Upcoming Screenings

OUR BUILDING IS BEING SOLD

We learned on 1/19/23 that our building is up for sale. We’re signing a two-year lease and after that—or whenever it’s convenient for us to—we’ll move. We doubt the building won’t be demolished, but don’t worry, we’re determined to recreate the magic someplace new! Stay tuned!

OUR COVID RULES

  • Masks required for all. 😷 (After we decide to stop requiring masks, we will still keep certain shows as “masks required”.)
  • Popcorn, sodas, & candy are back! 🍿 
  • If you feel sick, stay home. For the time being we will process a refund if necessary, but need to include a $1 charge to cover our costs. You can also exchange your ticket for a different showtime or film or convert it into a gift certificate for later use. Email us.
  • We installed filtration capable of removing airborne COVID particles in the auditorium, lobby, and projection booth.
  • Why are we doing this? Our aim is to make seeing movies here safe and comfortable for everyone. In addition, the cinema is operated 100% by volunteers and we are trying to keep them healthy!

The Last of Sheila in 35mm

Herbert Ross · 1973 · USA
120min · 35mm
Playing Mar 24 through Mar 28

50TH ANNIVERSARY! One of the main inspirations behind GLASS ONION, this classic Herbert Ross-directed whodunit is co-written by the late, great Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Perkins (yes, THAT Anthony Perkins), and stars, among others, recently deceased siren of the silver screen, the iconic Raquel Welch.

A year after Hollywood gossip columnist Sheila Greene’s untimely death, her wealthy husband (James Coburn) invites six acquaintances who were present on the fateful day in question to gather on his yacht. His aim? To uncover the truth about his wife’s demise and unmask her murderer. In the mix are a struggling screenwriter (Richard Benjamin) and his rich wife (Joan Hackett), a down-on-his-luck former A-list director (James Mason), a fading starlet (Ms. Welch), her gigolo boyfriend (Ian McShane), and a desperate talent agent (a scene-stealing Dyan Cannon). As secrets are revealed and motives unearthed, this unconventional voyage of discovery quickly turns deadly.

“It remains an underrated pleasure, a rare original film mystery (most whodunits are adapted from novels – which means your target audience already knows the solution) with dialogue as precisely turned as one of Norman Bates’s twitches or Sweeney Todd’s razor-rhymes.” Kim Newman, Empire

“A devilishly complicated thriller of superior class… It’s the kind of movie that wraps you up in itself, and absorbs you at the very time you’re being impressed by its cleverness.” Roger Ebert

Friday, Mar 24: 7:30 pm
Sunday, Mar 26: 4:30 pm, 7:30 pm
Tuesday, Mar 28: 7:30 pm

Saturday Secret Matinees 2023

1920-1964 · Various Directors & Countries
120min · 16mm
Playing Mar 25

Presented by The Sprocket Society.

The Saturday Secret Matinees blast off with a 15th anniversary season of weekly serial episodes plus secret classic features, all on 16mm film! Save with a series pass!

In the iconic cliffhanger KING OF THE ROCKET MEN (1949), the mysterious Dr. Vulcan is stealing the latest atomic-powered weapons developed by Science Associates, and murdering the scientists! One of them secretly survives and recruits trusted Jeff King to fight back using a cutting-edge rocket suit! Together with reporter Glenda Thomas and a few others, it’s a race against time to stop Dr. Vulcan and his gang of thugs — and their devastating atomic arsenal!

Each week’s episode is paired with a secret feature film. Bi-weekly themes provide clues, but it could be almost anything: thrillers, sci-fi, comedy, art house, a forgotten gem, or a beloved classic.

Feb. 4 & 11: Haunted Avarice
Greed collides with the spirit realm in two art house masterpieces

Feb. 18 & 25: Nuts!
Madcap ‘30s comedy classics, each shown with a comic short

Mar. 4 & 11: Espionage!
Outstanding spy thrillers from the silent and early sound eras

Mar. 18 & 25: Space Epics in Cinemascope
Struggles to survive on hostile planets with hidden secrets. Rare widescreen prints!

Saturday, Mar 25: 1:00 pm

Brotherhood of the Wolf (Director’s Cut) – 4K Restoration

Christophe Gans · 2001 · France
150min · DCP
Playing Mar 25 through Mar 29

Featuring a unique and unusual mix of horror, swashbuckling, martial arts performances, and special effects ranging from CGI of the time to puppetry and animatronics courtesy of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF is beautifully shot and realized, with peaceful rolling hills and wild, untamed country painted upon the same canvas. All the while, a hidden menace prowls, waiting to strike when the moon rises.

A beast is loose in the countryside of the Gevaudan province of France and has been killing its victims for two years and counting! In 1764, Chevalier Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) and his Iroquois friend Mani (Mark Dacascos) hunt the monster by order of the King to put a stop to the killings. Aiding them in their exploits is the one-armed Jean-François (Vincent Cassel), his sister Marianne de Morangias (Émilie Dequenne) and various members of the Gallic court. Presented in a new 4K restoration, there’s no better time to visit this fantastic and dangerous world!

In French, German, and Italian with English subtitles.

The Saturday, March 25th 7:30 PM showing will be presented by Kung Fu Clubhouse, featuring an exclusive pre-show of fun martial arts clips!

“Leave it to the French to find a place for kung fu in an 18th century corsets and werewolves epic. And, give them credit for including a generous helping of sex, bawdiness and a dash of Native American mysticism, too, just to make things interesting.” Sarah Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com

“A wonder of magpie postmodernism, a samurai adventure with Hong Kong action and a wry touch of American Western, all sewn into a free interpretation of Gallic history that also has its finger on the pulse of current social trends.” Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly

“It was about damn time someone recognized the French countryside for what it is, a mecca of martial arts.” CinemaVoid, Letterboxd review

Brotherhood of the Wolf plays like an explosion at the genre factory… I would be lying if I did not admit that this is all, in its absurd and overheated way, entertaining.” Roger Ebert

Saturday, Mar 25: 4:00 pm, 7:30 pm
Monday, Mar 27: 7:00 pm
Wednesday, Mar 29: 7:00 pm

Camille Billops Family Trilogy at LANGSTON

Camille Billops, James Hatch · 1982/1991/2002 · USA
180min · digital
Playing Mar 29

Wednesday, March 29 from 6:00-9:00 PM at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute; $14 general, $10 for Grand Illusion members

Presented by LANGSTON, Black Cinema Collective, SIFF, and Grand Illusion Cinema.

Trailblazing artist and polymath Camille Billops (1933–2019) and her partner in life and work, James Hatch (1928–2020), left behind invaluable legacies as archivists who worked tirelessly to preserve records of Black cultural life and as filmmakers who turned their unflinching camera on Billops’s own, often painful personal experiences. The films they made together, while grounded in documentary, use a range of techniques including reenactments, dramatization, and satire to illuminate the ways in which race, gender, and class shape everyday life.

In their Family Trilogy—Suzanne, Suzanne; Finding Christa; and A String of Pearls—the pair cover more than 30 years of troubling truths from Billops’s own family, tackling issues of drug addiction, abuse, unwanted pregnancy, and motherhood with fearless honesty.

Suzanne, Suzanne (1982 – new 4K restoration): This poignant documentary presents a devastating portrait of Camille Billops’s niece, Suzanne, who is haunted by the abuse she suffered as a child and the passivity of the family members who allowed it to continue. “Remains one of the most powerful documentaries of domestic life.” bell hooks, Reel to Real Watch Trailer

Finding Christa (1991 – new 2K digitization): This startlingly personal documentary explores the feelings surrounding the reunion between filmmaker Camille Billops and her own daughter, Christa, twenty years after being given up for adoption. Facing the re-encounter with mixed emotions, Billops interrogates her family and friends as well as her own motivations. The result is an original and daring work that challenges social biases about adoption and offers new insight into mother-daughter relationships. Watch Trailer

A String of Pearls (2002 – new 2K digitization): In the final installment of the Family Trilogy, Camille Billops turns the camera on four generations of men in her family and considers the ways in which urban violence, unemployment, and the early deaths of their own fathers have shaped their lives. Watch Trailer

“For Camille Billops, autobiography is a means to a new Black documentary style.” Sight & Sound

Wednesday, Mar 29: 6:00 pm at LANGSTON

Enys Men

Mark Jenkin · 2023 · United Kingdom
91min · DCP
Playing Mar 31 through Apr 11

Shot on 16mm color filmstock using his own Bolex H-16 SB clockwork camera, director Mark Jenkin’s ENYS MEN is a Cornish folk horror film that evokes the feeling of discovering a reel of never-before-seen celluloid unspooling in a haunted movie palace. This provocative and masterful vision of horror tells the story of a wildlife volunteer (Mary Woodvine) on an uninhabited island off the British coast who descends into a terrifying madness that challenges her grip on reality and pushes her into a living nightmare. Following his BAFTA-winning breakthrough film BAIT, ENYS MEN reasserts Mark Jenkin as one of the U.K.’s most exciting and singular filmmakers.

Part of our 16mm Centennial Celebration Series!

“Are its cultish mysteries for everyone? Undoubtedly not. But if there’s a place in your heart for dark, folky mind-benders that plug into the cosmic energy of remote, oceanic terrain, you should take a trip across Jenkin’s freaky landscape asap.” Philip De Semlyen, Time Out

“The kind of thing the victims in a horror film might watch, just after pulling it from the cellar of a derelict harbour cottage, and shortly before succumbing to some blood-curdling maritime curse.” Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

“Jenkin’s style is so unusual, so unadorned, it feels almost like a manuscript culture of cinema. There is real artistry in it.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Friday, Mar 31: 7:30 pm
Saturday, Apr 1: 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm
Sunday, Apr 2: 5:30 pm
Monday, Apr 3: 7:30 pm
Wednesday, Apr 5: 8:00 pm
Thursday, Apr 6: 8:00 pm
Saturday, Apr 8: 4:00 pm
Sunday, Apr 9: 7:30 pm
Tuesday, Apr 11: 7:30 pm

BloodSisters: Leather, Dykes and Sadomasochism

Michelle Handelman · 1995 · USA
77min · digital
Playing Mar 31

ENCORE SCREENING!

Presented by SECS Fest! During the early 1990s, San Francisco was the epicenter of body modification and gender nonconformity, with transgender pioneers like Patrick Califia and Tala Brandeis fighting for visibility alongside the voice of a bold S/M community. Michelle Handelman’s provocative and pioneering documentary captures these queer outlaws in their zeitgeist moment, shot on digital video with an unfiltered rawness that mirrors the activism of the era. From pushy bottoms to macho femmes, BLOODSISTERS immerses the viewer in the San Francisco leatherdyke scene, shattering assumptions about gender and lesbian sexuality, while broadening the discussion about personal expressions of eroticism and their political implications.

In the 1990s, the movie was attacked in congress by the American Family Association for its depictions of radical lesbian sexuality. More than twenty-five years later, it has become recognized as a treasured historical document of a movement that tore down barriers of sex, gender, and activism.

“What was perhaps meant to document a moment in history has proven every single time I’ve watched it that it hasn’t aged at all. This is both a testament to the lack of progress in the larger scope of American politics, but also affirms that leatherdykes have been forward thinking when it comes to sexuality and gender long before Bloodsisters was created. I am forever grateful for the spark that this film ignited in me, in my queer imagination, and in the connection to my erotic heritage.” DaemonumX, Autostraddle

Released in 1995 and directed by video artist and filmmaker Michelle Handelman, BloodSisters is a vital archive of San Francisco’s once-thriving leatherdyke community. It’s also a rare time capsule of a community at risk of erasure, whether by assimilation or puritanism, and is surprisingly current in its discussion of the ever-evolving spectrum of lesbian/dyke/queer identity… In a world that would rather erase all alternative lifestyles, BloodSisters is a vital archive of queer history.” Jude Dry, IndieWire

Friday, Mar 31: 9:30 pm

Bait

Mark Jenkin · 2019 · United Kingdom
89min · DCP
Playing Apr 1 through Apr 6

Shot on tactile hand-processed black-and-white 16mm film and unfolding with the staccato rhythms of avant-garde cinema, British filmmaker Mark Jenkin’s breakthrough experimental drama marks a singular achievement: an idiosyncratic work of social realism fascinatingly pitched somewhere between documentary and political melodrama.

Martin Ward (Edward Rowe) is a cove fisherman, without a boat. His brother Steven has repurposed their father’s vessel as a tourist tripper, driving a wedge between the brothers. With their childhood home now a getaway for London money, Martin is displaced to the estate above the picturesque harbor. As his struggle to restore the family to their traditional place creates increasing friction with tourists and locals alike, a tragedy at the heart of the family changes his world. Winner of the 2020 BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a Director and Producers.

Part of our 16mm Centennial Celebration Series!

“A creeping, original British work that feels pounded into existence by hand, or possibly belched up by the angry sea.” Ian Mantgani, Sight & Sound

“It’s a genuine modern masterpiece, which establishes Jenkin as one of the most arresting and intriguing British film-makers of his generation.” Mark Kermode, The Guardian

Saturday, Apr 1: 5:30 pm
Sunday, Apr 2: 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm
Wednesday, Apr 5: 6:00 pm
Thursday, Apr 6: 6:00 pm

Ex-Hippies and Smartasses: Underground Comedies from the ‘60s and ‘70s

Various Directors · 1964-1978 · USA
93min · 16mm
Playing Apr 4

Comedy shorts from the art house and underground cinema circuits of the 1960s and 1970s, all on 16mm film. A mix of favorites and forgotten gems made by ex-hippies and smartasses, with the screen debuts of several future stars, these independently produced films are hilarious examples of the last gasp of the theatrical comic short.

You’ll see spoofs of Ingmar Bergman and a certain sci-fi blockbuster; social satires on relationships, gender roles, and middle class somnambulism; skewerings of narcissistic losers (including a strangely familiar emotionally damaged president); and more. By turns zany and subtle, intellectual and goofy, stoned and straight laced — and usually with a political subtext — these shorts are sure to leave you laughing. Co-presented by The Sprocket Society.

Part of our 16mm Centennial Celebration Series!

Tuesday, Apr 4: 7:30 pm

What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat, & Tears?

John Scheinfeld · 2023 · USA
111min · DCP
Playing Apr 7 through Apr 13

A political thriller with a classic rock band at the heart of the action, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS? involves the U.S. State Department, the Nixon White House, the governments of Yugoslavia, Romania and Poland, and documentary footage that has been suppressed for over 50 years by one or all of the above.

In June 1970, hot off their spectacular Grammy win for Album of the Year, Blood, Sweat & Tears became the first American rock band to perform behind the Iron Curtain on a tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

Upon their return home, they became a victim of the significant societal upheaval and culture wars in a polarized America, finding themselves in a crossfire between the Right AND the Left. The group suffered greatly as a result, suddenly losing support from fans, the media, concert bookers, and the recording industry.

Through documentary footage shot during the Iron Curtain tour (and thought to be lost), along with present-day interviews with band members and historians, as well as the unsealing of government records, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS? unravels the details of this extraordinary year in the life of the band.

Friday, Apr 7: 7:00 pm
Saturday, Apr 8: 7:00 pm
Sunday, Apr 9: 4:00 pm
Monday, Apr 10: 7:00 pm
Wednesday, Apr 12: 7:00 pm
Thursday, Apr 13: 7:00 pm

4/20 Dank Double Feature: Up In Smoke + Assassin of Youth

Lou Adler & Tommy Chong / Elmer Clifton · USA
176min · DCP + 16mm
Playing Apr 20

Check it out you stoners, heads, and vipers! Celebrate the 10th anniversary of legalized recreational weed in Washington state with a dank double bong hit of skunky cinema! No need to bogart, man – get both nugs for one low price!

First, mellow out with a lid of Acapulco comedy gold: Cheech and Chong’s UP IN SMOKE (1978), the first all-out stoner comedy. Burned out buddies Pedro and Man smuggle a van made entirely of marijuana from Mexico to LA, with incompetent Sgt. Stedenko (Stacy Keach) on their trail. Features the hit song “Earache My Eye”! 45th anniversary!

Then enjoy a stick of mighty mezz: a rare 16mm print of MARIHUANA: ASSASSIN OF YOUTH (1937), the infamous scare film inspired by the “gore files” of racist anti-pot narc, Harry J. Anslinger. An innocent high school girl gets mixed up with the wrong crowd, where smoking tea leads to wild all-night parties, skinny dipping, crime…and sex!! Plus stoned shorts and cartoons, also on 16mm film! Co-presented by The Sprocket Society.

Part of our 16mm Centennial Celebration Series!

Thursday, Apr 20: 7:00 pm

Man with a Movie Camera with Live Score by Montopolis

Dziga Vertov · 1929 · Soviet Union
80min · DCP
Playing May 1

Revered as a visual masterpiece and one of the greatest documentary films ever made, MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA gives historical context to the current Russian invasion and lays bare the costs of the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The joyful original score by Montopolis celebrates the beauty and resilience of Ukraine’s people and aims to inspire American audiences to support the country in its time of need.

The grandson of Romanian immigrants, Montopolis composer Justin Sherburn has a personal investment in the history and culture of Eastern Europe. His original score incorporates indie rock, extended techniques, and traditional Ukrainian folk melodies. According to Sherburn (whose Ashkenazi family name is Shapiro), the work is “an exercise in the power of music to undermine a film’s intention.” MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA was commissioned by the Soviet regime under Joseph Stalin to showcase the might of industry in the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa. The composer’s empathetic and romantic score transforms a nationalistic propaganda film into a celebration of the human spirit, emphasizing the humanity of the Ukrainian people over the industrial prowess of the Soviet Union.

Watch the trailer.

“Sherburn counts a day job in Okkervil River, but has made a name for himself with his chamber outfit Montopolis’ stunning, hour-long score to the famous 1929 Russian silent. The capacity audience at Alamo Drafthouse last weekend gave the local sextet a well-deserved standing ovation at the conclusion of the film and its accompanying live performance. This is rich Austin culture with an already storied legacy made even more so by this latest entry. Your summer blockbuster has arrived.” Raoul Hernandez, The Austin Chronicle

Monday, May 1: 7:30 pm