5 Ways to Watch Movies That Aren’t Netflix

The Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival is screening Norman, staring Richard Gere, as part of CineMondays.

The Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival is screening Norman, starring Richard Gere, as part of CineMondays.

Throwback Thursday Quizzo & Movie
The Philadelphia Film Society is starting up a new Throwback Thursday series at the Prince Theater. The first Thursday of every month, PFS will host a Quizzo session tied to a “modern classic” movie, followed by a screening of the movie. First up, in honor of Women’s History Month, is A League of Their Own on March 2nd. Read more »

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Opens Thursday With Events for the Fans

Felicity Jones in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios, LucasFilm

Felicity Jones in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios, LucasFilm

Star Wars fans are serious about these movies. The latest installment in the hugely popular sci-fi series is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, set long before the last film, which was set after the first three, labeled episodes four, five and six, but largely unconnected to the newer prequel trilogy containing episodes one, two and three. Got that? Either way, rest assured there will be a Death Star, evil villains and scrappy heroes saving the day.

Rogue One opens tomorrow, December 15th, and the Philadelphia Film Society is heralding it with much fanfare, starting with a performance by Wookiedelphia, a Star Wars-inspired brass brand, before the 7 p.m. screening at the Prince Theater. The bar will be serving up themed cocktails from a galaxy far, far away. Read more »

Philadelphia Film Festival Releases Full Lineup

The 25th Philadelphia Film Festival opens with La La Land.

The 25th Philadelphia Film Festival opens with La La Land.

Philly does the Hollywood thing later this month when the 25th Philadelphia Film Festival takes over four theaters with more than 100 movies. The festival kicks off October 20th with a screening of La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and closes on October 30th with Arrival, an alien-encounter movie led by Amy Adams. The selections were picked by the Philadelphia Film Society from several international film festivals this year.

La La Land director Damien Chazelle, who got an Oscar nomination for writing Whiplash, will be at the opening night. Read more »

Prince Theater Updates Marquee to Reflect Name and Logo Change

The Prince Music Theater hasn’t been the “Prince Music Theater” since Philadelphia Film Society purchased it in March and changed the name to a simple and straight-forward Prince Theater. The name, they’ve said, better reflects the mission of the theater, which has been hosting much more than music-centric events since its new programming schedule kicked off this spring. Most importantly, though, they want people to recognize it as a movie theater—the only place in Center City where you can catch a mainstream flick, like Disney’s Tomorrowland or, more recently, Inside Out.

It’s been hard to adapt to the name-change, since it’s been called Prince Music Theater for years, but this week, the alteration finally became official with the incorporation of a new logo on its marquee that puts the new name in lights and better exemplifies their further-reaching mission. @ThePrincePFS tweeted out a photo of it this week. Check it out below:

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Philly Film Society Brings Outdoor Movie Nights to Underserved Neighborhoods

Philadelphia Film Society (PFS) is bringing outdoor cinema out into Philly’s neighborhoods, venturing into four areas whose residents usually have to venture to Center City to enjoy such activities.

Movies on the Block is a free outreach program dedicated to uniting Philadelphia communities and breaking down social, economic and geographic barriers through the art of film. The series will offer much more than a couple hours of cinematic entertainment. PFS is collaborating with community leaders to bring celebratory activities to accompany each screening. The series will reflect each neighborhood’s unique character in an attempt to bring the community together through shared cultural experiences.

Each screening will begin at 8 p.m. in four local neighborhoods: Newbold (July 12), Belmont (July 29), Kingsessing (August 22) and Kensington (September 3).

The complete schedule is listed below, with trailers and information about the accompanying activities.

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Prince Theater to Begin Screening Movies This Weekend

Photo by Derek Brad

Photo by Derek Brad

Thanks to Philadelphia Film Society (PFS), the marquee is twinkling at Prince Theater again. The historic structure was bankrupt and all but extinct, when, in March, PFS swept in to save it. Since then, Prince Theater has rolled out some fine local entertainment, including a production by the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus. This weekend, though, it’s gearing up for summer with its promised film programming, which will make it the only movie theater in Center City where you can catch a mainstream flick.

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Philly Film Festival Will Host a Pop-Up Film Festival at the Flower Show

Ghostbusters is among the films playing at Philadelphia Film Society's pop-up film festival at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Ghostbusters is among the films playing at Philadelphia Film Society’s pop-up film festival at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

This year’s Philadelphia Flower Show is themed “Celebrate the Movies,” so it’s no wonder they’ve teamed up with the Philadelphia Film Society on a pop-up film festival that will take place in the Grand Hall of the Pennsylvania Convention Center throughout the run of the Flower Show. Among the films being shown are classics, like Ghostbusters, Wizard of Oz and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, all shown on loop during regular show hours. Check out the full schedule below:

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Is the Roxy Philly’s Best-Kept Movie Secret?

pfs theater at the roxy philadelphia

You may not have noticed, but the Roxy has become a pretty cool place to do movies in Center City.

Really. After years as a rundown also-ran in the city’s cinema ecosystem, the Philadelphia Film Society has turned the movie theater into one of the best places in town to have a fun, eclectic movie experience. You might not always know that from the first-run movies the Roxy carries — right now the choices are Mortdecai and Black or White, ugh — but there’s so much more going on.

Consider this: Last Sunday, while everybody was getting ready for the Super Bowl, the Roxy counterprogrammed with a showing of Little Giants, the Pee Wee football classic. Friday and Saturday, there were midnight showings of The Thing, John Carpenter’s terrifying monster movie.

And take December: The Roxy ran a “12 Days of Christmas” marathon featuring classic holiday movies. (I went and saw Die Hard on the big screen for the first time. Fantastic.) Before that, there was a weeklong festival showing each of the original-cast Star Trek films on their original 35-mm prints. (My son saw Wrath of Khan for the first time — again, a wonderful experience.)

Those are just the special events. “We do a bunch of different educational and community programs,” Liz Schiller, a marketing consultant for the theater, told me.

Other regular events:

• Weekend morning movies for kids. These feature some classic and some new, quirky choices — the next one is a Japanese retelling of The Little Mermaid — and there are two screenings offered: One in a traditional setting, the other a “sensory friendly” showing in which the house lights are turned up and the movie sound volume lowered, designed for children with sensitivities bothered by traditional movie showings.

• The monthly “Filmadelphia “ series that showcases the work of Philadelphia filmmakers of a range of ages and backgrounds. (Amateurs are welcome to submit works.)

• Wednesday night BYO movies, where moviegoers can bring their own wine bottles — the theater offers glasses and charges a corking fee. “That is sort of a relaxed atmosphere,” Schiller said. “It’’s one of the more fun things we do that we get lots of calls about.”

Coming soon: A monthly “Passport to World Cinema” series that was formerly hosted at the University for the Arts.

The theater is still trying to find its way under the stewardship of the Philadelphia Film Society — that organization recently sent a survey to members asking what programming is favored and which isn’t.

But more than a year after the PFS purchased the Roxy and struggled to remodel and reopen it, the facility has become a delightful place to have a varied moviegoing experience and the only place to catch a big (well, ok, medium) screen flick in Center City. It’s worth checking out.

Follow @JoelMMathis on Twitter.


HEADS UP: Philly Film Society Screening All Six Original Star Trek Films at the Roxy


My Trekkie officemate Joel is flipping out right now: To celebrate the 35th anniversary of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Philadelphia Film Society just announced it is teaming with, who else, Geekadelphia, to screen all six of the original films on six consecutive nights at The Roxy. “Star Trek–35 Years on 35mm: A Retrospective” begins on December 5th, with each night hosted by an array of local cinephiles, like Phil Nobile Jr of Badass Digest and Dan Tabor of Geekadelphia. There will also be a string of pre- and post-screening events, like Q&As, a Star Trek-themed wine night, a William Shatner impersonation contest, and a screening of fan-made Star Trek Web Series Starship Farragut. 

There are a variety of ways to purchase tickets—individually, a full series pass, or a four pack—but I’d hurry. If Joel’s glee is any indication, these suckers are going to go fast. For more information and purchase tickets, go here. I’ve pasted the full schedule below:

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