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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Classic Films at the Stanford in Palo Alto

Lately, I’ve been attracting a lot of twitter followers from all across the country and from around the world. I appreciate their interest, and more importantly I appreciate their input. Any time anyone, anywhere has news of a special screening or retrospective I love to hear about it so I can share the news with others who appreciate the experience of seeing a classic film the way it was meant to be seen - on the big screen.

The latest tip comes from northern California. If you’re from the area you may already know, but if you don’t know then I’ve got some great news for you. Apparently, you don’t have to go all the way into San Francisco to the Castro, or over to Oakland to the Paramount to see great classic cinema. As impressive as these theaters are, it’s nice to have some options and here’s one for those down on the southern part of the “East Bay”. A recent twitter follower of @ClassicFilms (that’s the handle for this site) told me about the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto where they present classic cinema in an authentic movie-going atmosphere (use the image above as a link to their schedule).

The concept may be unclear to some, but if you’re of a certain age then you remember a time when movies were only seen in movie theaters. It’s sad to say, but with the advancement of technology many modern (aka younger) viewers have gotten to the point where they hardly ever step into actual movie theaters any more. In fact, (they think) they prefer not to. I contend that these people are sorely misguided, and simply lack the experience to make an informed assessment.

Fortunately, there are more and more places like The Stafford popping up to provide an authentic alternative to downloading a classic onto a smart phone and watching it between errands. Remember, filmmakers of yesteryear never intended (let alone expected) their hard work to be watched on a shrunken screen. Any authority will agree, the magic of the movies depends on a larger-than-life image and the shared reactions of an audience.

The Stanford Theatre is currently celebrating the films of Howard Hawks (schedules). Between now and mid-June you can catch some of the best cinema ever produced in Hollywood’s dream factory, including The Outlaw, Red River, I Was a Male War Bride, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Rio Bravo. These are some truly great films that flourish on the big screen, so don’t miss your chance to catch them now. But don’t stop there. Be sure to check in with The Stafford regularly. With a lineup like the one they have now, I look forward to seeing what they’ve got going on for the rest of the summer.

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