It's a season of change for Philadelphia film. The bad news is, we said goodbye to the Ritz at the Bourse at the end of January. The good news is that the Lightbox Film Center will reopen at its new location at the University of the Arts this month, with PhilaMOCA not far away. In the meantime, here's what to look forward to in February, which is a loaded month for local movies:
The Philadelphia Story
The locally set "comedy of remarriage" from 1940, directed by George Cukor and starring Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, and Cary Grant, comes to the Colonial Theatre, in a digital restoration, on Sunday, February 2, at 1:30pm and again Monday, February 3, at 7:30pm.
The 1967 film by director Mike Nichols about wayward college graduate Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) and his affair with an older woman, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), set to the music of Simon & Garfunkel, comes to Bryn Mawr Film Institute (824 Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr) on Monday, February 3, at 7:15 p.m. The film is part of the institute's And the Award Goes To… series, in conjunction with the Oscars.
Children of Men
BMFI's program on the work of director Alfonso Cuaron, "Alfonso Cuarón: As Above, So Below," continues Tuesday, February 4, at 7:15pm with Children of Men. This exhilarating 2006 film, imagining a dystopian future in which no new babies have been born in decades, stars Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, and Michael Caine.
Psychotronic Film Society
This exhibition of out-there films will take place once again on Wednesday, February 5, at 7:30pm at Callowhill's Trestle Inn (339 North 11th St.) while the series' usual home, PhilaMOCA, prepares to reopen. The event doubles as a fundraiser for the reopening of PhilaMOCA.
Here we go again: the 2008 musical based on the Broadway jukebox musical adapted from ABBA's music will show upstairs at the Philadelphia Film Center (1412 Chestnut St.) on February 6 as part of the Throwback Thursday Quizzo & Movie Events. The film, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, stars Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, and Stellan Skarsgaard.
The French Connection
One of the more highly regarded cop films ever, William Friedkin's 1971 Best Picture winner starring Gene Hackman comes to the Bryn Mawr Film Institute on Monday, February 10, at 7:15pm. The screening is also part of the And the Award Goes To… series.
"Alfonso Cuarón: As Above, So Below" at Bryn Mawr Film Institute continues Tuesday, February 11, at 7:15pm with Gravity, the 2013 space drama starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
Spike Lee's towering 1992 biopic of the late civil rights leader, starring Denzel Washington, comes to the Film Center Wednesday, February 12, at 7pm, in 35mm, as part of the Film Essentials series.
This 2019 documentary directed by Barbara Miller features five women from all walks of life fighting for sexual autonomy. The film screens at 7:30pm on Wednesday, February 12, at the Ritz Five (214 Walnut St.). A Q&A will follow.
Central Park Five
Those who watched Ava DuVernay's When They See Us last year will likely appreciate this documentary from 2012 that's also about the Central Park Five case. Directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon, Central Park Five will show at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute Wednesday, February 12, at 7pm. All proceeds from the screening will be donated to the PA Innocence Project.
Just in time for Valentine's Day: This wonderful romantic comedy from 1987 starring Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, and the late Danny Aiello will screen locally at the Ambler Theater (108 East Butler Ave., Ambler) on Thursday, February 13, at 7:30pm.
Bring those spoons four blocks East: Tommy Wiseau's famously terrible 2003 movie screened for years at the Bourse, but with that theater's closure, The Room moves over to the Ritz East (125 South 2nd St.), just before midnight on Valentine's Day, because you are my rose, you are my rose, you are my rose.
Of all in the gin joints in all the world… This all-time-classic from 1942, about a pair of past lovers reunited in the titular city during the war, is screening in two different places, before and after Valentine's Day. The film, directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, plays at the Philadelphia Film Center on Thursday, February 13, at 7pm, and at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville on Sunday, February 16 (1:30pm) and Monday, February 17 (7:30pm).
Harold & Maude
Hal Ashby's off-kilter gem from 1971, starring Bud Cort as a young man obsessed with death and Ruth Gordon as the older woman he befriends, comes to the Bryn Mawr Film Institute on February 17 at 7:15pm, also as part of the And the Award Goes To… series.
Patrick Bresnan and Ivete Lewis's feature documentary from 2019 about a group of teenagers in the titular Florida town comes to the Philadelphia Film Center on Wednesday, February 19, at 7pm, as part of the Non/Fiction series.
Ganja & Hess
Bill Gunn's long-unavailable 1973 horror movie starring Duane Jones comes to the Film Center at 9:30pm on Thursday, February 20, as part of the After Hours series.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Bourse's other signature midnight movie also moves over to the Ritz East this month, with the show beginning just before midnight on February 21. Transylvanian Nipple Productions returns to provide the shadow cast.
On Friday, February 21, the Lightbox Film Center reopens at the old Gershman Y building at 401 South Broad St. with Redoubt, the latest work from artist and filmmaker Matthew Barney. The film shows at 7pm that night.
With a sequel coming up, get caught up on the Monstars mythology with the 1996 live-action/animation hybrid (now a cult classic) that brought together Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. The film shows at the Hiway Theater ( 212 Old York Rd., Jenkintown) on Saturday, February 22 at 10:30am.
The next film at the Lightbox is a new restored 4K edition of the Bela Tarr's 1994 Hungarian art film, a 439-minute film about defunct agricultural collective living in Hungary after the fall of the Soviet Union. This starts at 1pm on February 22.
French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 2001 film, which starred Audrey Tatou as a young woman exploring Paris and spreading joy everywhere she goes, comes to the Colonial Theatre on Sunday, February 23, at 1:30pm and February 24 at 7:30pm.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
The month ends with Robert Aldrich's 1961 camp classic starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. It comes to the Bryn Mawr Film Institute on Thursday, February 27, at 7:15pm, with an introduction by Alice Bullitt, M.A.