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  • Carrie Specht

Pasadena Hosts FREE Outdoor Screenings


Summer fun is just in mid stride as the Old Pasadena Film Fest starts another season of FREE movies projected outdoors and among the sights and sounds of the old Pasadena streets. It may be a bit of a trek for some to get out to the nether regions of the Los Angeles area, but, hey, it’s for free! You can spend your theater ticket money on gas. The Old Pasadena Film Festival is a four-week film celebration that takes place Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8PM, beginning July 7 and continues through the 30th. The popular festival will be hosting eighteen screenings this year throughout the city’s historic downtown and is expecting to draw upwards of 8,000 attendees.

Not all of the festival is strictly “classic” in the truest sense of the word. Opening night after all kicks off the festival with the 90s cult film, “Clueless”, a personal favorite of mine, but not quite old enough yet to be consider a true classic. The rest of the family friendly Thursday night screenings have reached the proper age and are all indeed true classics to be shared with any family, including Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands”, the original “Pink Panther” with David Niven and Robert Wagner and one of the all time best family films, “A Princess Bride”. Who wouldn’t want to have a grandfather like Peter Falk?

Then on Friday evenings this year the festival pays special tribute to the late Elizabeth Taylor, screening many of her most popular films as well as the ones that earned the movie icon her two Academy Awards. The lineup includes what I consider to be the star’s best performance in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, one of her rare light comedies, “Father of the Bride”, a childhood staple “National Velvet”, and of course the fan favorite “A Place in the Sun”. I particularly like “National Velvet” for the stellar supporting cast, which includes Mickey Rooney and a teenage Angela Lansbury.

On Saturday evenings at One Colorado Courtyard the focus turns to dashing leading men. And we are talking about men upon whom this description is not used lightly. Men like James Dean, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Cary Grant. Appropriately the festival will be screening the films that are generally considered to be each man’s signature role, such as “Rebel without a Cause”, “Thomas Crown Affair”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and perhaps the most famous romantic film ever made “An Affair to Remember”.

Be sure to check out the travel oriented program scheduled to appear at the specialty travel bookstore Distant Lands. The store once again will host travel films including the five-time Academy Award winning and spectacularly fun “Around the World in 80 Days, as well as the popular drama “A Passage to India”. And Lastly, the festival has yielded to popular demand, and has deigned to include two cult classic horror films in the festival, the 1956 version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and the Alfred Hitchcock avian thriller “The Birds”.

Remember, all screenings are free and open to the public and begin at 8pm. So why not take a short trip out to Old Town Pasadena and see what you’ve been missing these past years. It’s summer and the weather is great. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the free things in life.

#OutdoorScreenings #FreeScreening #ClassicFilmScreenings