By Gene Axton, Times Leader
Italian fantasy/horror movie added to venue’s 2016 Wednesday film series
WILKES-BARRE — The F.M. Kirby Center’s 2016 W. Curtis Montz Film Series marked a return to the Wednesday weekly summer screening schedule the late Montz organized while he was an employee at the venue. According to Kirby Center Public Relations Coordinator Lauren Menn, the move to their traditional time slot and the inclusion of Oscar nominees, independent productions and foreign films was an effort to reach their film audience that wasn’t in vain.
“Honestly we didn’t have much of an expectation, we were just switching back to Wednesdays so we could know if we were going to be able to reach all the people that used to come — and other people who want to come out on a Wednesday — because we haven’t done it in a few years,” Menn said. “The fact we get anyone in the door makes me happy; 50 to 60 is great in my mind. We’re getting 50 to 60 a night, which is really good.”
Menn and Kirby Center Director of Sales and Marketing Anne Rodella have extended the film series one week past its original Sept. 14 end date with the announcement of a new entry, 2015’s “Tale of Tales,” a fantasy horror film starring Salma Hayek and John C. Reilly.
“The visuals in the trailer, they’re just so striking. As soon as the trailer ended my first though was I want to see that movie,” said Rodella, who first saw a preview for the film while attending a conference in New York. “I was especially interested because I don’t know that it’ll get a showing locally; if it does it probably won’t be a wide showing, so it spoke to me for the series.”
The Sept. 21 showings of “Tale of Tales” replace Sept. 14’s“Anomalisa” as the series’ finale, but on July 20 the Kirby Center screened “The Assassin,” which won Best Director and Soundtrack Award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. West Pittston resident Rebecca Battle was excited to see the production, a joint venture between China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
“I love martial arts films and anything that’s related to any kind of Asian history,” Battle said. “Plus I know it was an award-winning film.”
Shavertown residents Margie and Jeffrey Andrews have attended films at the Kirby Center since they became members more than five years ago. Margie said she missed the series’ programming and traditional start time.
“It’s a great way to spend a Wednesday after work that’s right in town,” Margie said.
The Andrews attend Kirby Center film screenings regardless of the film shown; they plan their attendance by time, not event, and they like to be surprised.
“Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you need three drinks,” Jeffrey said.
Each film shows at 1 p.m. for $3 and 7:30 p.m. for $5. For patrons who like to plan movie nights around specific films, the remaining 2016 W. Curtis Montz Film Series schedule is:
“Racing Extinction” (NR) documentary July 27
“The Lobster” (R) comedy/drama Aug. 3
“He Named Me Malala” (PG-13) documentary Aug. 10
“Son of Saul” (R) drama Aug. 17
“The Stanford Prison Experiment” (R) thriller Aug. 24
“Guantanamo’s Child” (NR) documentary Aug. 31
“Anomalisa” (R) drama Sept. 14
“Tale of Tales” (R) fantasy/horror Sept. 21