Spooky film screenings galore

The BSR October 2022 movie repertory roundup

8 minute read
A black and white still from the movie, the actors gathered around a table wearing comical contemplative faces
Young Frankenstein screens this month in Phoenixville. (Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox.)

As is usually the case, the repertory film calendar for the month of October is chockfull of horror in anticipation of Halloween. You'll have multiple chances this month to catch everything from Halloween to The Exorcist to The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The Manchurian Candidate
Thursday, October 6, 7:15pm
Tuesday, October 11, 1pm and 7pm
Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr

As part of BMFI's Hollywood Grows Up series, John Frankenheimer's 1962 classic featured Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, and Angela Lansbury, in a paranoid conspiracy thriller.

Friday, October 7, 9:30pm
Philadelphia Film Center, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

Friday, October 28, 9:45pm
Colonial Theatre, 223 Bridge Street, Phoenixville

Monday, October 31, 7:30pm
Ambler Theater, 108 East Butler Avenue, Ambler

There have been countless Halloween movies over the years, including a new one arriving this month. But the 1978 original from John Carpenter is one you'll have plenty of chances to see this month.

Friday, October 7, 7pm
Philadelphia Film Center, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Film Society is running a tribute this month to the Korean director Park Chan-Wook—affectionately nicknamed "Love Park"—ahead of his latest film, Decision to Leave, which screens at the Philadelphia Film Festival and releases worldwide this month. Among the likes of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Lady Vengeance, and JSA: Joint Security Area is his best-known film Oldboy, which isn't exactly a horror film but is as horrific as anything on this list.

Carnival of Souls
Friday, October 7, 8pm
Media Arts Council, 11 East State Street, Media

The State Street Movie Night's fall slate kicks off with Herk Harvey's horror thriller from 1962.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Friday, October 7 and Friday, October 21, 10pm
Ritz Five, 214 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

Saturday, October 15, 10pm
Colonial Theatre, 223 Bridge Street, Phoenixville

Rocky Horror doesn't have to happen around Halloween time, but it certainly helps. The cult classic is showing at two different theaters, both with the "shadowcast" and all of the rest of the usual sideshow.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Saturday, October 8, 1pm
Sunday, October 13, 7:15pm
Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr

Director Ang Lee had a breakthrough in 2000 with this martial arts film featuring an all-star team with Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-Fat, and Zhang Ziyi. The October 13 edition will feature a Cinema Classics Seminar by Paul McEwan, PhD.

Saturday, October 8, 7pm
Colonial Theatre, 223 Bridge Street, Phoenixville

As for a completely different kind of horror, Bob Fosse's 1972 Broadway adaptation told the story of Weimar Germany, right before the rise of the Nazis. Starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York, and Joel Grey as the Master of Ceremonies, the film is marking its 50th anniversary. The story has modern-day echoes, as it has at most times for different reasons throughout its history.

Young Frankenstein
Sunday, October 9, 1:30pm
Colonial Theatre, 223 Bridge Street, Phoenixville

Mel Brooks's 1974 evisceration of the Frankenstein legend starred Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle.

Practical Magic
Wednesday, October 12, 7pm
Colonial Theatre, 223 Bridge Street, Phoenixville

We come to this place, for magic—Practical Magic. Nicole Kidman starred along with Sandra Bullock in this 1998 witch comedy. It's being shown on "Witchy Wednesday,” where costumes are encouraged and "cauldron margaritas" are available for those of age.

The Birds
Wednesday, October 12, 7pm
Ambler Theater, 108 East Butler Avenue, Ambler

No Halloween would be complete without some Hitchcock. His 1963 The Birds, about birds attacking a small town, hits Ambler. There will also be an online discussion on October 25 with Bryn Mawr Film Institute's Andrew Douglas.

Thursday, October 13, 7:30pm
Ambler Theater, 108 East Butler Avenue, Ambler

Continuing with the Halloween theme is a chance to see the original 1996 Scream, directed by Wes Craven and starring Drew Barrymore and Neve Campbell. It's a 35mm presentation, followed by karaoke at the nearby Forest & Main Brewing Company.

Hocus Pocus
Friday, October 14, 7pm
Philadelphia Film Center, 1412 Chestnut St, Philadelphia

Before you catch the sequel on Disney+, check out the quizzo-and-a-movie presentation of the 1993 original at the Film Center, returning for the first time since the pandemic began.

Friday, October 14, 9:45pm
Hiway Theater, 212 York Rd, Jenkintown

The Horror at the Hiway series presents a 40th anniversary showing of this 1982 horror anthology film, a team-up of director George A. Romero and author Stephen King that featured Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, Hal Holbrook, and Adrienne Barbeau.

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Saturday, October 15, 11pm
Bryn Mawr Film Film Institute, 824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr

Saturday, October 29, 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm
Colonial Theater, 223 Bridge Street, Phoenixville

This 1993 stop-motion classic about an attempt by Halloween to annex Christmas may have been named after a poem by Tim Burton, and even had Burton's name on it at one point. But it was directed by Henry Selick, whose new film Wendell & Wild will hit Netflix around the same time. It was the first animated film nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar.

Frankenstein and Dracula
Saturday, October 15, 5pm, and 7:30pm
Philadelphia Film Center, 1412 Chestnut St, Philadelphia

Yes, it's a double feature of two of the classic Universal monster films, both from 1931. It starts with James Whale's Frankenstein, and is followed by Tod Browning's Dracula.

Corpse Bride
Saturday, October 15, 11pm
Hiway Theater, 212 York Rd, Jenkintown

The other stop-motion film associated with Tim Burton, 2005's Corpse Bride, was co-directed by Mike Johnson and Burton and was one of numerous Burton films to feature the talents of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter.

Velvet Goldmine
Wednesday, October 19, 7pm
Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr

It's a movie that was notoriously hacked to pieces by a certain notorious, since-disgraced head of Miramax Films, but Todd Haynes's 1998 glam rock homage has always been wildly underrated. Starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Ewan McGregor as thinly veiled versions of David Bowie and Iggy Pop, the film is being presented as part of BMFI's Starman: The Film Legacy of David Bowie series.

Thursday, October 20, 7pm
Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

CinéSPEAK will screen 2021's Senegalese film Saloum, directed by Jean Luc Herbulot, a film about mercenaries confronted by supernatural forces.

The Silence of the Lambs
Sunday, October 23, 7pm
Colonial Theatre, 223 Bridge Street, Phoenixville

The only horror movie ever to win the Best Picture Oscar, Jonathan Demme's 1991 serial killer classic also took home Oscars for Demme himself and lead performers Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. Made back in the day when there weren't a half-dozen films a year with cannibalism plots, Silence of the Lambs hit like a lightning bolt when it arrived in early 1991.

The Shining
Tuesday, October 25, 2pm and 7pm
Ritz Five, 214 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of the Stephen King book features Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall stuck in a haunted, snowbound hotel in Colorado. It's a horror movie everybody but Stephen King loves.

Lost Highway
Wednesday, October 26, 7pm
Ambler Theater, 108 East Butler Avenue, Ambler

It's been a big year for repertory showings around town of David Lynch's lesser-known films and that continues with Lost Highway, his 1997 lark that turns 25 this year.

The Exorcist
Wednesday, October 26, 7:15pm
Monday, October 31, 7pm
Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr

William Friedkin's 1973 classic, which I maintain is still the only good movie ever made about exorcism, comes to Bryn Mawr for a pair of showings, including on Halloween itself. The 26th is part of a Cinema Classics Seminar, with Andrew Owen, PhD. The version shown is the director’s cut, also known as “The Version You’ve Never Seen.”

Night of the Living Dead
Thursday, October 27, 8pm
PhilaMOCA, 531 North 12th Street, Philadelphia

The original George A. Romero 1968 Night of the Living Dead will get a showing in the mausoleum, with special musical accompaniment from the music collective Morricone Youth.

The Lost Boys
Thursday, October 27, 7pm
Ambler Theater, 108 East Butler Avenue, Ambler

Joel Schumacher's 1987 horror film had a pair of brothers facing off against a vampire biker gang. The Ambler showing is in 35mm.

The Times of Harvey Milk
Friday, October 28, 7pm
Lightbox Film Center, 401 South Broad Street, Philadelphia

The Lightbox is running its Pioneers of Queer Cinema series this month, and one of them is this 1985's Oscar-winning documentary. Directed by Rob Epstein, the film masterfully used archival footage to tell the entire story of Milk's life, activism, political career, and assassination, before extensively covering the trial and unrest that followed his death.

October 29 and 30, 11pm
Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr

Sunday, October 30, 2pm
Colonial Theatre, 223 Bridge Street, Phoenixville

F. W. Murnau's German classic marks its centennial this year. To celebrate, BMFI and the Colonial are showing at the end of the month. The film when first released was performed with musical accompaniment and has often been presented that way in contemporary showings. This time, it will be accompanied with music from the School of Rock Main Line for the BMFI showing and organist Brett Miller will play at the Colonial. Director Robert Eggers (The Northman) will soon begin shooting a remake.

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