AUSTIN -- Coming soon to a historic movie palace near you...the most significant films from a century of cinema. As the Paramount Theatre looks ahead to celebrating its 100th birthday in 2015, it will present a new film series chronicling 100 years of magic on the silver screen.
The journey through the history of film--from the earliest silent shorts to contemporary favorites--is the brainchild of Paramount film programmer Stephen Jannise. "When I studied film in college, I really appreciated taking those film history courses that basically started at the beginning and worked all the way through. I think adding that context of being able to see how these various landmark films changed the way we thought about cinema really helps you understand why some of the movies have come to be called classics," he explains.
Paramount100: A Century of Cinema kicks off in January with landmark films from the silent era. January, February, and March will feature 35mm screenings of comedy classics like Charlie Chaplin’s "The Kid" and Harold Lloyd’s "Safety Last." Cinephiles will enjoy all-new digital restorations of the Douglas Fairbanks action adventure "The Thief of Bagdad" and D.W. Griffith’s epic "Intolerance."
"I think part of the purpose of watching that [Intolerance] is to look back and see what an extraordinary accomplishment it was at that time. I think it's not anywhere close to being one of the greatest films of all time, but it's a remarkable achievement. Seeing it in that context is an interesting way to watch it," adds Jannise.
Sire to the horror genre "Nosferatur" and the pioneering science fiction masterpiece "Metropolis" round out the 1920s offerings. The runs for a year and a half, concluding with the Summer Classic Film Series in 2015.
For a classic film fan, there's no place like the Paramount.
"It's a beautiful, majestic building. I think when you walk in here think a little bit about how long this theater has been showing movies, you sort of get the feeling that this is not the first time Elmer Gantry or The Hustler has played here. People were seeing it here back when it came out originally. It's kind of amazing," says Jannise.
You can purchase badges for the first segment of the series running through May 2014 at austintheatre.org for $99 or $84 for Film Fan members.