It's a big week at Tucson's best indie theatre as the Loft Cinema reopens its main auditorium with brand-new seats! Plop your butt into one of them on Thursday night with a 70mm screening of director Christopher Nolan's new film Dunkirk, which explores the plight of Allied soldiers as German troops move into France and push them back to the beaches of Dunkirk. Thursday screenings are 7 and 9:45 p.m.
It's also time for this summer's Loft Kids Fest, with free films for the kids every day between Saturday, July 22, and Sunday, July 30. The fun kicks off with a party at 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, at Trail Dust Town (6541 E. Tanque Verde Road), featuring activities, giveaways and live music.
Then the festival begins on Saturday, July 22, with screenings of Cinderella (2015) at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. On Sunday, July 23, Kubo and the Two Strings shows at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Disneynature: Oceans screens at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 24; Akeelah and the Bee is at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 25; The Bee Movie is at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 26; The Sandlot is 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 27; Looney Tunes on the Big Screen is at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 28; Ponyo is at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 29; and Ice Age is 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 30. The festival includes free popcorn, an animated short before every movie and pre-screening festivities hosted by Mildred & Dildred Toy Store.
The Loft also continues its regular Cult Classic Series with Wayne's World (released 25 years ago, believe it or not) showing at 10 p.m. Friday, July 21, and Saturday, July 22. The movie follows Wayne and Garth as they attempt to make it big with their public-access cable show without letting a studio turn them into sell-outs.
Next weekend, the Cult Classic is Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys, showing at 10 p.m. Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29. Bruce Willis stars as a traveler from the future trying to save humanity and avoid being locked up in the booby hatch.
This week's Mondo Monday entry is Party Camp, showing at 8 p.m. Monday, July 24. This flick is for anyone who didn't get to go to summer camp this year. When a teenager follows his dream girl off to summer camp, he quickly realizes the strictly regimented structure there is not his style. Rather than change his own summer plans, he sets a course for chaos and partying and brings the whole camp with him.
The Loft Solar Cinema (a van equipped with an inflatable projection screen and a high-tech projection system powered by solar panels) brings movies to underserved areas throughout Southern Arizona. After each screening, a humanities scholar leads a discussion about the film's connection to societal issues. Hunt for the Wilderpeople, from director Taika Waititi of Boy and What We Do in the Shadows, is showing at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, on the Pascua Yaqui Reservation. The film follows a guarded foster child and his grouchy father-figure as they are chased through the New Zealand bush.
The 4th Friday Films at MOCA, featuring movies about artists and art screened under the stars in the Cox Plaza at MOCA Tucson, continues at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 28. This month's entry is The Salt of the Earth, chronicling the life and work of world-renowned photojournalist Sebastião Salgado. Bella's Gelato food truck will be available to help audience members beat the heat.
And the Loft is still presenting The Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight on Saturday, July 22. This month's screening of the Loft's 39-year tradition will take place on the fourth Saturday of the month in the Loft's newly renovated main theatre. It will return to its regular third Saturday slot in August.
More details on all of above at loftcinema.org
Cactus Drive-in Theatre
The Cactus Drive-in Theatre, a nonprofit intent on bringing back the drive-in cinema experience, shows films on Thursdays at the Tanque Verde Swap Meet. Cult classic The Princess Bride is showing at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 20. Audience members will be on the edge of their seats waiting to find out who killed Inigo Montoya's father, and whether Princess Buttercup will ever uncover the identity of the mysterious man in black.
The 1978 film Grease is showing at 7:50 p.m. Thursday, July 27. Revisit the beloved cast of characters, the iconic musical numbers and the inexplicable flying car scene from the comfort of your own (grounded) vehicle.
Visit cactusdriveintheatre.com for more info.
Cinema La Placita
The Cinema La Placita outdoor film series continues in the Tucson Museum of Art plaza for only $3 per person, including popcorn. Inherit the Wind, starring Gene Kelly and Spencer Tracy, is showing Thursday, July 20. The film is based on the 1925 Scopes trial, in which a substitute high school teacher was accused of unlawfully teaching evolution to students.
Dirty Dancing, featuring a young Patrick Swayze and that iconic lift to I've Had the Time of My Life, is showing Thursday, July 27.
Find more info at cinemalaplacita.com
The Screening Room
The downtown movie house hosts the Arizona Sunburn Film Festival from July 27 to 29.
Psychological suspense film An Idle Mind is the Devil's Playground is showing Thursday, July 27 at 7 p.m.
The action short Doherty is showing Friday, July 28 at 7 p.m.
Three films will be showing on Saturday, July 29:
• Detroit under STRESS, a documentary about the Detroit Police Department's STRESS unit in the 1970s, will be showing at 5 p.m.
• McBride, a western shot at Gammons Gulch, will be showing at 7 p.m.
• Johann Karlo's Gun Driver, a post-apocalyptic science fiction film, will be showing at 9 p.m. ■