No sooner had I finished praising Reading Cinemas and Jennifer Deering for their illustrious 40-Foot Films series do I check to see what films are on the January schedule.
None. It's over. Finished. Kaput.
Even though the series drew respectable numbers, it has been deemed expendable by the higher-ups. Say it ain't so! Readings' Gaslamp and Town Square were the only local outlets for quality revival exhibition. And with the introduction of DCPs, some of the classic titles they screened haven't looked this good in years.
It's not like the films were booked for an entire week and playing to empty houses. A handful of screenings was all that was needed to make it viable. Don't let it die!
San Diegans need an alternative to what passes for cinema these days. Please don't put an end to these weekly screenings. I regret not writing more about Deering's hard work. It's not like the old days when every home in town had a Ken calendar taped to the refrigerator. Bring it back and I promise to faithfully write about the series on a monthly basis to act as a reminder of what's playing.
To those of you who to this day come up to me and bemoan the closing of the MoPA film series, I say you just blew what could amount to your last chance to see classic movies on a bigger screen and in a venue where popcorn isn't prohibited.
Deering informed me that they will continue with the occasional revival screening and special events like their popular "Hitchcocktober" celebration, but for the time being the weekly screening series is off the table.
I'll make you a deal. How about a month of 3D screenings hosted by this reporter? There are DCPs of Dial M for Murder, Hugo, and Cave of Forgotten Dreams — three films that do more than merely exploit depth.
Make it interesting for me. See if you can't track down a 3D copy of Joe Dante's The Hole, a film that never played San Diego in any dimension. I'll be at the Gaslamp each week — park free at Horton Plaza and walk two blocks — to introduce the movies and conduct a post show Q&A.
Sound good? Please take me up on my offer.