'Black Panther', the reborn Lightbox, and the return of 'The Room'

The August 2021 repertory movie roundup

4 minute read
Three men dressed in black suits look towards someone or something off camera, in a densely wood-furnished room.
'Knives Out' will screen in Philly in August. (Image courtesy of Claire Folger/Lionsgate.)

The month of August features a series of in-person, in-theater screenings of beloved older movies, as well as quite a few outdoor showings and drive-in screenings. From classic films like North by Northwest to contemporary gems like Knives Out, there are plenty of chances to catch a movie away from home.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
As part of the Philadelphia Film Society’s Blockbusters in 4K series, the Philadelphia Film Center (1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia) is hosting Steven Spielberg’s 1977 alien drama for a four-day run that ends August 1.

Love & Mercy
Director Bill Pohlad’s outstanding 2015 biopic of Brian Wilson features Paul Dano and John Cusack playing the former Beach Boy at different ages. The film will get an afternoon screening at 2pm on August 2, at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia (219 South 6th Street, Philadelphia).

Jean-Pierre Jeunet's delightful 2001 film stars Audrey Tautou as the ever-smiling titular French waitress. Amelie is getting a 20th-anniversary screening on August 3 at 8:45pm at the PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard as part of the Philadelphia Film Society's Anniversary Series.

North by Northwest
Alfred Hitchcock’s famed thriller from 1953 starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint will show indoors at 7pm on August 5 at the Ambler Theater (108 East Butler Avenue, Ambler).

The Bryn Mawr Film Institute (824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr) will be hosting a Cinema Classics Seminar for the same film also on August 5. Showings for the film itself will be announced soon.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1991 action blockbuster, which just marked its 30th anniversary, will run at the Philadelphia Film Center from August 5-8, also as part of the Blockbusters in 4K series.

Black Panther
The beloved 2018 Marvel film directed by Ryan Coogler and starring the late Chadwick Boseman as King T’Challa of Wakanda will get an outdoor screening August 6 at Clark Park (4301 Chester Avenue, Philadelphia), through a partnership between Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Friends of Clark Park. The showing starts at 7pm.

The same film will also have an outdoor screening at 8:15pm on August 12, as part of the Pictures in the Park series at Center City’s Dilworth Park (1 South 15th Street, on the west side of City Hall).

The Princess Bride
Inconceivable! Rob Reiner’s beloved film from 1987 written by William Goldman and adapted from Goldman’s novel, is a delightful remix of familiar fairy tales featuring Cary Elwes and Robin Wright as the central couple. This one is showing at 7:45pm on August 12 as part of the Schuylkill Banks series, just south of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge.

The Room
It’s been a while, but the famously bad 2003 movie from Tommy Wiseau finally returns to Philadelphia on August 18. It’s not at the Bourse, but rather at PhilaMOCA (531 North 12th Street, Philadelphia). The screening won’t be at midnight—it starts at 7:30pm. Greg Sestero, the film’s co-star, will be in attendance.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Rian Johnson’s 2017 Star Wars movie may be divisive, but it undoubtedly features some of the greatest moments of the Star Wars movie canon. The film will show on August 19 at Dilworth Park, once again as part of the Pictures in the Park series.

Knives Out
Fans of Rian Johnson will have plenty of options for outdoor showings on August 19. That night, another of the director’s movies, 2019’s Knives Out, will show at 7:30pm as part of the Schuylkill Banks summer movie series. The free movie is showing on the East Side of the river, just north of the Walnut Street Bridge.

The Iron Giant
Brad Bird’s animated masterpiece from 1999 will show on August 20 at 7pm, as part of the Movies in Clark Park series. The Iron Giant itself can also be seen in the background of various shots in Space Jam: A New Legacy, but the original film is a much better use of the character.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
The famed film from 1967 starring Sidney Poitier as a young Black doctor introduced to his white fiancée’s family will show at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville (227 Bridge Street, Phoenixville), August 22 at 1:30pm.

The Big Lebowski
Mark it 8:15, dude: The Coen Brothers’ 1998 cult hit will get an outdoor screening August 26 at the Ambler Theater, as part of the Outdoor Cinema Series. It will be paired with the 13th annual Little Lebowski Night.

The Vasulka Effect
After over a year of virtual screenings only, the Lightbox Film Center (401 South Broad Street, Philadelphia) will finally return at the end of August with a free August 27 screening of The Vasulka Effect, the 2019 Icelandic film about a couple from Czechoslovakia who founded the New York art and performance gallery The Kitchen. The screening is free for Lightbox members and UArts students. The theater is scheduled to open to the public in September.

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