series is “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope,” which aired July 8-9, which was difficult to screen until Disney acquired the film and television studio. from 20th Century Fox in 2019.
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Prior to the studio’s acquisition, Corsi said, “Star Wars” series films were impossible to clear for screenings.
As usual, Alfred Hitchcock’s cinema will be well represented: the master of suspense’s 1946 thriller “Notorious”, starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, will be screened on July 30 and 31 and his 1956 true story “The Wrong Man,” with Henry Fonda and Vera Miles, Aug. 11-12.
In his 31st series of summer films, organist Clark Wilson will perform before, after and during intermissions at a majority of screenings, and will accompany the entire presentation of this year’s silent film, Buster Keaton’s comedy “Our Hospitality”, July 21-22.
“You want to keep the series light; you want to keep it fun,” Corsi said.
In fact, this year’s schedule emphasizes comedy in general, including the parody of the disaster movie “Airplane!” (June 23-24); Peter Bogdanovich’s twisted comedy “What’s Up, Doc?”, starring Ryan O’Neal and Barbra Streisand, and, like “The Godfather,” celebrates its 50th anniversary this year (July 10); and Mel Brooks’ horror film “Young Frankenstein” (July 23-24).
The presence of organist Wilson—along with the great ambiance of the Ohio theater itself—continues to make the summer movie series a distinct cinematic experience.
“Every year people say, ‘How do you keep a show like this going? I can watch (movies) on Turner Classic Movies or whatever,’ Corsi said. the world every year, once we’ve gotten them through the door once, it’s a completely different experience.”
In one look
The CAPA Summer Movie Series runs June 16 through August 14 at the Ohio Theater, 39 E. State St. Single tickets are $6 or $5 for seniors and go on sale June 1. can be purchased for $40. Tickets can be purchased in person, by calling 614-469-0939 or by visiting www.capa.com.
This year’s series includes the following films:
• June 16: “The Birdcage”
• June 17-19: “The Godfather”
• June 22: “In the heat of the Night”
• June 23-24: “Airplane!”
• June 25: cartoon capers
• June 25-26: “My Fair Lady”
• June 29-30: “The Wuthering Heights”
• July 6-7: “Sudden Fear”
• July 8-9: “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope”
• July 10: “What’s up doc?”
• July 13-14: “It Happened One Night”
• July 15th : “Fright Night Friday with Fritz!” presentation of “Halloween”
• July 16-17: “Fiddler on the Roof”
• July 20: “The Bodyguard”
• July 21-22: silent film “Our Hospitality”
• July 23-24: “Young Frankenstein”
• July 27-28: “Grapes of Wrath”
• July 29: comedy double feature of “My Little Chickadee” and “Who Done It?”
• July 30: cartoon capers
• July 30-31: “Popular”
• August 3-4: “The Roaring Twenties”
• August 5-6: “Batman”
• August 7: “The Goonies”
• August 10: “The Adventures of Robin Hood”
• August 11-12: “The Bad Man”
• August 13-14: “High society”