Highlight: Box-Office Blues

A few weeks ago, we were happily watching Oscar contenders like There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men. But now, it seems we’ve hit a bit of a lull: last weekend brought us masterpieces like Over Her Dead Body and Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, while this weekend’s box office will be blitzed by Paris Hilton in The Hottie and the Nottie and the Matthew McConaughey farce Fool’s Gold (be sure to check tomorrow’s IMPRESARIO for the FLICK FILTER, your guide to opening weekend).

The antidote to this lousy movie syndrome is to ignore the new releases completely and stick with beautiful old films. Thursday night brings Dr. Strangelove to National Mechanics. Phoenixville’s Colonial (where they filmed The Blob) is showing a newly restored version of the super-charming 1956 film The Red Balloon on Saturday (followed by the also-French White Mane, inexplicably dubbed into English … yuck!) and Hitchcock’s divine Notorious on Sunday. And the International House has dug deep —way deep — into the vaults for Saturday night’s screening (with live music) of the 1924 Russian silent, Aelita, one of the earliest science fiction films that still exist.

Dr. Strangelove, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Free, National Mechanics, 22 S. 3rd St., 215-701-4883, nationalmechanics.com

The Red Balloon and White Mane, Saturday at 2 p.m., $4 to $7, Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge St., 610-917-0223, thecolonialtheatre.com

Aelita, Saturday at 8 p.m., $15, International House, 3701 Chestnut St., 215-387-5125, ihousephilly.org

Notorious, Sunday at 2 p.m., $4 to $7, Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge St., 215-917-0223, thecolonialtheatre.com