Rutland’s Paramount Theater will premiere sci-fi film Axcellerator

It’s not often that Vermont is home to a world premiere. Rutland’s Paramount Theater announced that it will be screening a new science fiction film, Axcellerator, on January 25th, with two showings at 6PM and 8:30PM.

The film is helmed by Rutland director David Giancola through his local film company, Edgewood Studios. and was filmed around Rutland, according to a press release on Vermont Business Magazine. The film’s cast and crew will be at the screening, with an after-party to take place at the Franklin Conference Center in Howe Center.

The film, according to the release, follows a thief who “stumbles onto a teleportation device and the girl of his dreams, the invention of the century takes them on an adventure of a lifetime.” The film’s cast includes Sam J. Jones (Flash Gordon), Sean Young (Blade Runner, Wall Street) John James (Dynasty) and Maxwell Caulfield (Grease 2.)

Tickets are between $6 and $8. A trailer for the film was released in 2017:

2001: A Space Odyssey is coming to the T-Rex Theater

Essex Cinemas has announced that it will be holding a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s classic science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey next month, on Friday, September 7th.

This year is the film’s 50th anniversary, and it was recently remastered in 4K for a limited re-released in IMAX and “large format theaters.) Vermont doesn’t have an IMAX theater, but Essex Cinemas’ T-Rex is the largest screen in the state.

The theater will hold screenings at 12:30PM, 4:00PM, and 7:30PM, with tickets running from $8 to $11.50 depending on the screening time.

Free screening: The Princess Bride

If you’re looking for a cheap night out next Tuesday, the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center has you covered. It’ll be screening the classic film The Princess Bride on August 7th at 7PM.

The Princess Bride is a 1987 American romantic comedy fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Rob Reiner, starring Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Wallace Shawn, André the Giant, and Christopher Guest. Adapted by William Goldman from his 1973 novel of the same name, it tells the story of a farmhand named Westley, accompanied by befriended companions along the way, who must rescue his true love Princess Buttercup from the odious Prince Humperdinck. The film effectively preserves the novel’s narrative style by presenting the story as a book being read by a grandfather (Peter Falk) to his sick grandson (Fred Savage).

As always, screenings are free, but they’re first-come-first-serve. RSVP here.

Presenting: The GMS Movie Club

GMS Movie Club

Last year, GMS introduced the Geek Mountain State Book Club, hosted through the Pierson Library, with the focus on new science fiction, fantasy and horror titles. Now, we’re making the jump over to film with the GMS Movie Club.

This gathering will be similar to the book club: we’ll gather a group of people to take in and discuss a recently-released science fiction, fantasy or horror film at the Essex Cinemas in Essex. We’ll set a screening date for a new film (the Saturday after the release, in the afternoon), and take in the film. With ten or more people, GMS will get a group rate.

There’s a catch, however: we need to turn in a list of participants to the theater, so signing up ahead of time is required. To join up, sign up for the GMS mailing list, where we’ll let people know about the upcoming film date and time, and take down names for each film.

This week’s film is Chappie, directed by Niell Blomkamp. We’re going to go to the 1:30 pm showing. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP here.

2001: A Space Odyssey Screening

“Open the pod bay doors, Hal.”

This is one of the best known science fiction films ever filmed, and later this month, you can see it on the big screen, courtesy of Main Street Landing. They’ll be screening the film on Tuesday, January 27th, at 7pm. Admission is free, but seating is first come, first serve.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the film, plan on seeing it. Here’s the plot:

When Stanley Kubrick recruited Arthur C. Clarke to collaborate on “the proverbial intelligent science fiction film,” it’s a safe bet neither the maverick auteur nor the great science fiction writer knew they would virtually redefine the parameters of the cinema experience. A daring experiment in unconventional narrative inspired by Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel,” 2001 is a visual tone poem (barely 40 minutes of dialogue in a 139-minute film) that charts a phenomenal history of human evolution. From the dawn-of-man discovery of crude but deadly tools in the film’s opening sequence to the journey of the spaceship Discovery and metaphysical birth of the “star child” at film’s end, Kubrick’s vision is meticulous and precise. In keeping with the director’s underlying theme of dehumanization by technology, the notorious, seemingly omniscient “villain” computer HAL 9000 has more warmth and personality than the human astronauts it supposedly is serving.

Last year, I wrote about the creation of the film and novel over on Kirkus Review, if you want some additional background on it. It’s a cool story.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Early Screenings

The final installment of The Hobbit, The Battle of the Five Armies, is coming up. The last (most likely) Peter Jackson Middle Earth film will be landing in theaters throughout next week, and there’s several opportunities to see the movie early.

On Monday, December 15th, two theaters will be holding Hobbit Marathons, and you’ll have the opportunity to see the third film as part of that at the following theaters:

  • Essex Cinemas, Essex. 8:00pm (Marathon)
  • Springfield Cinemas 3, Springfield. 8:00pm.

Across the state, the film will open at a number of theaters early on Tuesday, December 16th:

  • Welden Theatre, St. Albans. 7:00pm
  • Merrill Roxy Theatre, Burlington. 6:00pm
  • Majestic 10, Williston. 7:00pm (HFR/3D), 9:00pm
  • Palace 9, South Burlington. 7:00pm (HFR/3D)
  • Stowe Cinema 3plex, Stowe, 7:00pm
  • Big Picture Theater, Waitsfield. 7:00pm
  • Paramount Theatre, Barre. 7:00pm
  • Star Theater, St. Johnsbury. 7:00pm (3D)
  • Bennington Cinemas, Bennington. 7:00pm (3D), 8:00pm (2D), 9:45pm (3D)
  • Bijou Cineplex 4, Morrisville. 7:00pm.

Finally, the movie will be opening regularly on Wednesday, December 17th at the following theaters:

  • Playhouse Theater, Randolph. 7:00pm
  • Village Picture Shows, Manchester Center.
  • Middlebury Marquis, Middlebury.

Seven Days Interview with Producer Jon Kilik

Jon Kilik on the set of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 - COURTESY OF JON KILIK

Jon Kilik is a UVM alum who’s gone on to produce a number of films that you might have heard of: Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Miracle at St. Anna, Babel, and others. Seven Days has sat down with him for a short interview before a presentation he gave yesterday for his latest film, Foxcatcher:

SEVEN DAYS: You have two seemingly very different films in theaters right now. What do they have in common, and how do they reflect the evolution of your career?

JON KILIK: I guess to most people, Foxcatcher and The Hunger Games are as different as night and day. To me they are both night and share a common thread that runs through every film I’ve chosen to make.

I’ve been working on the same movie for the last 25 years. They all examine citizens of a country divided by class and race and power and greed. [The] disenfranchised living in isolation on the edge of society and the entitled living in isolation from within. The haves and the have nots. Katniss Everdeen and President Snow. Mark Schultz and John du Pont. In each case they inhabit worlds so different from one another that perhaps they should never meet. But they do.

Foxcatcher and The Hunger Games are my two sibling tragedies. Brother protecting brother. Sister protecting sister. Not wanting the dangers that find them. Thrown into an “arena” with little chance to survive, they become fierce warriors and reluctant heroes.

Read the entire interview here.

Randall Drive In to Step Back in Time

This is some unfortunate news: the operators of the Randall Drive-In have been given their marching orders, and are not returning for the 2015 season. This comes after several years of intensive work to upgrade the theater with new equipment through a number of crowdfunding campaigns. In their place, the theater will take a step back, a move that will likely doom the tiny theater.

Here’s their statement from the theater’s Facebook page:

With a heavy heart, we are sad to announce that the current two operators of the Randall Drive-In Theatre will not be returning in 2015. Those of you that have followed the drive-in know that we leased it for the last two seasons and ambitiously set upon restoring the drive-in to its former glory.

We have put ourselves into the restoration of this drive-in, including countless hours of upgrading equipment, improving the customer experience, and a broad marketing campaign to spread the word about our little drive-in. Despite our work rallying the community behind the digital conversion of the Randall and the two fantastic renaissance seasons the Randall has had, our landlord has informed us that we will not be returning to run the drive-in for a third season.

Going forward, the drive-in is to be converted back to 35mm film at the owner’s insistence. With 35mm film quickly fading and the need for movie theatres to convert to digital, this decision is not one we agree with nor can we determine the logic behind it. We understand that this will likely not be a popular decision, but our hands are tied as the property is leased and the owner has expressed no interest in the digital projector we secured and used this season. While unconfirmed, it is our understanding the owner might be running the theatre next season as he previously did in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

As many know, our company obtained the digital projector through a lease to own program, and we worked tirelessly to raise the money for the down payment and installation of this projector. Unfortunately the only option our company has is to either return the projector to the manufacturer or find another location to run a movie theatre at for all our drive-in fans.

We have left the door open with the owner for a return to the Randall Drive-In, but in the meantime we are looking for other viable options to move forward as we want to continue showing movies under the stars. The door will remain open until we have found a location to build a new drive-in or find an existing one to operate.

For all that have supported us over the last two years, we truly thank you for your part in keeping the drive-in experience alive. We treasure the experiences we have had while running the drive-in and the friends we have made along the way. We hope that our time at the Randall Drive-In has allowed our faithful customers to make a few more memories under the stars.

If things change, we will post updates as they occur.

Thank you,
Adam & Regina

We can’t see the logic in this: over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a number of movie theaters work to upgrade their theaters as Hollywood increasingly moves to digital film. With rare holdouts such as Christopher Nolan, the days of 35mm film seem to be numbered (in and of itself an unfortunate move). Regardless of the intentions to stick with a physical medium, the move on the part of the Randall Drive-In (if confirmed), isolates the theater and will ultimately limit the films available to them. Consumers, in the meantime, will go to theaters where they have more options. It’ll be interesting to see how this will play out in the next couple of years.