We've given a lot of ink lately to our friends at the Loft Cinema, which is undergoing a long-awaited remodel of the main auditorium.
Out are the half-century-old coathangers we've been sitting on; in are modern—and comfy!—seats. There's more to the makeover, but rest assured the gold curtains will remain. During the work, the Loft is coming up with all sorts of ways to still dazzle us with summer movie magic. Take this Saturday: Besides showing acclaimed movies like Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, the Emily Dickinson biopic A Quiet Passion and cult classic Pulp Fiction on the remaining two screens at the Speedway landmark. The Loft is also taking over the Rialto Theatre on Saturday night for the Found Footage Festival, a plenty weird celebration of the treasures found on those VHS tapes you see at thrift stores. That same evening, the Loft will also broadcast a live feed of London's National Theatre's production of Rosencranz and Guilderstern Are Dead at the Jewish Community Center. And that's not the last of it—another Loft team will be driving a solar-powered movie van—complete with panels, batteries, a projector and an inflatable screen—down to the O.K. Corral to show Tombstone: Rashomon. Director Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid and Nancy) will be on hand to talk about the film. Cox told me during last year's Loft Film Fest that he'd always wanted to make a movie about Tombstone and "now, in my declining years, I thought, well, let's give it a go." (I was happy to be able to thank Cox for launching my career in journalism back in my misspent youth at the University of Arizona, but that's a story for another day.)
Speaking of my misspent youth: Who else remembers heading down to the Temple of Music and Art for classic movies back in the 1980s—Rebel Without a Cause, The Maltese Falcon, Harold and Maude, to name just a few. The Temple is back in the classic film game thanks to Herb Stratford, the savior of the Fox, who is now giving Tucson a Sunday matinee showing of Creature from the Black Lagoon, among others
Elsewhere in downtown, Cinema La Placita continues to entertain us with outdoor movies every Thursday night this summer in a classy new home at the Tucson Museum of Art plaza—and wait till you see what La Placita's Erika O'Dowd has lined up for June. It's great. It's the best. It's gonna be huge!
Also on Thursday nights in June: The folks at the Cactus Drive-In Theatre Foundation are bringing back the nostalgic days of yesteryear in the parking lot of the Tanque Verde Swap Meet. Moana at the drive-in on June 22? Plus a chance to check out the swap meet before the movie? I know where my daughter Yaya and I are gonna be on Thursday, June 22.
Get caught up with the details of all these local indie movie showcases in this week's feature story, along with movie reviewer Bob Grimm's roundup of the blockbusters coming our way. Can anything really top Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Discuss.
It's a holiday weekend and we have the rundown on the good times in City Week. But however you celebrate, raise a glass to those the holiday is meant to remember: Those who have lost their lives in service to this nation. For some, the wound may be old but never really heals; for others, it's sadly much too fresh. "Thank you for your service" just doesn't begin to cover the enormity, but no words ever really can.