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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Tucson’s indie theaters offer easy way to beat the heat

    If you’re looking for a way to fight the punishing temperatures that inevitably strike Tucson whenever the summer months roll around, there’s no better way than the movie theater, that well-known darling of the air conditioning industry and foe of advocates for comfortable seating.

    The summer’s blockbusters, as usual, aren’t too promising. Fortunately, Tucson is blessed with a flurry of alternative movie choices, and they haven’t let us down this summer.

    First on any movie fan’s itinerary ought to be The Loft Cinema, which boasts a fine selection of special events that ought to cheer up any overheated movie buff.

    Fox struck down the Loft’s popular Buffy sing-alongs last year, but that can’t stop the Loft from showing the original “”Buffy the Vampire Slayer,”” a 1992 campfest starring Kristy Swanson, along with “”Buffy”” creator Joss Whedon’s 2005 cult classic “”Serenity.”” “”Can’t Stop the Serenity,”” accompanied by the usual raffle and costume contest, hits the Loft Saturday starting at 7 p.m.

    For those with more profane tastes, “”Team America: World Police”” has its own sing-along July 4. It’s the “”unrated, but pretty gross”” version of the 2004 satirical musical from the creators of “”South Park,”” so don’t bring the kids.

    The summer schedule embraces the high and the low: “”Tales of the City”” author Armistead Maupin comes to the Loft next Wednesday, followed by a combination ABBA and “”Hedwig and the Angry Inch”” sing-along that Saturday.

    If the line “”Violet, you’re turning violet, Violet!”” sends a wave of nostalgia running through your head, check out “”Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”” on July 26. “”Wonka”” kicks off the Tucson International Children’s Festival – hosted by the staff of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s Toys – which also includes classics and should-be-classics like Dr. Seuss’s “”The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T”” and “”My Neighbor Totoro.”” As a bonus, the festival is free.

    If your tastes run more toward the highbrow, look for some real classics to come to the theater in August, among them “”Annie Hall,”” “”Midnight Cowboy,”” “”A Hard Day’s Night,”” and “”Goldfinger.”” “”Gonzo,”” the long-awaited documentary about legendary journalist Hunter S. Thompson, also makes its debut that month.

    Tucson’s oldest theater, the Fox Theatre, is no slouch itself. On June 28, to celebrate Arizona’s contributions to the study of Mars, it’s showing two semi-classics from the days before we realized the Red Planet was uninhabited: “”Earth vs. the Flying Saucers”” and “”Angry Red Planet.””

    Rock legend Leon Russell interrupts the steady flow of movies to play at the Fox July 9, while horror classics like “”Dracula,”” “”The Mummy”” and “”The Wolf Man”” dot the summer schedule for anyone feeling weary of the dreary parade of virtue-free slasher flicks that blight the screens around this time of year.

    Cinema la Placita, Tucson’s outdoor downtown film series, features the Rock Hudson/Doris Day classic “”Pillow Talk”” and the Marilyn Monroe vehicle “”Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”” June 19 and June 26, respectively.

    For more information on all these events and more, visit the Loft’s Web site at, Fox’s Web site at and Cinema la Placita’s Web site at

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