While all the news for the film exhibition industry isn’t exactly rosy, there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel as more and more people are vaccinated across the state and nation.
Locally, the good news is that Malco Theaters Inc. is reopening its Springdale Cinema Grill today, making it the third of the Memphis-based company’s four Northwest Arkansas theaters to reopen. The Rogers Pinnacle Cinema has yet to reopen.
Some folks are getting back into theaters. “Godzilla vs. Kong” is considered a hit for Warner Brothers, raking in $87.6 million domestically and $406.7 million worldwide, despite the fact HBO Max subscribers also have had home access to the film since it opened.
The selection of new blockbusters in theaters continues to be sparse at the moment, but prospects are looking up on that front as well with “A Quiet Place Part II” and Disney’s “Cruella” set to debut May 28, “Fast and Furious 9” opening on June 25, and Marvel’s “Black Widow” on July 9. So, some sort of normalcy for summer movie season does seem to be on the horizon.
Speaking of the Fast and Furious franchise, Malco theaters are gearing up for the ninth film in the franchise by re-releasing all the films back in theaters on a weekly basis starting today with 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious.”
Here’s is the rest of the schedule:
May 5 — 2 Fast 2 Furious
May 14 — The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift
May 21 — Fast & Furious
May 28 — Fast Five
June 6 — Fast & Furious 6
June 11 — Furious 7
June 18 — The Fate of the Furious
While the franchise has grown a bit long in the tooth for me, anything that might get fans excited about going back to the movie theater is more than welcome.
I enjoy watching movies at home, but there really is no place better than the theater to enjoy a movie where you can let the worries of the world drift away for a few hours and become immersed within the story that you are watching.
A good theater experience makes every movie at least 20 percent better in my very unscientific estimation. I’m looking forward to getting back in the theater where I can enjoy movies the way they were designed to be seen — on the big screen.
New in Local Theaters
• Separation (watch trailer) / (R) 1 hr. 47 min. / AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Springdale, Malco Towne
• The Truffle Hunters (watch trailer) / (NR) 1 hr. 24 min. / AMC Fiesta Square
• Walking with Herb (watch trailer) / (PG) 1 hr. 40 min. / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnRurQZbdf8
112 Drive In (Friday and Saturday)
• Mortal Kombat (8:15 p.m.) (watch trailer) / (R) 1 hr. 50 min.
• Nobody (10:15 p.m.) (watch trailer) / (R) 1 hr. 32 min.
Classic Corner – INSP TV offers “The Duke Days of May”
O.K., it’s still April until the stroke of midnight, but as practically a lifelong John Wayne fan, I can’t begrudge INSP TV from starting “The Duke Days of May” a day early on such a slight technicality.
INSP’s celebration of the Duke consists of playing one of Wayne’s films at 7 p.m. each weekend night through May 30.
The event doesn’t include what are considered by most critics Wayne’s best movies: “The Searchers,” “Red River,” “The Quiet Man,” “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence,” or “True Grit.” However, all of the films are at least watchable if not solid pieces of entertainment.
John Wayne and Claire Trevor in Stagecoach / Walter Wanger Productions
Friday night’s (April 30) offering is “Stagecoach” the John Ford Western that lifted the Duke up from low-budget oaters and put him on his way to stardom. It is the film that shaped what a feature Western could be and should be.
The first of dozens of Westerns shot in Monument Valley on the Arizona-Utah border, Ford’s lens captures the grandeur and danger of the mythic Old West like never before. The plot may seem formulaic, but keep in mind that this story of the Ringo Kid (Wayne) is where the formula was first invented.
The film’s depiction of native Americans is crude, one-sided, and racist like most Westerns prior to the 1970s. There’s no getting around that fact. That might make his movie and a lot of other Westerns uncomfortable and unwatchable for some.
While the movie is generally considered a classic, it’s honestly never been near the top of my favorite Wayne films, but its importance to the Western genre is undeniable.
Here’s the complete schedule:
April 30 – Stagecoach, 7 p.m.
May 1 – Big Jake, 7 p.m.
May 2 – El Dorado, 7 p.m.
May 7 – Rio Bravo, 7 p.m.
May 8 – Three Godfathers, 7 P.M.
May 9 – Sands of Iwo Jima, 7 p.m.
May 14 – El Dorado, 7 p.m.
May 15 – Hellfighters, 7 p.m.
May 16 – Rooster Cogburn, 7 p.m.
May 21 – McLintock!, 7 p.m.
May 22 – The Fighting Seabees, 7 p.m.
May 23 – The Undefeated, 7 P.M.
May 28 – Hondo, 7 p.m.
May 29 – Rio Bravo, 7 p.m.
May 30 – Big Jake, 7 p.m.