The return of repertory cinema features June screenings of classics and rarities

3 minute read

Movie theaters, of course, were closed for much of the last year, leading to changes in the way first-run movies are distributed that are likely to have lasting effects. But lost in all of that have been showings of older movies, which also ground to a halt due to the pandemic. At last, some of those showings will be returning this summer. More repertory showings are expected in the coming months as other area theaters reopen and restart annual traditions.

After more than a year, it's the return of the repertory cinema roundup, complete with all of the different ways to watch older movies in the month of June.

Indoor theaters

Young Frankenstein

Mel Brooks' comedic reimagining of the Frankenstein mythology, starring Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, and Madeline Kahn has an in-person run at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute (824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr) that runs through June 3.

Dirty Dancing

Also running at BMFI through June 3 is Dirty Dancing, the 1987 dance-fueled classic about a summer romance at a Catskills resort in 1963. Starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey and directed by Emile Ardolino, the film features a superlative 1960s soundtrack, before ending with the 1987 Oscar-winning song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life."

Bridge on the River Kwai

The 1957 classic, directed by David Lean, is coming to BMFI for a run between June 4 and 9. The war epic stars William Holden, Alec Guinness, and Jack Hawkins.

The Amusement Park

This film from horror master George Romero was produced in 1973 but shelved for decades afterward, and it was long assumed the print was lost. However, the film was rediscovered and restored in 2018 and will receive a theatrical release at the Colonial Theater (227 Bridge Street, Phoenixville) on June 6. The film will be released on the streaming service Shudder on June 8.

Field of Dreams

The beloved magical realism baseball film from 1989 directed by Phil Alden Robinson and starring Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, and Burt Lancaster may appear on television all the time, but you'll get a rare chance to see it on the big screen at BMFI starting June 11.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

The 1984 cult sci-fi film directed by W. D. Richter and starring Peter Weller will get a showing at the Colonial Theater on June 25.

Outdoor showings

Female Trouble

On June 2, the Navy Yard drive-in (Admiral Peary Way and League Island Boulevard, Philadelphia) will also host a showing of John Waters' 1974 trash classic Female Trouble. This showing is for the benefit of the Philly AIDS Thrift.

Amazing Grace

Another long-shelved film, Amazing Grace is the Aretha Franklin concert film that was originally shot in 1972 but didn't see the light of day until it was restored and released in 2018. cinéSPEAK will present a showing of the film on June 18, at the Bowl at Clark Park (4300-4398 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia) as part of its Under the Stars at Clark Park series. The screening is in partnership with Paul Robeson House.


On June 23, the Moving Picture Cinema, Abington Art Center, and The Hiway Theater will present an outdoor showing of the 1978 musical Grease, starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, and a beloved suite of songs. The showing will take place at the Abington Art Center (515 Meetinghouse Road, Jenkintown.)


It wouldn't be summer without a showing of the 1975 Steven Spielberg adventure that kicked off the blockbuster era. The Ambler Theatre will present a showing of the movie at the Ambler Yards (300 Brookside Avenue, Ambler) on June 24. Ambler Beer Company will be on hand to serve beverages.

What, When, Where, and Accessibility:

For Covid safety protocols, The Bryn Mawr Film Institute requires tickets to be purchased in advance and is also following further safety protocols. The Colonial Theatre and Abington Art Center also have safety protocols.

Image Description: A still from the film Amazing Grace. Pictured is a younger Aretha Franklin singing in front of a microphone. A background singer can be seen out of focus behind Franklin.

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