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April through June at the Colonial

Plenty to see and do this Spring at The Colonial Theatre.


Tue, Apr 17 @ 7PM - Tue, May 15 @ 7PM - Tue, Jun 19 @ 7PM

As we gear up for our third annual live TEDxPhoenixville event on Oct 6, we’d like to share some of our favorite TEDTalks with you. Join us each month for a different program of compelling and inspiring talks. Each evening’s program will consist of pre-recorded TEDTalks plus one live performance. The salons will continue once per month thru August and will take place in the theatre's third floor screening room. Seating is limited to 50 people.

$25 - $30
Sat, Apr 28 @ 8:00 pm

Listeners to Sports Radio WIP are no strangers to these two funny Philly guys. On themorning show, Joe Conklin, the man of “a thousand” voices, does uncanny impressions of Harry Kalas and Charles Barkley, to Bill Clinton and Ed Rendell. Big Daddy Graham, who hosts the overnight shift, originally started out as a musical comedian opening for rock shows, now focuses on what he calls observational comedy, telling stories about living in Philadelphia. Ticket prices do not include the $2 per ticket Restoration Fee or the $1.50 per ticket Service Fee.

$25 - $39.50
Thu, May 10, 8:00 pm

Ottmar Liebert’s incredible global success on a musical level often seems like a simple outgrowth of his cultural background and powerful wanderlust in his formative years. Born in Cologne, Germany to Chinese-German father and Hungarian mother, he began playing guitar at 11, and traveled extensively through Europe and Asia intent on fully absorbing each musical tradition heencountered. By 1989, he had founded the first incarnation of his new band Luna Negra. Liebert has since become one of the most successful instrumental artists of the past decade, thrilling audiences throughout the world and releasing a catalog of classic recordings. In 2006 Liebert’s record label SSRI released One Guitar, his first solo guitar recording, which received Liebert’s fourth nomination for a Grammy. Ticket prices do not include the $2 per ticket Restoration Fee or the $1.50 per ticket Service Fee.

$15 - $25.
Fri, May 11, 8:00 pm

Imagine if you could go back in time and see The Rolling Stones and The Beatles on one bill. Ticket prices do not include the $2 per ticket Restoration Fee or the$1.50 per ticket Service Fee.

Clyde Bruckman. US. 1926. NR. 107 min. DVD. $5 - $13.50.
Presented by Theatre Organ Society of the Delaware Valley
Sat, May 19, 7:00 pm

It’s the American Civil War…Johnnie Gray loves The General (his train) and Annabelle Lee (his girl). When Union spies steak his beloved train – with his beloved lady on board - Johnnie springs into action. Will engineer Johnnie get his train back? Will lovelorn Johnnie get his girl back? This 1926 silent film comedy, starring Buster Keaton, is based on a Civil War event. Live musicalscore performed by Jim Riggs on the TOSDV Wurlitzer Pipe Organ. Jim Riggs is an internationally - regarded concert and recording artist and is one of a handful of silent film scoring specialists in the world. After serving 21 years as the house organist at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, CA, Riggs is currently the artsist-in-residence for Witchita Theatre Organ, Inc. He is also the house organist for the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, playing at least 8 silent films per year. Ticket prices do not include the $1.50 per ticket Service Fee 9max. $6).

$25 - $45.
Thu, Jun 7, 8:00 pm

After a 3year absence, we’re excited to welcome Tommy back to Colonial Theatre for an Intimate Evening with Tommy Emmanuel. Two-time Grammy nominee Emmanuel has a professional career that spans over four decades and continues to intersect with some of the finest musicians throughout theworld. A household name in his native Australia, Tommy has garnered hundreds of thousands of loyal fans worldwide. Tommy’s unique style – he calls it simply “finger style” – is akin to playing guitar the way a pianist plays piano, using all ten fingers. Don’t miss this incredible night of Tommy’s guitar genius and keen sense of humor in the truly intimate Colonial Theatre. Ticket prices do not include the $2 per ticket Restoration Fee or the $1.50 per ticket Service Fee.


Arthur Penn. US. 1962. NR. 106 min. MGM. 35mm.
Sun, Apr 22, 2:00 pm

One might, at first, assume that a biographical film about the education of deaf, mute and blind Helen Keller might be a study in mawkish sentimentality. To the contrary, it is a tough, thought-provoking and often unsettlingly honest story of two very strong personalities, clashing and ultimately overcoming incredible odds. Oscars went to both Patty Duke (as Keller) and Anne Bancroft (as her teacher, Annie Sullivan) for their exceptionally powerful performances, in this recreation of their Broadway success. NOTE: For this film production of William Gibson’s award winning play, United Artists had wanted to replace Bancroft with a more bankable star, but director Arthur Penn insisted on Bancroft, thus bringing her not only commendations for this fine film, but also a long anddistinguished Hollywood career.) (Bill Roth)

Robert Mulligan. US. 1962. NR. 131 min. Universal. 35mm.
Sun, Apr 29, 2:00 pm

This is the film that forever established Gregory Peck in the public mind as an exemplar of decency, fatherhood and quiet but forthright courage. To Kill AMockingbird evokes a hauntingly nostalgic sense of childhood in small-town America. Taking place in racially divided 1930s Alabama, the story is seen from the perspective of Peck’s two motherless and often mischievous children. While they go about the innocent pursuit of childhood fun, around them stir the social tensions of the time, as their lawyer father defends a young black man accused of rape. More»
Peck deservedly won the Academy Award for his role and the film also won Oscars for Best Screenplay and Art Direction. In addition, it was nominated for Awards for Best Picture, Director, Cinematography, Musical Score and Supporting Actress (for Mary Badham, who plays tomboy daughter, Scout, through whose eyes the film is framed.) This is a true American classic, worth watching again and again, if only for Peck’s quiet but powerful evocation of decency in the face of overwhelming odds. NOTE: Watch for a young Robert Duvall, in the small but pivotal role of Boo Radley. (Bill Roth)


Sam Wood. UK. 1939. NR. 114 min. Warner Bros. DVD.
Sun, May 6, 2:00 pm

In 1939, the year that has since been named “The Movies’ Greatest Year,” Robert Donat won a well-deserved Academy Award for this fine portrayal of a shy, revered schoolmaster who devotes his all to “his boys.” (It should be noted that, by so doing, he bested the likes of Clark Gable in Gone With the Wind, Laurence Olivier in Wuthering Heights and James Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. No small accomplishment, that!) Based upon the novella by James Hilton, this gentle and stirring film introduced a young Greer Garson to the public, in the beautifully supportive role of thewoman who became Mrs. Chips. NOTE: Watch closely to see a young John Mills as one of Mr. Chips’ charges. (Bill Roth)

Ronald Neame. UK. 1969. NR. 116 min. Fox. 35mm.
Sun, May 13, 2:00 pm

MaggieSmith also won an Oscar for playing a charismatic educator, but one of a very different ilk than the gentle, unassuming Mr. Chips. As the title character in this fascinating film (based upon the stage-play of the novel by Muriel Sparks), Smith portrays an eccentric, inspiring teacher at an exclusive girls’ school in Edinburgh in the late 1930s, a woman with decidedly controversialleanings. (For example, she expresses a fondness for modern art and such fascistic figures as Mussolini and Franco.) As she builds an ardent following of students and faculty-members alike, her influence and her leanings create a strong adversity with the school’s dour headmistress, powerfully played by Celia Johnson, leading to major complications of all. For a fascinating character study, filled with spellbinding performances, you will find this to be the creme de la creme. (Bill Roth)

James Clavell. UK. 1967. NR. 105 min. Sony. DVD.
Sun, May 20, 2:00 pm

Turning from exclusive and proper upper-class British schools, but retaining a sense of the power of a charismatic teacher, To Sir With Love takes us into the slums of London and provides us with the joy of watching Sidney Poitier win over a tough group of white working-class students. Poitier is a trained engineer from British Guiana who, because he is black, cannot find a job in his profession, leading him to accept a teaching position. As he gradually wins the respect and admiration of his resistant students, we are treated to some charming yet powerful moments, as well as being provided with a strong sense of the difference that a dedicated educator can make in young people’s lives. NOTE: Lulu, whose rendition of the film’s title song made her an overnight singing sensation, has a key role as one of the students here. (Bill Roth)

Richard Brooks. US. 1955. NR. 101 min. Warner Bros. 35mm.
Sun, May 27, 2:00 pm

A young Sidney Poitier also has a featured role in this earlier rendering of the theme of dedicated teachers dealing with delinquent kids in a tough school environment; only this time Poitier is a student in a violent New York Cityschool, and Glenn Ford plays the role of the put-upon, earnest teacher. Ford plays Korean War veteran Richard Dadier (“Hey, Mr. Daddy-O!”) taking on his first teaching job and faced with one of the toughest groups of kids ever shown in a film up to this time. With excellent supporting performances by Anne Francis (as Ford’s long-suffering wife), Richard Kiley (as an idealistic colleague), and Vic Morrow (as the pupil from hell), this is a searing commentary on the negative aspects of urban school life in the late 1950s that still has muchresonance today. Blackboard Jungle has the unique honor of having introduced rock-and-roll to the movie- goingpublic, thanks to its theme of “Rock Around the Clock,” sung throughout the film by local group Bill Haley and the Comets. (Bill Roth)


Vincente Minnelli. US. 1951. NR. 113 min. Warner Bros. 35mm.
Sun, Jun 3, 2:00 pm

Featuring the dancing talents of Gene Kelly and a 19-year-old Leslie Caron and the music of George and Ira Gershwin, and choreographed by Kelly himself, this is a glorious Technicolor tribute to that beautiful city. The plot may be a simple one, with ex-GI artist Kelly torn between lovely gamine Caron and wealthy sophisticate Nina Foch, while receiving support/advice from his neurotic friend (famed neurotic pianist/humorist and keyboard interpreter of Gershwin, Oscar Levant), but the dancing, singing and production values are superb. This was THE motion picture of 1951, winning six competitive Oscars (including Best Picture) and a special award to Kelly, for “advancing the art of choreography on screen.” (The latter was awarded primarily for the film’s stunningly mounted 17-minute ballet on the theme of French Impressionists.) If you love music and dance, and if you want to be thrilled by a beautiful evocation of Paris in the Spring, then don’t miss this special movie treat. (Bill Roth)

Billy Wilder. US. 1957. NR. 130 min. Warner Bros. 35mm.
Sun, Jun 10, 2:00 pm

This lovely bit of romantic comedy is often considered to be Billy Wilder’s tribute to his idol, Ernest Lubitsch. Filmed in Paris at such settings as the Opera and the Chateau de Vitry, and featuring the charms of Audrey Hepburn and Maurice Chevalier (as her father, a French private detective, no less!) and the sophisticated comedy writing of Wilder and his long-time collaborator I.A.L. Diamond, this is a film that sparkles. Although star Gary Cooper was criticized at the time for being a bit too old to be playing a playboy philanderer, hecarries the role off well. However, the elfin charms of Chevalier give the film its true Gallic flavor and often allow him to steal the show. Also, Hepburn’s winsome beauty and openness plays off well against Cooper’s maturity. As London’s Radio Times said about their relationship in this film, “she humanizes and energizes him with her European vivacity.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. So, if you’re in the mood for a touch of witty Parisian sophistication, excellent acting and beautiful settings, this is the film for you. (Bill Roth)

Stanley Donnen. US. 1963. NR. 113 min. Universal. 35mm.
Sun, Jun 17, 2:00 pm

Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, two of the most charismatic stars of their respective generations, star in this charming, sophisticated comedy-mystery. Set in a beautifully Technicolor-photographed Paris, the Hitchcock-like plot has Cary coming to the aid of recent widow Hepburn, as she seeks to recover a fortune that was secreted away by her ex-husband, as she is being threatened by a trio of unsavory crooks. With a wonderfully romantic score by Henry Mancini, andstar-making turns by the likes of Walter Matthau, James Coburn and George Kennedy, Charade sparkles with a sharp sense of fun amidst the danger and thrills. And only Cary Grant couldlook so suave while taking a shower fully dressed, and while fighting a hook-handed villain on a rooftop. (Bill Roth)


Scott Hamilton Kennedy. US. 2008. NR. 80 min. Oscilloscope. 35mm.
Sun, Apr 22, 4:30 pm

“A galvanizing tribute to the undeniable muscle behind one singular communal voice, Scott Hamilton Kennedy’s Oscar-nominated documentary The Garden chronicles the trials and tribulations of a group of Los Angeles farmers and their struggling inner-city garden. Located in the heart of South Central, this urban haven of food and ideals sprung up in the aftermath of the chaotic 1992 Rodney King riots. Excavated by the community, the vacant plot of land presented an immediate opportunity to bring people together and heal still-tender wounds, turning out boundless fodder for the poverty-stricken locals and providing a constructive outlet for all the pent-up anger leftover from the riots.” (Adam Keleman, Slant Magazine)

Patricio Guzman. France. Subtitled. 2010. NR. 90 min. Icarus. 35mm.
Sun, May 6, 4:30 pm

“Nostalgia for the Light won’t make you nostalgic for anything because it’s not like other documentaries you’ve seen. A film of rare visual poetry that’s simultaneously personal, political and philosophical, it’s a genuine art film that’s also unpretentious and easygoing. As directed by Chilean director Patricio Guzmán, Nostalgia is a completely fascinating meditation on different aspects of the past and the interlinked ways we explore them. This may sound cold and distant but Guzmán’s mastery of cinema means that what sounds artificial turns out to be moving in a surprising, even profound way.” (Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times)

Nancy Buirski. US. 2011. NR. 77 min. Icarus. DVD.
Sun, May 20, 4:30 pm

“The improbably named Lovings, Mildred and Richard, make a compelling couple, and not just because she is half-black, half-Native American and he is good ol’ boy white. In a rich collection of 16-millimeter film, old news clips and stillphotographs, the Lovings don’t look like two people caught up in a cause, they seem like two people caught up in each other. The Lovings became civil rights activists by default: victims of the times, the color of their skin and a willful, wrongheaded judge in Virginia. By accident, more than design, theymade history.” (Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times)

Stacey Peralta. US. 2001. PG-13. 91 min. Sony. 35mm.
Sun, Jun 3, 4:30 pm

“A dazzlingly crafted documentary about the ’70s surf punks of lower Los Angeles who singlehandedly turned skateboarding into an extreme sport. We see endless Super-8 footage of long-blond-haired kids — think Hanson in the urban wasteland — as they ride low on their boards and then advance to empty swimming pools, zipping along the surfaces of the concrete basins and right up into the air. Sure, it’s only skateboarding. But the thrill of Dogtown is that the kids who had the audacity to kick a concrete sport into the third dimension, carving up space with their boards, were asobsessive as the creators of punk rock or Cubism. The movie invites you to share their free ride.” (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Adam Pesce. US. 2011. NR. 94 min. Matson Films. 35mm.
Sun, Jun 10, 4:30 pm

“A real-life examination of competitive surfing in Papua New Guinea, the film derives tension from the proverbial big tournament but also from how the event helps foster a worthy morality. Andy Abel of the Surfing Association of Papua New Guinea encourages villagers in Vanimo to participate in the country’s first National Surfing Titles, whose winners will go to Australia to train with world-class wave riders. Signing up are the proud, aggressive Angelus Lipahi and the earnest, hardworking Ezekiel Afara, both inspired by glossy magazine images of surfing superstars. Sisters Susan and Lesley Umpa also enter the competition, with more at stake. Both are sick of having their surfboards (splinters, in indigenous slang) stolen by local men. The fiercely driven Lesley in particular says she resents the housebound drudgery expected of women and the endemic domestic abuse invariably accompanying it. Not all of these players win in this capable account of their struggles, but all contribute to a valuable lesson in fairplay.” (Andy Webster, The New York Times)

Tristan Patterson. US. 2011. NR. 74 min. Blu ray.
Sun, Jun 17, 4:30 pm

Dragonslayer won the top documentary award at the South by Southwest Film Festival last year, where it had its world premiere. “The measured vérité style of Frederick Wiseman meets the visual polish of Terrence Malick in Dragonslayer, a fascinating slice of crude Americana from first-time director Tristan Patterson. However, it stands alone with an infectious hard rock attitude. Patterson doesn’t have the epic aims of those filmmakers but equals their respective abilities to create thoroughly involving environments, pitting gorgeous imagery against cold reality with a delicacy rarely seen in the non-fiction form. Both intimate diary film and a scrappy take on the sports documentary, Dragonslayer follows southern Californian skateboarder Skreech, whose real name is Josh Sandoval, at 23 already a jaded punk rocker and perpetually stoned pariah seemingly adrift in his aimless existence. Rather than analyze Sandoval’s world at a distance, Patterson’s movie inhabits it. Departing from the conventions of documentary portraiture, Dragonslayer delivers the cinematic equivalent punk rock candy.” (Eric Kohn, IndieWire)


Rob Reiner. US. 1987. 8+. 98 min. Fox. Blu ray.
Sat, Apr 21, 2:00 pm

“Both a send-up and a salute to the storybook adventure, The Princess Bride mixes in all the essential ingredients—a beautiful heroine (Robin Wright), a simple farmhand who is much more than he seems (Cary Elwes), a friendly giant (Andre the Giant, who else?), a Spaniard out for revenge (Mandy Patinkin), an evil prince (Chris Sarandon), rodents of unusual size, a decrepit miracle worker (Billy Crystal) and much else besides—and gives them a deliciously witty twist. Immensely quotable, deeply silly yet also sincere, this is charming, hysterical, action-packed stuff for audiences of any age.” (TIFF)

Robert Stevenson. US. 1971. G. 117 min. Buena Vista. 35mm.
Sat, Apr 28, 2:00 pm

“When a mail-order apprentice witch (Angela Lansbury) is saddled with three sibling refugees from London during World War II, the outlook is grim. But the kidssoon discover her secret and sign on for adventure in the name of England. With the aid of a magical bed, they track down her fraudulent headmaster (David Tomlinson) to find the spell that will aid the Allies. Fascinated that she has actually achieved results with his lessons, he joins forces. The quintet does battle with corrupt booksellers, animated-lion royalty, and, eventually, invading Germans. Adults may find the 1971-vintage mixing of actors and animation a bit creaky, but kids used to a variety of animation quality will find the action a hoot.” (Kimberly Heinrichs,


Robert William Young. UK. 1972. PG-13. 84 min. Criterion/Private Collector. 35mm.
Fri, May 4, 9:45 pm

“Vampire Circus is a Hammer film. It’s got recycled sets, home counties woodland posing as mittel Europe, dodgy day-for-night shots, unconvincing gore and iffy vampire fangs (always with plenty of fillings showing) and dollops of nudity and sex which those in front of and behind the camera didn’t seem very comfortable with. About the only thing it hasn’t got are those Hammer stalwarts Cushing and Lee. But, for all this, Vampire Circus is still a perfectly entertaining, watchable film.” (Keith Brown, Edinburgh University Film Society)


Andrew McLaglen. US. 1975. R. 97 min. Rhino. DVD.
Fri, Apr 20, 9:45 pm

Joe Don Baker is unappealing, doughy and alcoholic cop Mitchell who gets caught up in political intrigue and the local mafia drug trade after he’s called in to investigate the murder of a prowler by a local embezzler (played by John Saxton). This is the first of two Joe Don Baker films that the Satellite oflove crew lambaste- the other being “Final Justice” (Mitchell in Italy), which we featured at the Colonial for our Cult Cinema show back in May ‘11.
Not only is this episode one of the absolute best that the gang has to offer, it’s also historically important in the MST3K realm as it is the parting episode of much loved series creator and host, Joel Hodgson. Mike Nelson would take over hosting duties in the following episode. Come out and count how many times Joel and the Bots can say “Mitchell” in an hour and a half with us. We dare you! (Chuck Francisco)

Tommy Wiseau. US. 2003. R. 99 min. Wiseau Films. 35mm.
Sponsored by You've Got Geek
Fri, May 18, 9:45 pm

“Tommy Wiseau’s The Room may be the first true successor to the Rocky Horror [midnight movie] throne. Since ending a two-week run at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 theater in Los Angeles in 2003, Wiseau’s self-distributed anti-gem has nurtured a cult following through once-a-month midnight screenings. And in the time since, as devotees continue to plumb the mysteries of its mesmerizing inanity, the audience has taken ownership of it. They throw spoons. They shout a repertoire of canned and spontaneous zingers at the screen. They reenact whole scenes in front of the theater. They toss the ol’ pigskin around. Thanks mainly to an excellent Entertainment Weekly piece by Clark Collis, what was once a well-kept L.A.-only secret has recently been spreading throughout the country, popping up in sold-out shows in New York and other cities, and on a recent episode of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Approaching the film as a Chicago-based outsider, with a healthy skepticism of L.A. phenomena of any stripe, I’m now convinced that it’s the real deal. It may not have the staying power of a Rocky Horror, if only becausemidnight-movie culture just isn’t as sustainable as it once was, but in the annals of bad cinema, The Room deserves shelf-space next to Ed Wood’s Glen Or Glenda? Both are personal and shockingly amateurish laughers that put their directors in front of the camera and are all too revealing of their odd peccadilloes. Wood has a thing for angora sweaters; Wiseau has a thing for pillow fights, red roses, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Who are we not to luxuriate in their fetishes?” (Scott Tobias, read the full review at The Onion A.V.

Coleman Francis. US. 1961/1995. NR. Shout! Factory. DVD.
Fri, Jun 15, 9:45 pm

Join us again for more hijinks aboard the Satellite of Love as we accompany Mike, Crow and Tom Servo into the bleak, strangely narrated world of director Coleman Francis. The Beast of Yucca Flatsfollows the misadventures of former professional wrestler Tor Johnson as a defecting Russian scientist who strays onto a nuclear bomb testing site at just the wrong moment and is transformed into more of a monster of a man, with apredilection for strangling women. The narrator does his best to befuddle the viewer with nonsequiturs at every turn- like a beat poet without a mental filter dropped into a blender. Accompanying the main film are two of the most hysterical shorts which Dr. has ever unleashed on his test subjects: Money Talks! featuring a strange spectral Ben Franklin, and Progress Island, a crazy travel brochure extolling the virtues of Puerto Rico. (Chuck Francisco)


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