Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

July 14, 2013
Screen on the Green offers free kids' films at Sacramento parks


Bring the kids, blankets and lawns chairs to Screen on the Green, the Sacramento outdoor movie series presented by Councilman Steve Cohn's office.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, Screen on the Green will show "How to Train Your Dragon" at South Natomas Community Park, 2901 Truxel Road. The beautifully animated, action-packed 2010 movie follows a boy and his favorite fire breather. It's rated PG.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, "101 Dalmatians" -- offering lots of cute puppies and Glenn Close as a puppy coveter with distinct mean and silver streaks -- will show at Glenn Hall Park at Sandburg and Carlson drives. "Dalmatians" is rated G.

Shows start at sunset, or around 8:15 p.m. For information, see the Screen on the Green site or call (916) 808-5240.


June 27, 2013
Film 'Springsteen and I' to celebrate The Boss, fans


He's been The Boss for 40 years now, and on July 22, Bruce Springsteen will hit the big screen in the documentary "Springsteen and I."

The film celebrates Springsteen fans along with the musician himself, incorporating the efforts of more than 2,000 fans who submitted video clips.

The one-night-only screening will happen at 7:30 p.m. at several local theaters, including Century multiplexes in Folsom, Roseville and at Downtown Plaza. Tickets are $15/ $14 seniors and students/$13 children. For tickets and information, see the Fathom Events site.


June 10, 2013
Burning Man documentary 'Spark' plays Crest Theatre Tuesday

SparkCrest Theatre is screening "Spark: A Burning Man Story" Tuesday (June 11) at 7 p.m.

The documentary gives an inside look at the organization, preparation and execution of the annual Burning Man festival, held in Black Rock Desert, 120 miles north of Reno, Nev.

"Rooted in principles of self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams," according to the film's description.

A Q&A with the film's directors and producers, Steve Brown and Jessie Deeter, will follow the screening.

Tickets for "Spark: A Burning Man Story" are $14.50 and can be reserved through Tugg.

June 7, 2013
France designates film festival director Downs as a knight


The French Order of Arts and Lettres has designated Cecile Mouette Downs -- longtime heroine of the Sacramento film community -- as a chevalier, or knight.

The order honored Sacramento French Film Festival founder and executive director Downs, a French native, along with 200 or so other artists and arts organizers in its most recent chevalier class.

San Francisco French Consulate cultural attache Denis Bisson will present a medal to Downs June 21, opening night of the 12th Sacramento French Festival.

May 30, 2013
French Film Festival to kick off with pop-star biopic 'Cloclo'

"Cloclo," a biopic of the late French pop singer Claude Francois, will open the 12th Sacramento French Film Festival June 21 at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento.

"Cloclo" stars Jeremie Renier (from the excellent 2005 film "L'Enfant") as Francois, who co-wrote the original version of "My Way." The English-language version of that song became Frank Sinatra's signature.

Cloclo was Francois' nickname.

The festival will grow from five to six days this year, running June 21-23 and June 28-30. That second Friday night of programming, on June 28, is new. It will include comedy "Delicacy," (see trailer above) a romantic comedy starring Sacramento French Film Festival favorite Audrey Tautou.

Tautou also stars in closing-night film "Therese," a 1920s-set drama, directed by Claude Miller, in which she plays a woman chafing against her arranged marriage.

For information, see the SFFF website.

May 21, 2013
Hunger in the U.S. gist of documentary to screen at Crest


It turns out that the 21st century is just as much a party to hunger issues than its predecessor.

That much is the gist of the documentary "A Place at the Table," which screens May 29 & 30 and June 1 at the Crest Theatre. The Sacramento Hunger Coalition is presenting a showing of the film tonight at 6, followed by a panel discussion as part of Hunger Action Week.

In the film co-directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush cast the lens at three individuals living in the U.S. Each are struggling to put food on the table.

May 16, 2013
'Place Called Sacramento' film project seeking actors, crew

Budding actors and film-production hopefuls on May 22 will get a real shot at joining a production. Access Sacramento's 14th "A Place Called Sacramento" filmmaking program will pair screenwriters with actors and crew members to make 10-minute films that will be shown in October on the big screen of the Crest Theatre.

The 10 screenwriter/producers chosen to make PCS films this year will be introduced at a 6 p.m. "Cast and Crew Call" at Access Sacramento's headquarters at 4623 T St.

The scripts are not necessarily about Sacramento, but each will make reference to the city in some way.

The "Place Called Sacramento" program thus far has yielded 129 completed films. For information, see the Access Sacramento site .

May 7, 2013
UC Davis Film Festival films screen May 22 and 23


A slate of live action shorts and documentaries will be screened during the 13th annual UC Davis Film Festival, May 22-23.

The films to be screened are the work of UC Davis undergrad and graduate students, and include the following films:
-- "7 Kilometer" by Jacob Greenlund. The film is a blend of fiction and documentary, wherein a nice guy attempts to win a rap battle to impress a girl. A second film by the same director, "The Candidates' Debate," uses found footage to explore the spectacle and performance elements of presidential debates.

April 18, 2013
Free movies next Thursday at Sacramento drive-in

The West Wind Sacramento Drive-In off Highway 50 and Bradshaw offers inexpensive entertainment every night. But on Thursday, April 25, it will show movies free of charge.

"Wreck-It-Ralph," "Fast and Furious 5" and "Jack the Giant Slayer" will be offered for free as part of the drive-in's customer appreciation night.

West Wind has offered customer-appreciation nights for the past few years as acknowledgments of robust drive-in attendance.

Gates will open at 6 p.m. at the Sacramento Drive-in at 9616 Oates Drive. Movies begin at dusk. The event will feature live music and bounce houses for children.

. For information, see the drive-in's website.

April 10, 2013
Late singer-actor-innovator Serge Gainsbourg to be feted

He was a singer, songwriter, actor, director and all-around innovator, and on Saturday, the Sacramento French Film Festival will pay tribute to Serge Gainsbourg with its fourth Serge! tribute party.

As is apt for any celebration of Gainsbourg, the event will include music (live and by DJs), short films and liquor. Guy, the French bartender, will serve special Pastis cocktails as part of a no-host wine and beer bar.

The smoking will need to happen outside the Verge Center for the Arts (625 S St., Sacramento), site of the celebration.

Admission is $7, and proceeds go to the Sacramento French Film Festival, happening in June at Sacramento Crest Theatre, and to Verge Center for the Arts.

Gainsbourg, who died in 1991, would have been 84 this year. He left behind a treasure trove of experimental, influential music and the wonderful actress-singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, his daughter with model and actress Jane Birkin.

The SFFF also has put out a call for Gainsbourg-themed stencil drawings that can be include on the "Gainsbourg wall" in Paris. The artwork must be no more than 1 square yard and must include "Sacramento" somewhere within it. Deadline is May 30. University Art, at 2601 J St., will accept entries.

For information, call (916) 455-9390 or visit the French Film Festival website.

(Above is a video for "Bonnie and Clyde," a Gainsbourg duet with Brigitte Bardot and one of the coolest songs ever).

April 1, 2013
Here's looking at 'Casablanca' on Sacramento-area big screens

Bogey and Bergman will always have Paris, and film buffs will always have "Casablanca."

Thumbnail image for Casablanca2.jpg

Round up the usual suspects, get the tub of popcorn and settle into a screening Wednesday of the 1942 Academy Award winner at selected Sacramento-area theaters.

The showings are part of the Cinemark Classics Series.

Thumbnail image for Casablanca1.jpegWhen: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Cinemark theaters in Elk Grove, Rocklin, Roseville and Sacramento.

Cost: $7-10


March 28, 2013
'Temptation' actor Robbie Jones' special Sacramento screening


Sacramento's Tower Theatre is rolling out the red carpet Thursday night (March 28) for a special screening of Tyler Perry's new movie "Temptation," which stars Cordova High School and UC Berkeley graduate Robbie Jones, who will be in attendance.

In the film, Jones plays Harley, an entrepreneur who has an affair with Judith ("Friday Night Light's" Jurnee Smollett-Bell), a married young woman who works for a matchmaking service.

While Jones' resume includes TV shows such as "90210" and "One Tree Hill" among other projects, "Temptation" marks his highest profile film role to date.

Look for a profile of Jones from The Bee's film critic Carla Meyer in Friday's Ticket section, in which he talks about working with filmmaker Perry as well as the other actors in the movie, including reality-TV star Kim Kardashian and pop-singer Brandy Norwood.

Tonight's 7:30 p.m. special screening at the Tower, hosted by radio station KSFM, is invite only (the station has been giving away tickets to listeners), however "Temptation" opens in Sacramento-area theaters Friday.

-- Tim Swanson

Photo credit: Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Robbie Jones in "Temptation" from Lionsgate Films.

March 21, 2013
Director, actor to appear in Sacramento with cult hit 'Repo! The Genetic Opera'


Friday night at Sacramento's Colonial Theatre, songs will be sung, organs will be extracted (on screen), and a cult-horror film director and star will interact with fans.

Director Darren Lynn Bousman and actor/writer/performer Terrance Zdunich will accompany their horror rock-opera films "Repo! The Genetic Opera" and "The Devil's Carnival, Episode I." The films will be presented as a double feature.

The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre, 3522 Stockton Blvd. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here. Zdunich will sing a song from "Devil's Carnival," and he and Bousman -- who also directed the second, third and fourth "Saw" films -- will hold a Q&A with audience members.

"Repo!" involves rock songs, widespread human-organ failure and a corporation that finances organ replacement and then repossesses the organs of those who can't cough up cash for payments.

"Repo!" was (barely) released by Lionsgate in 2008, despite one of the more intriguing casts of the past decade, with Paul Sorvino, Paris Hilton and pop opera star Sarah Brightman among its actors.

But the film found new life through midnight screenings and "shadowcasts" -- actors performing along with the film a la "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Amber's Sweets, a performance-troupe offshoot of the Sacramento Horror Film Festival, has held shadowcasts at the Colonial.

Bousman, reached by phone Thursday, said he was sure "Repo!" would be a hit before its studio release.

"When anyone makes a movie, they think, deep down, 'This is going to do amazing, this is going to be big,'" he said. "I thought it was going to be 'Les Mis' or 'Chicago.' I was coming off 'Saw.' We were kind of slapped in the face when it was released in four theaters."

Rather than let it drop, Bousman and crew toured with it, and the film reached "cult classic" status within a few years. 'Rocky' took almost 15 years" to do that, Bousman points out. "But now we have social media."

Bousman and Zdunich made their subsequent, horror rock opera, "The Devil's Carnival" (also starring Sorvino, along with sean Patrick Flanery and "90210" actress Jessica Lowndes) independent of a studio.

They took the 60-minute first episode around the country. Sacramento actress Stephanie Hydenacted as mistress of ceremonies during the tour, Bousman said. Tonight's program will include a preview of "Carnival" episode 2.


March 8, 2013
No more daily movie showings at downtown Sacramento's Crest Theatre

By Carla Meyer

Sacramento's Crest Theatre has stopped operating as a seven-day-a-week movie house.

The Crest on Friday ceased daily movie showings in its two downstairs auditoriums. The Crest will continue to show films in its main auditorium, but not every day. That auditorium also holds concerts and other events.

"It will be a calendar schedule, so people should expect usually one- to three-day runs" of films, Crest general manager Sid Garcia-Heberger said.

Garcia-Heberger announced in November that the Crest would likely close its two downstairs auditoriums, citing changes in the way people watch independent films. Many arthouse and foreign films now debut on cable On Demand and streaming services before hitting theaters.

The decline in movie attendance, and the renaissance of the 1000 block of K Street on which the Crest sits, inspired Garcia-Heberger and her business partners to consider other options - such as a restaurant or a music venue - for the theater's below-ground space.

"There is something in the works, but we are not ready to talk about it yet," Garcia-Heberger said Friday about plans for the downstairs space.

The Crest remains home to most of Sacramento's film festivals, including this weekend's Sacramento Jewish Film Festival.

On Sunday night, the Crest will show the film "Girl Rising," a collection of animated vignettes about girls overcoming tough obstacles, in its main theater. On March 14, it will open one of its downstairs theaters for a showing of "Citizen Hearst," a documentary look at publisher William Randolph Hearst.

The end of daily operation of the Crest's downstairs screens leaves the Tower Theatre as the only Sacramento arthouse theater showing films seven days a week.

Call The Bee's Carla Meyer, (916) 321-1118. Follow her on Twitter: @CarlaMeyerSB.

February 25, 2013
Chat live: Oscar wrap-up: Winners, losers, snubs and steals

February 22, 2013
Plenty to do in Sacramento and region

Lonesome River Band: Keeping good company in Winters

You couldn't blame the Lonesome River Band for continuing the celebration that started with the band's 30th anniversary last year. The International Bluegrass Music Association deemed Sammy Shelar the best on banjo, and it said this five-man band had the best instrumental performance of 2012 with "Angeline the Baker." Their tight harmonies, rockin' rhythm and traditional roots might have you thinking the same thing. 8 p.m. today at the Palms Playhouse, 13 Main St., Winters; $20. Information: (530) 795-1825;

The Last Reef 3-D: Cities Beneath the Sea

Footage shot over three years reveals the underwater life of the reefs of Palau, Bimini, Cancun, Bora Bora and other exotic places. This 3-D documentary connects modern city life against life among the corals. 11 a.m. today; 12:15 p.m. today-Monday at the Esquire Imax, 1211 K St., Sacramento; $10. Information: (916) 443-4629,

Toujours le cinema: Array of films from France

Every summer, the Sacramento French Film Festival offers the best in new French feature films and at least one classic. Every winter, the SFFF offers a shorts program composed of new films and greatest hits from previous festivals. Saturday's event will double as a festival fundraiser and will include French pop from DJ Christophe, free Luigi's pizza and a recap of today's Cesar Awards, the French equivalent of the Oscars. (Films are in French with English subtitles). 7:30 p.m. Saturday; doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S St., Sacramento; $7. Information: (916) 455-9390,

From the Crayola box of life: Keith Lowell Jensen's 'Elf Orgy'

Comedy Kill this month offers Keith Lowell Jensen for the release of his third CD, "Elf Orgy." Be it on Joan Rivers, snuff porn or the rapture, this Sacramento comic has his own way of focusing the lens. Others on the showcase lineup are Johnny Taylor, Jaime Fernandez and Michael Patten. 7 p.m. Sunday, Punch Line, 2100 Arden Way, Suite 225, Sacramento; $15. Information:

Designing fashion: Get ready for the runway

Sacramento Fashion Week kicks off a full week of fashion-related events around the city that will culminate March 1-2 with two showcases highlighting local designers. They will debut both spring and summer ready-to-wear apparel, as well as fall and winter collections. Activities include a fashion forum at California State University, Sacramento, and workshops on hair and makeup, and walking the runway.

The designer showcases are at 7 p.m. March 1-2 at the Elk Tower Ballroom, 921 11th St., Sacramento; $40-$100. Information and tickets:

January 10, 2013
LIVE CHAT, noon: Academy Awards nominations - did they get it right?

The Academy Awards nominations were made this morning, with plenty of box-office smashes, A-list stars and famed auteurs receiving coveted nods, along with dark-horse selections and not-so-recognizable names.

The Bee's Carla Meyer will lead a live chat at noon discussing the nominations and share their opinions while listening to yours about whether the academy folks got it right.

December 24, 2012
Catching a movie? Here are latest showtimes tonight

By Diana Lambert

Catching a movie on Christmas Eve is a time-honored tradition for many families. Some local theaters close up early on Christmas Eve, while others stick to their regular schedules.

Here are tonight's last shows at a sampling of Sacramento and area theaters. See the complete list of movies and reviews at


Crest Theatre - "Argo," 8:25 p.m.

Tower Theatre - "Hyde Park on Hudson, 7:30 p.m.

Century Plaza Downtown 7 - "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2" 8 p.m.

Esquire IMAX Theatre - "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," 10:45 p.m.

Regal Natomas Marketplace Stadium 16 - "Jack Reacher," 7:50 p.m.

UA Arden Fair 6 - "The Guilt Trip," 7:45 p.m.

Century Stadium 14 - "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," 8:25 p.m.

West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-In - "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2," 8:35 p.m.

Century 16 Greenback Lane - "Jack Reacher," 8:20 p.m.

November 7, 2012
Saxophonist Darius to perform at Crest tonight in benefit show

Smooth jazz saxophonist Eric Darius, whose sound combines jazz, pop, jazz, gospel and R&B, will perform at 7:30 tonight at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento.

Above is a video in which Darius, whose concerts include close interaction with fans, talks about his approaches to music and performance.

The concerts supports The Links, Inc., a volunteer service organization made up of 12,000 professionals from around the country. The Links, Inc., is dedicated to the addressing cultural and economic concerns of African Americans and other people of African descent.

The Links, Inc., which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, includes programs that support youth development, scholarship, the arts, health and wellness, community outreach and charitable giving.

Tickets are $45 general, $60 preferred. And are available at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K St., and at Dimple Records outlets and through

October 23, 2012
Documentary on Alcoholics Anonymous founder returns to Crest


Everyone has heard of Alcoholics Anonymous, but how many know the story of its co-founder?

That person is William G. Wilson and his life got the documentary film treatment in "Bill W." which returns to the Crest Theatre.

The 103-minute doc, directed and produced by Kevin Hanlon and Dan Carracino, uses a mix of interviews, recreations, and rare archival material to tell Wilson's story.

September 28, 2012
Lawrence of Arabia reissue to screen at local cinema houses....


It's now been 50 years since "Lawrence of Arabia" hit the movie theaters, and its only fitting that this cinematic classic get its due with the release of a new digitally restored print.

The screening of the film will take place on Oct. 4 when distributor NCM Fathom screens the film at nine cinema houses in the Sacramento region (participating theaters, below).

Winner of seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1962, "Lawrence of Arabia" is considered the greatest achievement in the career of legendary director David Lean... as well as the film that put actor Peter O'Toole on the map.

September 22, 2012
'Lawless America' comes to Sacramento today

A Sacramento courthouse and the State Capitol will be the backdrop for filming today of the documentary, "Lawless America ... The Movie."

Bill Windsor, an entrepreneur and publisher turned filmmaker, brings his 143-day cross-country odyssey to Sacramento. At each stop, he interviews people about judicial and government corruption.

According to his blog, Windsor hopes to interview more than 700 people on a 16,000-mile trek that will take him to all 50 states. His Sacramento stop -- Day 101 of his journey -- starts a California tour with visits to San Francisco, San Quentin, Santa Barbara, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Diego.

At 5 p.m., his crew plans to unfurl a 150-foot "Crime Scene" banner at William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse, 3341 Power Inn Road, Sacramento.

"All victims of that court who are present will be able to go on camera to make a short sound-bite comment," Windsor said.

Then, it's onto the State Capitol, where the group plans to stretch the banner on the front walkway. Windsor will do his on-camera interviews near L and 10th streets.

"All victims of California government who are present will be able to go on camera ...," he said. "Following the filming there, we will return to the Homewood Suites at 3001 Advantage Way, where 'Lawless America ... The Movie' will film additional victims."

Windsor hopes to interview at least 175 Californians for his documentary. For more details (and Windsor's blog), click on the film's website,

September 21, 2012
Sacramento youngster gets her close-up in 'The Master'


Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," to which I gave four stars in today's Bee, was shot partly in Vallejo, Oakland and on Mare Island.

But at least one cast member is even more local. Four-year-old Lorelai Hoey of Sacramento appears in the film as the daugher of Philip Seymour Hoffman 's and Amy Adams' characters.

Lorelai (shown in the photo above, with Adams and Hoffman) doesn't have a speaking role, but she appears in several scenes.

Hoffman and Adams "were so sweet and loving and kind" to her daughter on set, said Lorelai's mother, Britany Hoey. Director Anderson was kind as well, she said, and took an "organic" approach to the shoot.

Lorelai, then 3, wasn't aware of who the actors were or that she was shooting a movie. But she was a natural in her first acting role. "She took direction well," Hoey said.

Mom and daughter now have seen Lorelai's photo twice in People magazine. "She is kind of recognizing it is her," Hoey said. "We say, 'Remember when you got to play pretend?' But I don't think she understands."

Britany, a kindergarten teacher, had last summer free and answered a casting call for siblings. Lorelai and her now 2-year-old brother, Liam, won the roles. But Liam appears little in the final cut.

"He was not so in to being on a movie set," Hoey said of her son, who was just about to turn 1 when the film was shot.

"The Master" is rated R, so Lorelai cannot see herself on screen.

"We are waiting for it to come out on DVD, and we can show her just her scenes," Hoey said.


August 30, 2012
See 'The Avengers' for free tonight at Sacramento State

The gathering-of-superheroes movie "The Avengers" dominated the summer box office. Tonight, Sacramento State students -- and everyone else -- can see it for free on campus.

The University Union's UNIQUE program will show the film outdoors at 8 p.m. at Serna Plaza, on the university's campus (6000 J St.).

"The Avengers" is rated PG-13. The screening will include subtitles. Film fans are encouraged to bring beach towels or blankets to sit on the grass.

For information, see UNIQUE's website.

July 27, 2012
Nevada City Film Fest to screen 100 films this August


The annual Nevada City Film Festival (NCFF) kicks off its 12th year on August 16 for a four day run of short and long format indie film screenings and other events.

Held in two locations in downtown Nevada City, the festival will screen 100 films selected from over 400 submissions.

The films include award-winners from the U.S. and 16 countries that have appeared in prominent film festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Films from emerging local and regional filmmakers are also represented.

July 19, 2012
Esquire Imax to run 'Dark Knight Rises' for 72 hours

Esquire Imax theater on K St. will run "The Dark Knight Rises" all night, and then some.

The theater will show "Dark Knight Rises" -- for which director Christopher Nolan shot 72 minutes of footage with Imax cameras -- in back to back screenings for 72 hours starting at midnight.

Tonight's midnight showing is sold out, but the 3:10 and 6:20 a.m. showings still have tickets available. And there are middle-of-the-night showings throughout the weekend.

Esquire is the only Imax theater for miles with film, rather than digital, projection. Nolan shot his "Rises" Imax footage on film.

Tickets can be purchased at Esquire Imax, 1211 K St., or through its website.

July 18, 2012
Movie review: 'The Dark Knight Rises': Bleak, stunning

batman.jpgBy Carla Meyer

Gloom never looked as good as it does in the mesmerizing "The Dark Knight Rises."

Concluding his "Batman" trilogy, director Christopher Nolan gives us a hobbled, reclusive hero (a soulful Christian Bale), a murderous tank of a villain (the excellent Tom Hardy) and allusions to the 99 percent and the Occupy movement that rob us of the luxury of dismissing this bleak film as comic-book fantasy.

It's a total bummer, except it isn't.

July 12, 2012
Sacramento film crew looking for extras on Saturday

By Tamma Adamek

A local film production is looking for extras for a scene being shot Saturday at the Pre-Flite Lounge, 513 L Street.

The assignment is simple, play a bar patron at a sporting event.

Extras are asked to arrive at 11 a.m. and expect to stay until 2 p.m.. No apparel logos allowed.

The short film "Dance Step of Death" is expected to air at the Sacramento Film and Music Festival Aug. 18.

July 2, 2012
Events at Fairytale Town, Crocker, cemetery slated for summer

Sacramento museums and the convention bureau are promoting after dark events that start when summer days in the city mercifully cool.

Among the Sacramento after-dark events:

• Crocker Museum shows movies in the courtyard the first Thursday evening of the month through September. "Casablanca" is scheduled for Thursday. Food is available at the Crocker Café. Tickets are $5 for members, $8 for non-members. More information at

• Mumbo Gumbo plays Fairytale Town. The Sacramento band, with its danceable repertoire, hits the stage July 11. Tickets are $10, members get 2 for 1 admission and children 12 and under are free. More information at

• Sacramento Old City Cemetery mixes a couple drinks with tales of the city's checkered past in an evening titled "Beer, Babes and Brawls" on July 13. Guests learn about the colorful dear-departed and get two beverage tickets for beer, wine or soda. Tickets are $25. More information at

June 26, 2012
Free 'opera in the park' film screening in July at Crocker Park

Crocker Art Museum and the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts have teamed up to show a a filmed performance of "La Boheme" in Sacramento's Crocker Park.

The free outdoor screening on Thursday, July 12 will showcase a 2008 San Francisco Opera production of "La Boheme."

The park event starts at 8 p.m., and follows the Crocker's 5 p.m. Art Mix event, "Red, Hot and Bohemian." The Art Mix event will include live music and an art-making project involving cellophane and inspired by glass. The event is included in the price of museum admission.

Crocker Park sits next to the Crocker Museum (216 O St.).

For information on the museum, visit its website. For information on the Mondavi's 2012-2013 arts season, see the Mondavi's website.

June 20, 2012
'American Graffiti' to show on big screen tonight in Auburn

Lincoln Way in Auburn will stand in tonight for the main drag of George Lucas' 1973 classic "American Graffiti."

The Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center nonprofit will show the film at 7 and 9:30 p.m. at its restored State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way.

Classic cars will line the street outside the theater.

Admission is $8. Patrons can buy cocktails before the movie in the theater's marquee room.

Mel's Diner in Auburn will take 20 percent off the tab of any patron showing a State Theatre receipt. (A Mel's diner is featured in the film).

For information, call (530) 885-0156 or visit

June 20, 2012
Free summer films offered in Rancho Cordova

Three free summer movie nights will be offered this summer in Rancho Cordova.

The first of the three is "The Sandlot," to be screened June 22 at 8:45 p.m., The screenings continue July 27 with "E.T. (The Extra Terrestrial)" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" Aug. 24.

The screenings will be shown at the Village Green Park amphitheater at 3141 Bridgeway Dr., near the intersection of Highway 50 at Zinfandel Drive.

Information: (916) 273-5704

June 13, 2012
Comedian Kevin Hart to perform at Power Balance Pavilion


Comedian Kevin Hart has been just about everywhere over the past few months. He starred in the film "Think Like a Man" and appeared in "The Five-Year Engagement" and on television's "Modern Family."

Now he is coming to Power Balance Pavilion on Oct. 6 with his "Let Me Explain" stand-up tour.

Tickets run $59.35-$141.20 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday through Ticketmaster (800-745-3000).


June 7, 2012
Western States 100 Movie Screening Set

"Unbreakable," a documentary by Nevada filmmaker JB Benna about the 2010 Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, will be screened on June 21 at the Oylmpic Village Lodge in Squaw Valley.

The Squaw Valley Institute also is bringing in guest speakers Tim Twietmeyer, a five-time Western States champion, and veteran Andy Wilkins-Jones to talk about their experiences in the race, which will be held June 23.

Admission price is $15, $10 for Squaw Valley Institute members and race competitors.

For more information, call (530) 581-4138 or click here


June 5, 2012
Superman's coming to the Crocker Museum Thursday

By Jing Cao

The Crocker Art Museum will show Christopher Reeve decked

out in blue tights in an outdoor screening of Superman on Thursday. The film screening is the first of a

series, a new addition to the museum's Thursdays 'til 9 program.

Before the screening, starting at 7:30 p.m., A-1 Comics owner Brian Peets will hold

a discussion about the love for superheroes. There also will be an all-ages draw-along

with supplies included. The movie starts at 8:30 p.m., and seating will be provided, but

audience members can bring their own chairs and blankets.

The Crocker is at 216 O St.

Tickets are $5 for members, $6 for

college students and youth under 18, and $8 for nonmembers.

Other films in the series:

Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (Setzer Foundation Auditorium, June 28, 6:30 p.m.)

Casablanca (courtyard, July 5, 7:30 p.m. activities, 8:30 p.m. screening)

Coraline (courtyard, Aug. 2, 7:30 p.m. activities, 8:30 p.m. screening)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (courtyard, Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m. activities, 8:30 p.m. screening).

May 17, 2012
Geek out, explore state of geekdom, at Sac Con event

Comic-book style geekiness reaches an apex this summer with the releases of "The Avengers," "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "The Dark Knight Rises." .

But if those movies are too mainstream for you, there's Sac Con, happening June 3 at the Scottish Rite Center, at 6151 H St., across from Sacramento State.

The one-day comics convention will feature a 4:30 panel discussion on what it means to be a geek, specificially a Sacramento geek.

The panel discussion will kick off a summer of geeky inquiry and celebration by the Sac Geeks website and Meetup group.

The panel talk will help introduce a Sac Geeks project that puts images of geek-friendly local businesses and celebrities on a deck of 54 collectible playing cards.

"One of the queens will be Kiki from Warp 11," Sac Geeks' Stephanie Rector said.

For you non-geeks, Warp 11 is Sacramento's own saucy, Star Trek-themed rock band.

May 9, 2012
Documentary on Pat Brown to screen on KVIE


With Gov. Jerry Brown front and center in state politics, filmmakers Sascha Rice and Hilary Armstrong's documentary "California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown," seems more than timely.

The doc is a look into the Brown California family dynasty - a dynasty some liken to the Massachusetts-borne Kennedy dynasty. The film's main focus is Gov. Brown's father - the late Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown.

In the documentary, Rice and Armstrong enlist journalists, historians, contemporary thinkers, and politicians (including Jerry Brown) to frame a narrative that offers a political, philosophical, and psychological perspective on Pat Brown.

May 2, 2012
Local documentarians to screen doc on Senior Olympics

You don't need to go to the Bay Area or LA to find documentarians like Sacramento natives Christopher Rufo and Keith Ochwat kicking out interesting work.

The two have produced and will be screening their latest doc "Age of Champions" - the story of five competitors who compete for gold at the National Senior Olympics.

Hailed by the Washington Post as "infectiously inspiring," the documentary plumbs the resiliency and spirit of a 100-year-old tennis champion, an 86-year-old pole vaulter, and rough-and-tumble basketball grandmothers.

The free screening is hosted by assembly speaker John Pérez and will include a Q&A with director Rufo and producer Ochwat along with aging and health experts. Free parking is included.

Age of Champions
WHEN: 6:45 p.m., May 21
WHERE: Crest Theater, 1013 K St., Sacramento
COST: Free
INFORMATION: (916) 456-5229;

April 23, 2012
Lyle Lovett, Steve Martin, Eddie Izzard to perform at Mondavi

The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts just added three events to its 2012-13 season: Lyle Lovett on Saturday, July 7, Steve Martin and his Steep Canyon Rangers on
Saturday, Aug. 25 and comedian Eddie Izzard on Friday, Oct. 26.

Tickets go on sale to Mondavi Center subscribers today and to the general public on Sunday. For tickets to these shows or for subscriptions, visit the Mondavi site or call (530) 754-2787.

Lovett tickets run $35-$65, Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers tickets $35-$75 and Izzard tickets $25-$45.

Lovett memorably played the Mondavi with his friend John Hiatt in 2009. The Steep Canyon Rangers are comedian-actor-playwright-art collector Martin's sidemusical project. Martin leads the bluegrass band with his banjo and witty rejoinders.

Izzard, a late-1990s stand-up sensation known for his absurdist humor and out-transvestite status, has become best known for his acting roles in recent years. Izzard starred in the fascinating 2007-08 Fox series "The Riches" and voiced a role in the Pixar film "Cars 2."

April 20, 2012
Reproductive rights documentaries on tap at Movies On A Big Screen


Movies on a Big Screen will show two documentaries that plumb the always controversial reproductive rights issue when it screens "Motherhood By Choice, Not Chance" and "We Always Resist." The docs will be followed by a panel discussion.

"Motherhood by Choice, Not Chance," was directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman and based on the trilogy, "From the Back-Alleys to the Supreme Court & Beyond." The 2004 film brings alive the struggle for women's reproductive rights in the U.S. and the chilling facts about the current threat to those rights.

This 24-minute "We Always Resist," from 2011, provides an informative history of the struggle for reproductive choice within African American communities and argues that black women have always considered reproductive choice a fundamental part of how they defined liberation for themselves and their communities.

The panel that follows the films include Dr. Glennah Trochet, former Sacramento County Public Heath Officer; Ana Sandoval, of Planned Parenthood; and Christi H. Ketchum, with Our Rightful Place.

Movies On A Big Screen
WHEN: 7:00 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: The Guild Theatre, 2828 35th St, Sacramento


April 16, 2012
'Casablanca' to play again in movie theaters


It's a second encore for "Casablanca" in multiplexes.

The Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman classic, shown in March in theaters across the country, will appear on big screens again at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 26.

Tied to the release of a DVD and Blu-ray editions of the film, the screening will include a filmed introduction by Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne.

"Casablanca" will show at several theaters in the Sacramento region. For details,
click here.


April 13, 2012
Drive In screenings offered for free Thursday at West Wind


Attendance at drive in theaters is booming.

And to celebrate that fact Sacramento's West Wind Drive In is offering free movie screenings - three of them, actually - on Thursday evening. The screening will take place at the West Wind Sacramento Drive-In at 9616 Oates Drive off of Highway 50 and Bradshaw Road.

It's part of their customer appreciation night where three of the drive-in's six screens will be showing pairings of recent movie blockbusters: "The Lorax," "Journey 2" and "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol."

March 29, 2012
'Mirror,' 'Wrath of the Titans' enhance midnight movie madness

Last week, the "Hunger Games" Thursday midnight screenings bolstered the movie's box office take by nearly $20 million.

But it's not just tentpole films trying getting a jump on weekend box office with midnight screenings. Tonight, the 3-D epic "Wrath of the Titans" and the Snow White family comedy "Mirror Mirror" will debut just after midnight at several local multiplexes (Century Stadium, Greenback and Folsom among them).

Tonight's midnight openings sort of make sense. Fans of computer effects-heavy stories of mythical monsters also are fans of staying up late. And the witching hour seems appropriate for a film in which Julia Roberts plays a queen and black-magic practitioner who, if not a witch, is something very close to it.

Plus, Cinderella has stolen the midnight spotlight from Snow White for too long.

For theaters showing "Wrath" and "Mirror Mirror" at midnight (on far fewer screens than "Hunger Games" last week), see the movie guide on page D6 of today's Bee or visit Also, look for my story in Sunday's a&e section on the enduring appeal of fairy tales as sources for movies and television shows.

March 29, 2012
Aerosmith to bring sweet emotion, multiple scarves to Oakland

Aerosmith, led by lovable/terrifying "American Idol" judge Steven Tyler,will tour North America this summer. Unfortunately, the closest stop to Sacramento is Oakland's Oracle Arena, on Aug. 4.

And it won't be cheap to see Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry out-grizzle each other. Upper-tier tickets start at $61, and other upper-tier tickets are $114.

Sometimes you have to pay for experience. Plus, there might be some new songs in the mix, since Aerosmith has been working on its first album since 2004, with producer Jack Douglas, who helped them make "Toys in the Attic."

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday through Ticketmaster (800-745-3000).

PHOTO CAPTION: Steven Tyler, from left, Joey Kramer, Joe Perry, and Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith, pose for pictures at the Aerosmith news conference announcing the 2012 Global Warming Tour, Wednesday, March 28, 2012, at The Grove, in Los Angeles. Katy Winn/AP

Photo Gallery: Aerosmith in concert through the years

March 15, 2012
'Addiction Incorporated' film focuses on tobacco whistleblower

Cigarettes are bad for you. That's been an incontrovertible truth for about 50 years now. The only thing that can still surprise is the level of alleged duplicity in the tobacco industry.

The documentary "Addiction Incorporated," opening Friday at the Crest Theatre, focuses on tobacco-company scientist turned whistleblower Victor DeNoble, who speaks of one-time efforts to develop a cigarette that would decrease the risk of heart failure but stay just as addictive, nicotine-wise.

DeNoble is a familiar face in the Sacramento region. He has spoken to thousands of school children here about the dangers of smoking. He is in the midst of a monthlong visit to Sacramento sponsored by the Health Education Council and Kaiser Permanente.

Charles Evans Jr.'s documentary follows DeNoble's anti-smoking crusade and tells the broader story of efforts to bring alleged tobacco company malfeasance to light.

Producer Charmaine Parcero will attend the 8 p.m. Friday showing at the Crest (1013 K St., Sacramento), and engage in a Q&A session with audience members.

For information on the film, see the movie's website or the Crest's site.

March 14, 2012
'The Bodyguard' to hit big screens again in a few weeks

Whitney Houston films have been all over television in the weeks since her death. Now her best-known film, "The Bodyguard," will play on big screens as well, at 7:30 p.m. March 28.

The event aims to celebrate the movie's 20th anniversary and a new Blu-ray edition of the movie coming out March 27. The 20th anniversary Blu-ray has to have been in the works for some time. But you have to wonder if "The Bodyguard" would have been brought to the big screen again had Houston not died.

Local theatres showing "The Bodyguard" on the 28th include include Century Stadium, Downtown Plaza, Greenback, Laguna, Roseville and Folsom, and Regal Natomas and El Dorado Hills. For information and tickets, see the Fathom Events site.

February 27, 2012
Bee's Oscar predictions 6-for-6 in key races, 16 of 24 overall

My Oscar predictions ignored the odds in a few instances, the most important of which was picking Meryl Streep over favorite Viola Davis for best actress. That pick led to a 6-for-6 finish in the biggest categories (picture, actor, actress, director, supporting actress and actor) at Sunday's Academy Awards..

Streep was my favorite, but that choice was not based solely on emotion. There always was a chance she would win. She already had won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA award (impressively getting the Brits on board with her performance as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher).

When I did pick winners solely on preference -- disregarding the Oscar prognosticators' consensus - results were mixed. For instance, the lovely Northern Irish short "The Shore" won best live action short, but the inventive and exceptionally fun animated short "A Morning Stroll" lost to a "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore."

I went 16-for-24 on the long ballot that appeared in The Bee. I plan to do better next year, when I will leave emotion out of it. (As if that's possible when discussing movies).

In the meantime, see the trailers above for "The Shore" and "A Morning Stroll." You can see both at the Crest Theatre, which is showing all the live-action and animated Oscar shorts.

February 1, 2012
Same-sex marriage film screenings sell out; encore added

Tonight's screenings at the Crest Theatre of "Question One," a documentary about the 2009 referendum battle regarding same-sex marriage in Maine, have sold out. But a special encore screening has been scheduled for Feb. 8.

The film by Joe Fox and James Nubile chronicles a political fight that echoed the 2008 battle over same sex marriage in California. The fimmakers had access to "war rooms" on both sides of the battle, and examined the role of Sacramento public relations firm Schubert Flint in the "Yes on 1" (anti-same-sex marriage) Maine campaign.

Tickets to the Feb. 8 screening are available at the Crest box office, 1013 K St., Sacramento and via (800-225-2277).

January 28, 2012
Watch trailers for the biggest movies of 2012

In today's A&E section of The Bee, I wrote about the biggest movies scheduled to open in 2012. Here are trailers for several of those films.

"John Carter" (March 9):

"The Hunger Games" (March 23):

"Mirror, Mirror" (March 30):


"Snow White and the Huntsman" (June 1):

"The Avengers" (May 4):

"Men in Black 3" (May 25):

"Prometheus" (June 6):

"The Amazing Spider-Man" (July 3):

"The Dark Knight Rises" (July 20):

"The Hobbit" (Dec. 14):

January 24, 2012
Snubs, welcome inclusions among Oscar nominations

The announcement of Academy Award nominations this morning immediately prompted a scan of the list for who was left out.

The most notable omission wasAlbert Brooks'supporting performance as a crime boss in "Drive." Brooks collected several critics' awards, a Golden Globe nomination, and was once considered Christopher Plummer 's (Golden Globe winner and now Oscar nominee for "Beginners") main competition for the Academy Award.

The lack of a directing nomination for Steven Spielberg also counts as a snub, given that his "War Horse" made the best-picture list. It's puzzling because Spielberg's pictures are so, well, Spielbergian, that one cannot easily separate director and picture.

January 12, 2012
Get a cup o' joe and a bit of John Hughes at Cafe Bizarro


Sacramento's Mondo Bizarro Cafe (1827 I St.) returns us to when movie teenagers wore suits to school, and fresh-faced, fashion-forward Molly Ringwald was considered fortunate to have cute guys talk to her.

The cafe will show 1980s John Hughes movies throughout January. "Sixteen Candles" screened last week (sorry, Jake Ryan fans), but tonight you can catch "Pretty in Pink" . Admission is free, and the film starts at 7:30.

"Pink" stars former Sacramentan Ringwald and two of the best Hughes sidekicks this side of The Geek: Duckie (Jon Cryer) and Iona (Annie Potts).

"The Breakfast Club" plays Jan. 19, "Weird Science" Jan. 26.


January 12, 2012
Short films to screen at special French Film Festival event

The Sacramento French Festival, now 10 years old, offers events beyond its annual, can't-miss summer festival at the Crest. One is a short-film screening.

This year's screening will happen Feb. 4 at Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S St., Sacramento.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for drinks and free pizza from Luigi's Slice. DJ Christophe will spin French tunes. The films start at 7:30.

Admission is $5, or free for Friends of the French Film Festival.

For information, see the festival website

December 13, 2011
She acts, she sings: Charlotte Gainsbourg is a true multi-talent

There are actresses who sing and vice versa, but few who are exceptional at both. French-English ctress Charlotte Gainsbourg, excellent in Lars von Trier's "Melancholia," currently at the Crest, also is an accomplished, risk-taking musical artist, kind of like her dad, Serge Gainsbourg.

Gainsbourg's latest album, "Stage Whisper," is just out. Take a listen to the track, "Terrible Angels":

Charlotte Gainsbourg - Terrible Angels by Because Music

Below, see Gainsbourg in the trailer for "Melancholia." Kirsten Dunst is getting most of the best-actress acclaim for her role as a depressed bride, but Gainsbourg, playing her sister, is really co-lead of the film.

Gainsbourg has always looked a lot like her dad, but also like Patti Smith. The resemblance to Smith is remarkable in "Melancholia."

December 9, 2011
'Dark Knight Rises' prologue to show with 'M:I4' at Esquire Imax

dark knight.JPG
Downtown Sacramento's Esquire Imax theater (1211 K St.) will begin showing "Mission Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" the night of Dec. 15 -- six days before the official release of the fourth "Mission Impossible" film.

The most highly anticipated part of the Esquire Imax's "M:I4" program is what runs before the feature: a seven-minute prologue to "The Dark Knight Rises," director Christopher Nolan's third "Batman" film.

The Esquire is the only local Imax theater showing the "Dark Knight" prologue. The prologue will appear on 32 Imax screens across the country -- those with 70-millimeter projection.

Tickets to "Mission Impossible" (and the "Knight" prologue) are available at the Esquire Imax site.

PHOTO CREDIT: Christian Bale stars as Batman. MCT

November 17, 2011
'Breaking Dawn' midnight tickets scarce as vampires in sunlight

The torturously angsty "Twilight" movie series finally is getting somewhere with "Breaking Dawn -- Part I": Marriage, sex, baby vampires. Twihards' desire to see the film as soon as possible -- midnight or thereabouts tonight --- is understandable.

Loads of midnight- and midnight-ish shows already have sold out. Online ticketer Fandango says more than 3,500 showings (midnight and others) have sold out nationwide. Locally, Regal Natomas has sold out several witching-hour showings.

There still are seats left at Sacramento-area screenings, like one at 1 a.m. at Century Greenback. But it can be hard to tell, since the Fandango site is slow to indicate sellouts.

Just because a showtime appears in red (which equates to "go" on Fandango) doesn't mean tickets are available. Clicking on the time often leads to a notice of a sellout.

I'm old enough to handle such profound disappointment. Tween and teen "Twilight" fans are not as resilient.

November 9, 2011
Who should host the Oscars? Give us your pick

Today's announcement that scheduled Academy Awards host Eddie Murphy has followed his "Tower Heist" director Brett Ratner out the door means one of Hollywood's highest-profile gigs suddenly is available.

Who would you like to see host the Oscars in February?

It would be sweet to see eight-time host Billy Crystal back, but not as a stop-gap measure. Jane Lynch was pretty funny on the Emmys. So was Melissa McCarthy ("Bridesmaids," "Mike & Molly"), and she was also great on "Saturday Night Live."

If the academy wants to go young, as it did in last year's disastrous outing with James Franco and Anne Hathaway, they could at least pick an all-around showman like Justin Timberlake.

What do you think?

September 30, 2011
Sacramento gay and lesbian film festival marks 20th year in style

The Sacramento International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, running Oct. 13-15 at the Crest Theatre, is celebrating its 20th year with two special pre-festival events.

First is a gala this Saturday at Fat's banquet facilities, 1015 Front St. in Old Sacramento. Dress is cocktail formal, food is by Fat's, and the event includes music from San Francisco DJ P. Tyrone Smith , a silent auction, photo booth and an after-party at Faces's VIP Lounge.

The gala starts at 7 p.m. and costs $65. Tickets are available here. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit SIGLFF and associated charities.

September 30, 2011
'Place Called Sacramento' films to screen Sunday at the Crest

"A Place Called Sacramento," now a dozen years old, is becoming a Sacramento institution.

Access Sacramento's screenwriting and film-production project puts screenwriters, actors and crews together each spring. The fledgling filmmakers then work together to make 10-minute films name-checking Sacramento.

At 1 p.m. Sunday, the fruits of this project will reach the big screen at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K St., Sacramento. Tickets to the 10-film program are $10 and are available at the Crest box office or through (800-225-2277).

Watch for my story on the 2011 "Place Called Sacramento" project in Saturday's Our Region section of the Bee.

September 28, 2011
New 'Footloose' is fancy and FREE on Friday

The remake of "Footloose," scheduled for wide release Oct. 14, will be shown free on Friday night at Century Roseville, 1555 Eureka Road.

The 6 p.m. preview screening is part of "Footloose Friday" at 26 theaters across the country. To RSVP, go

An RSVP does not guarantee admission. At the theater, it's first come, first served.

"Footloose," a remake of the 1984 Kevin Bacon film, stars Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough ("Dancing With the Stars"). Since both stars are professional dancers, there likely will be fewer cutaways during dance scenes.

Dennis Quaid plays the John Lithgow role of the uptight preacher dad -- a role that in 1984, no one could have envisioned Quaid ever playing.

August 24, 2011
Sacramento to shine on the big screen at local film festival

The "Place Called Sacramento" film festival, always one of the most fun and popular local-film events, will take place at 1 p.m. on Oct. 2 at the Crest theater.

The event brings to the big screen 10 films, all 10 minutes in length, made by teams put together by Access Sacramento and a summer-long filmmaking programming.

Each film has to have some connection to Sacramento, even if it is just a mention. In previous years, filmmakers have weaved in the Sacramento shout-outs quite artfully even when the story isn't particularly tied to the place.

Tickets are $10 and are available at the Crest box office, 1013 K St., and through (800-225-2277). For information on the event, see the Access Sacramento site.

August 16, 2011
Nevada City Film Festival opens Thursday

The Nevada City Film Festival - which is much more than a collection of fabulous films - starts Thursday in the foothill town that's also known for its live music. The festival runs through Sunday.

Among the documentaries that will be screened are "Kevin," which celebrates a musician who pairs flamenco guitar with New Age lyrics, "We Are Wizards," which chronicles Harry Potter-inspired bands, and "Everyday Sunshine" a film that follows the L.A. ska/punk/funk band Fishbone.

These and other films will play at the Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad St., Miners Foundry, 325 Spring St., Magic Theatre, 107 Argall Way. The cost: $9 for individual programs ($7 students and seniors), $90 for an all-festival, VIP pass.

For more information, visit the Miners Foundry box office, 325 Spring St. or

August 10, 2011
Auburn Rec. Dist. sponsors State Theater showing of To Kill a Mockingbird

The Auburn Recreation District is sponsoring the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center's Third Thursday Film Series showing of To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) on Aug. 18 and 21.

The State Theater, 985 Lincoln Way in Auburn, is showing the classic, Academy-Award-winning film about racial tensions in the Depression-era south.

The film, based on Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning book written in 1960, portrays the legal biases against African Americans and social biases against White lawyers who choose to defend them.

The showtimes are Thurs. Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. and Sun. Aug. 21 at 2 p.m. for a matinee. Tickets are $8 and may be purchased up to an hour before showtime and online at

On Thursday at 5:30 p.m., Marybelle's Restaurant in Old Town Auburn will be serving a specially prepared dinner in the Marquee room adjacent to the State Theater lobby. The meal is $8 and beverages will be available at the State Theater beverage bar.

For more information, visit

August 10, 2011
"Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" plays free in Land Park Saturday

By Tamma Adamek

Bring a picnic and a short lawn chair to Land Park Saturday night and watch the Coen brothers' "O Brother, Where Are Thou?" under the stars.

The movie's free and starts at 8 p.m. in the William A. Carroll Amphitheatre (on the corner of Land Park Drive and 15th Avenue, behind Fairytale Town and across Land Park Drive from the Sacramento Zoo).

August 8, 2011
Hollywood screenwriter to show art, appear at free film screenings

Sacramento's Temporary Contemporary Gallery will open a show Thursday featuring works by Sacramentan Jeffrey DeVore and his brother, Santa Cruz resident Chris DeVore.

Chris DeVore also is a screenwriter, with "Frances," "The Elephant Man" and "Hamlet" (the Mel Gibson version) among his credits.

The Temporary Contemporary Gallery will celebrate both aspects of Chris DeVore's artistry by showing "Frances," "Elephant Man" and "Hamlet" on consecutive Sunday evenings, starting Aug. 14. DeVore will appear at the gallery, 1616 Del Paso Blvd., before the screenings next door at Big Idea Theatre.

The 1982 film "Frances," a harrowing look at the career and institutionalization of actress Frances Farmer, drew an best actress Academy Award nomination for Jessica Lange (she won that year in the supporting category, for "Tootsie").

DeVore will be at the gallery at 6 p.m. The film starts at 7 p.m., and he will answer audience questions after it. The event is free, but seating very limited. For information and to reserve a seat, see the Temporary Contemporary Gallery site.

August 3, 2011
'Wizard of Oz' also screening Thursday, at the Crocker


The "Wizard of Oz" is so great and powerful that it's screening Thursday night outdoors at the Crocker Art Museum (216 O St., Sacramento) as well as in a sing-along version Aug. 13 at the Crest Theatre.

The timing is coincidental, Crocker representative Kathleen Richards said.

Or is it? Oz works in mysterious, powerful ways.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. Crocker screening are $6 for museum members, $12 for non-members. Patrons are welcome to bring lawn chairs. For tickets, call (916) 808-1182 or visit the Crocker site. For information, call (916) 808-7000.


August 2, 2011
Sing along to 'Wizard of Oz' at the Crest

Lions, scarecrows and Dorothys will crowd the Crest Theatre Saturday, Aug. 13 for an afternoon showing of "Sing-A-Long 'Wizard of Oz.'"

The film starts at 2 p.m.. Doors open at 1 p.m. for "Oz" karaoke in the lobby. There's also a costume contest.

Last year's sing-a-long "Oz" presentation brought out a lot of Dorothys, said Crest general manager Sid Garcia-Heberger. But there was also "a phenomenal flying monkey."

Garcia-Heberger dressed as the house that landed on the wicked witch. She had planned to wear the bulky costume only briefly, on stage, but was stopped repeatedly by children and adults seeking photo ops.

"I ended up being an amusement-park" attraction, Garcia-Heberger said with a laugh.

Tickets to "Sing-A-Long 'Wizard of Oz' " are on sale now at the Crest box office, 1013 K St., Sacramento, and through (800-225-2277). Tickets are $10 in advance/$12 day of show (seniors and students: $8 in advance, $10 day of show).


July 30, 2011
Join a cult hunt for 'Holy Grail' this weekend at the Crest

By Ben Schenkel

"Monty Python and The Holy Grail" is the latest cult classic deemed trashy enough for late-night screenings at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K St., in Sacramento.

The Trash Film Orgy, a summertime series for lovers of campy retro movies, is responsible for the midnight show tonight or the 3 p.m. Sunday matinee. Billing itself as "adult fun," the Trash Film Orgy is limited to theater-goers ages 18 and older.

All seats cost $10, but if you come in an "awesome" costume, you can save a buck at the box office. Tickets are available at the theater, and online at with a booking surcharge.

July 14, 2011
Tickets to 'Harry Potter' midnight showings are vanishing

"Harry Potter" fans who don't have their tickets yet for tonight's midnight screenings might be out of luck unless they act fast.

Online ticketer announced Thursday that it had sold more tickets to midnight screenings of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" than to any other midnight movie in its history. That includes "The Dark Knight" and the "Twilight" films.

Most theaters in the Sacramento region showing "Harry" at midnight have sold out their 12:01, 12:02 and 12:03 screenings. But for die-hard fans willing to burn the 1 a.m. or 3 a.m. oil, there's still a chance to be among the first audience members to see young wizard Harry battle Voldemort.

According to, there still are tickets available for three shows in the 1 a.m. hour at Century Greenback and a 2:50 a.m. showing at Regal El Dorado Hills. These screenings are in 2-D rather than 3-D.


July 8, 2011
Our picks for movies this weekend

By Max Ehrenfreund

We've got some movie suggestions for you.

The Associated Press calls J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg's Super 8 "a summer blockbuster that's completely earnest and irony-free, not filled with cheeky pop-culture references or cheesy product placement." Super 8 opened a month ago, but if you haven't seen it yet, it could be a good choice for a Friday night in July. It is playing at Century, Regal, Palladio in Folsom, United Artists in Laguna, and Holiday in Davis.

If you want to see Horrible Bosses or Zookeeper, opening this weekend, soak yourself in revelry at Midtown's Second Saturday first. Based on the reviews, these two films might be unbearable otherwise. Transformers: Dark of the Moon and X-Men: First Class could also be entertaining late-night movies.

July 3, 2011
Muggles, wizards invited to 'Harry Potter' scavenger hunt

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2," the final film in the "Potter" franchise, will light up the huge screen of Esquire Imax Theatre at midnight on Thursday, June 14. But before "Potter" fans witness Harry's battle with the evil Voldemort, they can hit the streets of downtown Sacramento in a scavenger hunt.

The hunt starts at 7 p.m. at the Esquire (1211 K St.) with a "Potter" trivia challenge.

Unlike Harry's fight with Voldy, the scavenger hunt is not a battle. It is not even a race. All participants can partake in special deals offered by the downtown businesses involved in the event.

The teams involved will find out destinations on Thursday evening, via the Esquire Imax's Facebook page.

For details on the hunt, see the Facebook page now.

It's also a good idea to start work on capes, wands and noseless Voldemort masks now. Hastily assembled "Potter" costumes are for losers.

June 23, 2011
Dragon movie to play Friday night in Elk Grove park

Ever wanted to slay a dragon? How about make friends with one?

The Cosumnes County Services District is airing "How to Train Your Dragon," Friday at 7 p.m. at Elk Grove Regional Park. The film, which was nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score at the Academy Awards, is the first movie of the Summer Breeze Film Series.

The story takes young Hiccup on a journey to slay a dragon as a rite of passage for his Viking tribe. He meets a fork in the road when he decides to befriend the dragon instead.

Bring a blanket, $3 per person or $10 per family of four, and watch Hiccup navigate through fulfilling his tribe's expectations and following his heart.

For more information and to pre-register, visit the Cosumnes County Services District at, or call the CSD Parks and Recreation Department at (916) 405-5600.

By Whitney Mountain

June 22, 2011
Practice your Wookie call and head to Woodland on Friday

STARWARS77.JPGBy Max Ehrenfreund

The Yolo County Historical Museum is showing the original Star Wars movie Friday night outside the Gibson House in Woodland. Admission is free.

Museum event coordinator Dan Rice said Star Wars is a classic that appeals to both young and old. He is expecting a crowd of a few hundred at Friday night's fundraiser, especially given pleasant temperatures in the upper 80s forecast for the evening.

"We really got people stirred up," he said.

June 17, 2011
Father's Day ideas for any kind of dad, family

Not sure on what to do with dear ol' dad this Father's Day? It's Sunday, by the way, so it's time for a plan.

There's an array of activities, events and offers that can help make this Father's Day one to remember. Feel free to steal these ideas, which have been categorized interests, and adapt them to suit your father of honor's style and taste.

Hungry Dad: That old saying about the way to a man's heart being through his stomach? Pretty much true. So it makes sense to make or take dad out to a great meal Sunday. For those who want to grill up a great meal, head to Ikeda's California Country Market in Auburn or Davis and pick up one of their marinated tri-tips. Add some fresh vegetables and whatever you do, don't forget to grab one of their fabulous fruit pies.

June 13, 2011
'Green Lantern' symbol to light up sky, promote movie

Right around 9 tonight, the "Green Lantern" symbol -- basically a circle with parallel lines on top and bottom, double-stuffed Oreo style -- will be projected into the Sacramento sky tonight.

Warner Bros. chose Sacramento as one of 11 cities where the symbol will put out its call for "corps" and promote Friday's opening of the Ryan Reynolds comic book movie.

The light will be projected from the L Wine Lounge at 1801 L St., where "flight" generally means something else. The light will last from 9 p.m. to midnight, with prize giveaways with those in attendance.
-- Carla Meyer

June 10, 2011
'African Queen' to play on big screen in Auburn

One of the least likely, mostly lovable romances in cinematic history will be rendered large next week in Auburn.

"The African Queen," the 1951 Humphrey Bogart-Katharine Hepburn classic most of us have seen only on DVD or on Turner Classic Movies, will be shown in glorious 35 millimeter on Thursday, June 16, and Sunday, June 19, at the restored State Theatre.

Cost is $8 both days. An African-themed dinner will be served before Thursday night's show. Cost for the meal is also $8.

For tickets or information, visit the State Theatre (Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center) website or call (530) 885-0156.
-- Carla Meyer

June 9, 2011
This week, drop in on Drop the Lime or Tim McGraw

This week, we've completely fallen for the thumping rockabilly house beats of New York-based DJ and electronic producer Drop the Lime. He pumps up the volume late, late Thursday night at Mix Downtown. Maybe you could call in sick on Friday. Did we say that?
If you can't keep your eyes open much past midnight, you'll find some can't miss entertainment with Nashville-Hollywood darling Tim McGraw this evening or a discussion with classical pianist Charles Rosen on Saturday afternoon.
And, there's more.

Country music
Tim McGraw
WHAT: This genuine star lays claim to plenty of No. 1 hits and music awards, but fans buy up his albums because they see it as "sure bet" entertainment. Luke Bryan and The Band Perry open the show.
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Sleep Train Amphitheatre, 2677 Old Forty Mile Road, Wheatland
COST: $29.75-$89.90
INFORMATION: (800) 745-3000,
- C.M. Anderson

June 9, 2011
Lil' Wayne, Blink-182 to play Sleep Train Amphitheatre

The 2011 concert schedule at Sleep Train Amphitheatre, dominated by country and oldies acts, just became more interesting. Or at least more tattooed.

Everybody's favorite shirtless rapper Lil' Wayne will appear at Sleep Train Sept. 3, and Blink 182 and My Chemical Romance will perform there Oct. 2 as part of the Honda Civic Tour.

Tickets to both shows go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday through Ticketmaster (800-745-3000).

For those who prefer country, there still are tickets for Friday night's Tim McGraw show. A Sleep Train Amphitheatre favorite, McGraw can mesmerize the crowd just by standing there in his black hat.
-- Carla Meyer

May 25, 2011
French Film Festival to kick off with award winner

The Sacramento French Film Festival, now in its 10th year, will open June 17 with "The Names of Love," a romantic comedy in which a young liberal woman (best-actress Cesar winner Sara Forestier) tries to convert right-leaning politicians by sleeping with them.

Did we mention this is a French film festival?

The 2011 French Film Festival, running June 17-19 and June 25-26 at the Crest Theatre, will offer its usual stellar mix of recent French films Sacramentans might otherwise not get to see on a big screen, classics (including "The Young Girls from Rochefort" this year) and midnight movies.

For its 10th year, the festival has added a program called "One That Got Away," spotlighting a film festival organizers wanted to show, but were unable to, when it first was released. This year's selection is the 2003 film "A Real Man," a musical and romantic comedy starring Mathieu Amalric ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly").

The French Film Festival also will show a film directed by Almaric called "On Tour," in which an American burlesque troupe performs in France.

For tickets and information, see the festival website or call (916) 455-9390.

-- Carla Meyer

May 17, 2011
'Lord of the Rings' trilogy to be reshown in theaters

Some films are meant to be seen in a real movie theater. Even the most tricked-out home theater will not do.

On three successive Tuesdays in June, Fathom Events will return three theatrical must-sees -- the "Lord of the Rings" films -- to theaters, including Regal Natomas and five local Century theaters (Stadium, Greenback, Folsom, Roseville and Laguna).

"Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" will play June 14, "The Two Towers" June 21 and "The Return of the King" June 28. Each film will include additional footage totaling nearly an hour, and introductions by director Peter Jackson taped on the set of the forthcoming "The Hobbit."

Each night's show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets at most theaters run $12.50. Tickets to the first film are on sale through Fathom Events or Fandango.

For information on the events, see the Fathom site.

The events are co-presented by Warner Home Video, which on June 28 will release a new, 15-disc, extras-laden "Rings" package on Blu-ray.
--- Carla Meyer

May 13, 2011
Join a film crew through "Place Called Sacramento" event

On May 18, writers, producers, thespians, sound specialists and production assistants will gather in the courtyard of Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St., Sacramento, for the "Place Called Sacramento" film contest's "cast & crew call."

The winning scripts in the PCS contest, which challenges screenwriters to fashion scripts for 10-minute shorts invoking Sacramento in some way, will be announced at the event. alent on hand will be encouraged to pick a project on which to work.

The event starts at 6 p.m. The films will be shot over the summer and shown in Octobor on the big screen of the Crest Theatre. For information, see the Access Sacramento website.
-- Carla Meyer

May 10, 2011
Pixar fine art debuts Sunday in Old Sacramento

Postcard_Front_6x9_front-800x533.jpgNine artists who composed paintings inspired by Pixar films will be on hand to debut the collection of fine art in Old Sacramento Sunday.

The Pixar Collection, a portfolio of 12 pieces of artwork - each inspired by one of the Emeryville studio's first 11 feature-length films - is the first time an interpretive art program has been done for Pixar, said Michael Young, president of Collectors Editions, publisher of Disney Fine Art.

The Vault at Stage Nine, an animation art gallery and platinum gallery for Disney Fine Art, is presenting the collection.

"There is amazing art out there from the film, but this is an amazing art interpretation," he said.

April 28, 2011
Postal Service honors late actor Peck with special stamp

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Mailing your utility payment just got a little classier: Today, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Gregory Peck "First Class Forever" stamp.

The late actor, whose on-screen characters famously stood for justice and tolerance in films such as "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Gentleman's Agreement," becomes the 17th star honored via the the Postal Service's Legends of Hollywood Series. Previous honorees include Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn.

The image at right, from Peck's role as Atticus Finch in "Mockingbird," looks like the actual Peck stamp apart from one thing: the real stamp doesn't have "Forever" lined out. That's a precautionary measure by the Postal Service to prevent people from trying to copy the image to use as postage.

Peck fans who want their hero adorning their envelopes can visit their nearby Post Offices, call (800) 782-6724 or visit the USPS website.

-- Carla Meyer


April 21, 2011
Things to do: Buddy Guy, political satire and a stylish tribute

We didn't have to tell you that Buddy Guy would be a great show. You already knew that. Consider his appearance on this list to be just a gentle reminder that he's in town.

We are, however, concerned that you might have missed a couple of events on this list. Each features a national treasure -- but swirls in a bit of Sactown flava. We're talking about the fashion event at the Crest Theatre and the performance of Capitol Steps at this same venue.

Local boutiques and designers such as Bows and Arrows, Modaspia, Crimson & Clover, Thunderhorse and Babyfloss will have a trunk show ahead of the "Bill Cunningham New York" film, and fashion bloggers Bella Q (Sac Street Style), Lorena Beightler (Sac Cycle Chic) and Kari Shipman (Juniper James) will stay for a panel discussion when it's over. This event is a fitting tribute to the man who's kept his camera focused on New York fashion for decades.

April 21, 2011
Anti-corporate film festival sticks it to the man, with popcorn

The sixth international Anti-Corporate Film Festival will happen May 19-21 at San Francisco's Victoria Theatre (2961 16th St.).

The festival films -- documentaries, shorts and narrative features -- all comment in some way on corporations. The festival is put on by the group CounterCorp, which also produces the "Corporate Watch" blog.

This year's lineup will not be revealed until early May, but previous festivals have included exposés such "The Coca-Cola Case" , about labor-rights issues among Coca-Cola workers in Latin America.

For information, see the CounterCorp website .
-- Carla Meyer

April 21, 2011
Vampires, video vixens and a guy from Tesla

The good folks at Trash Film Orgy don't just put on an annual exploitation-film festival and zombie walk and direct feature films like "Planet of the Vampire Women," showing next week at the Crest. They make music videos as well, like the brand-new one for "Down in Mexico," by SoulMotor, featuring Tesla's Brian Wheat on bass.

SoulMotor's lead singer is Darin Wood, a Trash Film Orgy principal, and the song and video for "Down in Mexico" promote those old-fashioned values of drug-running, double-crossing and gunplay, all with a signature TFO wink.

WARNING: This music video contains profanity, drug references and some violence:

SoulMotor's "Down in Mexico" video

-- Carla Meyer

April 21, 2011
Free stuff, big deals for Kings fans in purple

A whole lot of Kings fans are wearing purple today as a statement of support for the Sacramento pro basketball team - and the fight to keep them in town. And some area businesses are offering good deals today, especially for their purple-clad patrons.

Check these out:

Alley Katz: $1 purple beers

de Vere's Irish Pub: $4 "King Hooters"

Ella: Happy hour all day for people wearing purple

Esquire IMAX: Free popcorn for movie-goers in purple

Ettore's Bakery: Free cup of coffee for customers in purple

Melting Pot: $5 "Kingsberry" blackberry margaritas

Strings Express: Free cheesy garlic bread to patrons in purple

3 Fires Lounge: Free purple ice cream for customers wearing purple

April 18, 2011
French Film Festival offers a pre-festival evening of shorts

Pre-celebration events tied to the 10th Sacramento French Film Festival (happening in June) continue. First was the successful collaboration with the Sacramento Philharmonic on two screenings of the silent film "An Italian Straw Hat." Next was a tribute to Serge Gainsbourg, the late singer, actor and perennial embodiment of cool.

The festivities continue at 7:30 p.m. April 30 at Verge Center for the Arts (625 S St., Sacramento) with a program of French shorts. The program will include the animated short "Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage" -- recently nominated for an Oscar -- and other new works, as well as favorites from previous editions of the Sacramento French Film Festival.

Admission to the event, a fund-raiser for the SFFF and Verge Center for the Arts, is $5 (or free to "Friends of the Festival" supporters). For information, see the festival's website or call (916) 455-9390.

The 10th French Film Festival will unspool June 17-19 and June 25-26 at the Crest Theatre.
-- Carla Meyer

April 14, 2011
Things to Do: 'Carwash' with Rose Royce, flashes of The Dead

May we suggest you go old school for this weekend's entertainment? Polish off those disco moves or invent some for Rose Royce and Evelyn Champagne King at Thunder Valley Casino. Flash back to psychedilic times with Deadheads aplenty as "The Grateful Dead Movie" hits theaters for one night only. See how tough life could be -- even for a demanding diva who lived large -- in Sacramento Theatre Company's "Master Class."

If you are not interested in these options, then read on because we've included other events for you.


R&B and Funk

Rose Royce and Evelyn Champagne King

WHAT: Clear some space, everyone, for those disco dance moves invented just for "Car Wash," the Rose Royce melody that crossed over and ruled the airwaves in 1976 and 1977, and for "Shame" by Evelyn Champagne King.

WHEN: 8 p.m.

WHERE: Pano Hall at Thunder Valley Casino, 1200 Athens Ave., Lincoln

COST: $29, $39 (plus taxes and fees)

INFORMATION: (916) 408-7777, (877) 468-8777,

- C.M. Anderson

April 7, 2011
Things to Do this week: Bryan Adams, Sarah Silverman and more

This week in Sacramento, you can consort with some "Reel Classy Broads," take a seat on "The Bare Bones Tour" with rocker Bryan Adams, or get lectured by Sarah Silverman. If none of that suits your style, The Bee's staff has some other options for you. Just read on ...


Film festival

"Reel Classy Broads"

WHAT: This three-day film festival at Auburn's recently restored State Theatre will celebrate the great female stars of the Hollywood in classic roles. The festival starts with an ensemble of talented women, including Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford, in "The Women" (7:30 p.m. Friday) before moving on to the individual achievements of Myrna Loy ("The Thin Man," 11 a.m. Saturday), Barbara Stanwyck ("Double Indemnity," 3 p.m. Saturday) Bette Davis ("All About Eve," 7 p.m. Saturday) Judy Garland ("A Star Is Born," 3 p.m. Sunday) and Katharine Hepburn ("The Philadelphia Story," 7 p.m. Sunday).

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday-10 p.m. Sunday.

Where: State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn

Cost: $9 for individual films, $45 for festival passes.

Information: (530) 885-0156,

- Carla Meyer

April 7, 2011
Whither feminism? Davis film festival has the answer

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Running April 14-15 at Veterans Memorial Center, the Davis Feminist Film Festival will present a documentary about female truckers on the open American road (in "Long Haul," pictured at left and showing on the 15th) as well as a look at Ghanaian women accused of witchcraft once they become independent or successful ("The Witches of Gambaga," April 14).

The only feature-length work in the 14-film festival, "Witches of Gambaga" will be followed by a Q&A session with UC Davis Professor Amina Mama, a co-producer of the film.

Organized by the Consortium for Women and Research at UC Davis, the festival also offers entries focused on youth, from "Goals for Girls," (April 14), in which young Argentinian women battle entrenched sexism in trying to play soccer, to
"Attached to You," (April 15) a Claymation depiction of parenthood from pregnancy onward.

The programs start at 6 p.m., preceded each evening by a 5 p.m. reception with food and beverage.

Tickets for each night's program are $15 or $10 for students if purchased at the door (Veterans Memorial Center, 203 E. 14th St.). Tickets also are available in advance and on a sliding scale ($10-$15) at the UCD Women's Resources and Research Center or at the Davis Farmers' Market. Tickets also are being sold in advance, for $10 or $7 for students, at Armadillo Music, 205 F St.

For information and complete schedule, see the festival website.

- Carla Meyer

Photograph courtesy of Erin Hudson

April 6, 2011
Bike Film Fest Returns to Sacramento in May

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The Bicycle Film Festival is returning to the city this May.

Originating in New York City, the festival added Sacramento last year to its roster of 40 cities that include Amsterdam, London, Milano, and Tokyo.

Between May 12-14, the festival will offer an additional night of films and other activities. The expanded three-night schedule opens Thurs., May 12, at the New Crocker Art Museum. The epicenter for the festival will be Sacramento's Fremont Park between May 13 and 14 (see schedule below). Admission for the BFF is free.

March 31, 2011
'Reel Classy Broads' to hit the big screen in Auburn

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The State Theatre in Auburn, built in the 1930s and recently restored by the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center nonprofit, will celebrate the female stars of the theater's heyday with its "Reel Classy Broads" film festival running April 8-10 at the State (985 Lincoln Way, Auburn).

The festival starts with an ensemble of talented women, including Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford, in "The Women" (7:30 p.m. April 8), before moving on to the individual achievements of Myrna Loy ("The Thin Man," 11 a.m. April 9), Barbara Stanwyck ("Double Indemnity," 3 p.m. April 9) Bette Davis ("All About Eve," 7 p.m. April 9), Judy Garland ("A Star Is Born," 3 p.m. April 10) and Katharine Hepburn ("The Philadelphia Story," 7 p.m. April 10).

Cinema buffs, take note: Warner Bros. has allowed APPAC to show rare archival prints of "The Women" and "Star Is Born."

"They only let theaters show them that have the (vintage) changeover projectors," APPAC administrative coordinator Janis Wikoff said. APPAC bought two such projectors as part of the State's renovation.

Tickets to individual films are $9, and an all-festival pass is $45. For information, call (530) 885-0156 or visit the APPAC website.
-- Carla Meyer

Photo: 20th Century Fox

March 29, 2011
Free movie night on April 14 at Sacramento 6 Drive-in

Celebrating customer loyalty, the Sacramento 6 Drive-In will offer another free movie night April 14 at 9616 Oates Drive, just off Highway 50 and Bradshaw Road. The evening will feature recent releases "Just Go With It," starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, as well as the animated "Tangled," and "Megamind" for the kids.

An inexpensive entertainment option during tough economic times -- adult tickets are $6.95, kids 5-11 are $1 and kids younger than 5 are free -- the drive-in has seen a recent increase in business of 40 percent, representatives of West Wind, the company behind the Sacramento 6, said in a press release.

I wrote about the drive-in's success last August, before its last free movie night.

The April 14 free movie night, like the one before it and all drive-in movie showings, starts right at dark. For information, call (916) 363-6572 or visit the the West Wind web site.
-- Carla Meyer

March 25, 2011
Tonight at Old Ironsides: See a band, help Japan

Tonight's show featuring Walking Spanishand Prieta at Old Ironsides (1901 10th St., Sacramento) will partially benefit earthquake/tsunami relief efforts in Japan, show producer Jerry Perry said.

A portion of patrons' $7 admission to the 9 p.m. show will go toward relief efforts. The event also will mark the release of Old I favorite Walking Spanish's new CD.
-- Carla Meyer

March 17, 2011
Rub elbows with filmmakers at free El Dorado mixer

Veteran character actor Jeffrey Weissman, who played George McFly in parts 2 and 3 of the "Back to the Future" film series, will speak Friday at the El Dorado Film & Media Office's "I Love Film" mixer.

The annual mixer also draws filmmaking talent from throughout the Sacramento region.

Admission to the event, running 4-8 p.m at the county fairgrounds (100 Placerville Drive, Placerville) is free. For information, see the El Dorado film office's website.

-- Carla Meyer

March 3, 2011
It's a big weekend for movie openings

Oscars are so last week.
A whole new batch of movies opens Friday. Here are some you might want to check out:

The Adjustment Bureau
Stars Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. Rated PG-13

A non-musical version of "Beauty and the Beast." Rated PG-13

Cedar Rapids
Ed Helms as a Wisconsin insurance agent. Rated R

Johnny Depp as the voice for an animated lizard. Rated PG

Take Me Home Tonight
1980s nostalgia. Rated R.

The Tempest
Shakespeare starring Helen Mirren. Rated PG-13.

Tiny Furniture
A micro-budget comedy. Not rated.

January 31, 2011
Tickets to Bieber 3-D film go on sale Tuesday

By Carla Meyer

The Justin Bieber 3-D concert documentary "Never Say Never" comes out Feb. 11. To 5-year-olds crazy about the Canadian teen idol, the span between now and then is a lifetime -- or at least a significant part of one.

Lucky for those excited kids -- and parents eager for new ways to support Bieber financially -- tickets to "Never Say Never" go on sale Tuesday at and

The movie showcases a sold-out Bieber concert at Madison Square Garden. It also follows Bieber's life story, from street-singing tot to platinum-selling 16-year-old. Or what we like to call The Shortest Story Ever Told.

January 26, 2011
'King's Speech' producers look to tame language, widen U.S. audience

By Niesha Lofing

Hollywood executives may release a tamer version of "The King's Speech" in order to capture a wider audience - not to mention more money.

The Los Angeles Times
is reporting that Harvey Weinstein, the movie's executive producer and distributor, is contemplating a re-release of the movie in late February.

The Oscar-nominated movie has a different rating in Great Britain - 12 and over - and has topped the box office in recent weeks.

"The plans involve a potentially risky decision: re-editing the movie to excise coarse language and secure a lower rating that will open 'The King's Speech' to a broader audience. Weinstein, whose New York-based studio The Weinstein Co. released the film, said he is talking with director Tom Hooper about trimming the profanity that earned the film an R rating in order to attain a PG-13 or even PG," The Times' Ben Fritz reports on the "Company Town" blog.

Film experts and moviegoers who have seen "The King's Speech" criticized the film's R rating in a Sacramento Bee story last week. Click here to read my column.

What do you think? Should the movie be re-edited to remove the profane language and re-released, or should the film be left alone? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

See all the Oscar nominees and cast your vote for the winners.

December 20, 2010
Sac Film & Music Festival now covers two seasons

By Carla Meyer

A summer staple for the past 11 years, the Sacramento Film & Music Festival will spread its warmth to winter as well.

Festival organizers have split the once-10-day festival into two, three-day events, the first unspooling Jan. 15-17, 2011 (over the long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend), at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K St., Sacramento. The second leg will be in August.

"We realized it is a daunting proposition for the audience to try to make the most of a 10-day festival," Sac Film & Music Festival co-director Tony Sheppard said. "By splitting it into two pieces, we made the same amount of programming available in a much more accessible format."

The January program will be strong in documentaries, Sheppard said, and will total 10 feature-length films and 31 short films and music videos.

To view the lineup, see the "calendar" section of the Crest site. For more detailed information, keep watching the Crest site and the Sac Film & Music Festival site

Call The Bee's Carla Meyer, (916) 321-1118.

December 11, 2010
French Film Fest and Sacramento Philharmonic to pair up

By Carla Meyer

The Sacramento French Film Festival and Sacramento Philharmonic will team up next month at the Crest Theatre for two programs of classic silent film and classical music.

On Jan. 29 and Jan. 30, the Philharmonic, conducted by French composer Raymond Allesandrini, will accompany showings of the 1928 silent slapstick comedy "Un Chapeau de Paille d'Italie ("The Italian Straw Hat").

The Crest appearances will mark the American debut of Allesandrini's original score for the film, said Cecile Mouette Downs, executive director of the French Film Festival.

The joint venture was funded partly through a grant from the Sacramento Region Community Foundation.

"With the (troubled) economy, arts organizations need to find inventive ways" to introduce fresh ideas, Downs said. "Collaborating is a great way to do that."

The screenings, at 8 p.m. Jan. 29 and 2 p.m. Jan. 30, will feature reserved seating. Tickets are $30 or $25 for friends of the French Film Festival and Philharmonic subscribers and Tempo group members. Tickets are available at the Crest box office, 1013 K St., or through (800-225-2277).

December 10, 2010
Kerouac film to be shot in Locke

By Carla Meyer

"On the Road," the film version of Beat writer Jack Kerouac's autobiographical 1957 novel, will make a stop in the Delta town of Locke Saturday night.

Production crews are expected to shoot from 4 p.m. to midnight, said Lisa Kirk, owner of the art and collectibles shop Strange Cargo in Locke.

The World War I-era, Chinese American-built town reportedly will double for mid-century San Francisco, with crews expected to shoot exterior and interior scenes.

Actor Sam Riley, who plays Kerouac's alter ego Sal Paradise, and Garrett Hedlund ("TRON: Legacy"), who plays the character based on author Neal Cassady, are expected in Locke Saturday night, the film's final night of shooting.

"On the Road" also stars Kristen Stewart ("Twilight"), Kirsten Dunst and Amy Adams.

December 9, 2010
'TRON' fans will go for record 'glow stick' downtown

By Dixie Reid

On the night of Dec. 16, K Street in downtown Sacramento will be closed at Eighth, Ninth and 10th streets to allow fans of the movie "TRON: Legacy in IMAX 3D" to attempt to string together the longest "glow stick" in Guinness World Records history.

Street closures will occur between 8 and 11 p.m.

The glow stick buildup starts at Westfield Downtown Ice Rink, Seventh and K streets, where event sponsors - the Esquire Imax Theatre and Downtown Sacramento Partnership - hope to attract enough participants to make a continuous rope of 1,500 glow necklaces from there to the theater at 1211 K St.

Check-in is at 8:30 p.m. at the ice rink. Adults must accompany minors.

Each participant will receive a $3 discount to "TRON: Legacy in IMAX 3D" at the Esquire. For tickets to the Dec. 16 midnight show, go to

Call The Bee's Dixie Reid, (916) 321-1134.

September 24, 2010
Local screenings of documentary scheduled for October

By Niesha Lofing

Tickets are on sale for local screenings of a documentary chronicling the increased pressures teenagers are facing in the nation's education system.

"Race to Nowhere,"
directed by mother-turned-filmmaker Vicki Abeles, "tells the stories of young people pushed to the brink, burned-out educators, and deeply frustrated parents," and is at the center of a grassroots effort to reform education, according to a news release.

The film opened for one week earlier this month in New York and Los Angeles, and is being shown at community screenings nationwide next week and in early October.

In the Sacramento region, the film will be shown at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Shalom School at 2320 Sierra Blvd., Sacramento and at Rio Americana High School, 4540 American River Dr., Sacramento.

Tickets are available online through the film's website.

Click here for ticket information and to learn more about the documentary.

August 23, 2010
'Avatar' re-release coming to Esquire IMAX

For those of us who missed "Avatar" in theaters last Christmas season or want to see it again, here's some good news: the Esquire IMAX Theatre will be hosting James Cameron's 3D stunner starting Friday.

The theater broke records during the film's original release, selling more than 90,000 tickets in eight weeks, making it the sixth top-grossing theater in North America, according to an Esquire IMAX news release.

The release of "Avatar: Special Edition" includes eight minutes of never-before-seen footage, the film's official website states.

The film will be showing daily at Esquire IMAX through Sept. 23, said Heather Atherton, the theater's spokeswoman.

Esquire IMAX is located at 1211 K St., Sacramento.

Click here for showtimes and tickets.

July 26, 2010
Free movies, popcorn at Auburn event

By Niesha Lofing

Can it get much better than a free movie and popcorn under the stars? We don't think so.

Neither to hundreds of people who've been gathering in Auburn for the free movie nights this summer.

The Wednesday night events, organized by the City of Auburn, Chamber of Commerce, Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center and the Downtown and Old Town business associations, have grown more popular each week.

About 350 people gathered at Recreation Park last week for a showing of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," Linda Robinson, president of the Old Town Business Association, wrote in an e-mail.

There are three more chances to participate. On Wednesday, "Ghostbusters" will be shown at 9 p.m. on a big screen in the center of Old Town Auburn.

"Back to the Future" is on schedule for Aug. 4 at Recreation Park, located at 123 Recreation Drive, and "Black Stallion" will be shown on Aug. 11 at the State Theater at 985 Lincoln Way.

Moviegoers are encouraged to bring low-back chairs, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.

Free popcorn is available at the move showings.

June 2, 2010
Free 'Toy Story 3' events in Sacramento, Roseville

As if there wasn't enough anticipation surrounding the release of "Toy Story 3," Disney Stores are hosting free Woody and Buzz-themed events every Saturday this month.

The first event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday when children can build their own 2-D playset for the Toy Story gang, according to a Disney news release.

Other planned events include bingo on June 12, an in-store scavenger hunt on June 19 and adventure activity on June 26.

The events will be held at all Disney Stores nationwide, including locations at Arden Fair and Westfield Galleria at Roseville.

Children must be 3 years old or older to participate. Call the local store to confirm event times and participation. The Disney Store at Arden Fair can be reached at (916) 923-9165. The Disney Store at the Galleria can be reached at (916) 788-4433.

Other stores can be found using the Disney Store's online store locator.

"Toy Story 3" is scheduled for release on June 18.

May 5, 2010
Film on multi-racial comedians to be screened Saturday

By Stephen Magagnini

"Cross The Line," a documentary about multi-racial comedians, will be screened by the Florin Japanese American Citizens League at 1:30 pm Saturday at the Rizal Community Center, 7320 Florin Mall Drive.

The film explores the limits of multi-ethnic humor and how it can shape perceptions of race. Produced by Li Po Price - author of Mixed Laughter: Mediating Multiracial Identities in American Ethnic Comedy - the film is part of the Florin Japanese American Citizen League's Multi-Racial Forums organized by Walter Garcia Kawamoto.

According to the JACL's Andy Noguchi, the film features several comedians, including the daughter of Richard Pryor, Rain Pryor. The cost is $8 general and $5 for Florin JACL members.

Call The Bee's Stephen Magagnini, (916) 321-1072.

February 8, 2010
Spock actor to play... Gershwin?


Fans of George Gershwin will be elated, or will scratch their heads, with Steven Spielberg's latest casting choice.

Online sites like and others are reporting that the director is prepping a biopic on the famous composer and has tapped Zachary Quinto to play Gershwin.

Quinto will be well known to most for his portrayal as Spock in J.J. Abrams' 2009 film "Star Trek," and for his work on the T.V. show "Heroes."

Biopics are notoriously hard to pull off. Luckily, few people know much about Gershwin's persona, so Quinto will not have to live up to a known standard.

Brilliant casting choice or not, it's always a good thing when the life of a composer hits the big screen, especially an American treasure like Gershwin.

Maybe it will give a big bump to Gershwin's music... like what the 1984 film "Amadeus" did for Mozart's music.

July 27, 2009
Fun Monday night at Sac Film & Music festival

Organizers of the Sacramento Film and Music Festival are committed, in equal measure, to film, music and making weeknight programming for the 10-day festival as compelling as the weekend programming.

This evening's lineup at the Crest Theatre (1013 K St., Sacramento), for instance, has to be the hottest ticket in town on a Monday night.

The program starts at 5 p.m. with free food from Rubio's, and moves on to "In-Laws and Outlaws," a documentary in which gay and straight couples discuss their relationships.

But the kicker (hoofer?) is the stage show following "In-Laws." Presented by the festival and New Helvetia Theatre, "The World Is Comin' to a Start: Songs from Stage and Screen" will feature local synth-rock darlings The New Humans, New Helvetia artistic director Connor Mickiewicz, piano man Graham Sobelman and his Graham Sobelman Trioand Nanci Zoppi, who played the surly -- and male -- guitarist Yitzhak in New Helvetia's production of "Hedwig."

Admission is $10 for the movie and $15 for the stage show, which starts at 8:30. Information: (916) 442-7378 or the festival's site.

July 21, 2009
Strike a (Potter) pose for free Esquire Imax tickets

Dig out those Gryffindor scarves and wizardly wands - they may just help you win a pack of tickets to see "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" at Esquire Imax Theatre.

The theatre is holding a photo contest for the best Harry Potter costumed pose at the Esquire Imax on K Street in downtown Sacramento.

Entries, which should be posted with the tag "HPEsquireIMAX," are being accepted through Flickr until 11:59 p.m. Aug. 10.

Judges are looking for the most creative and entertaining Harry Potter character costume, but the photo must be taken at the theatre.

The winner will get 10 tickets to see the film at the Esquire Imax on Aug. 11.

The latest of the Harry Potter films opens at Imax on July 29.

For more details, go to this You Tube posting.

February 22, 2009
Who are these actors?

By Leigh Grogan

Leslie Mann shows up, and we have absolutely no idea who she is. OK, so we don't get out much.

Richard and I both wish the camera would back out of the camera shots so we can see the stars - not so much their companions.

Richard beats Jay Manuel of E! with the origami reference to Heidi's gown. She's letting you have it in this dress," he says. She says she's been sitting on one butt cheek during the whole ride over to the awards venue.

Another lady in red? Amanda Seyfried of "Mamma Mia!"

Taraji P. Henson of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" looks amazing - love the gown and a quick pick at her Spanx when she hiked her gown to show off what I believe was a tattoo in honor of her late father.

"Am I out of the loop, or do I just don't know any of these actors," Richard says. He's not alone. I definitely feel like I'm watching an independent film red carpet. Guess we're both waiting for the DVDs.

February 22, 2009
Just spotted: John Legend, Heidi Klum and Seal

By Leigh Grogan

On Ryan interviewing the kid cast of "Slumdog Millionaire": "They're cute, but Ryan Seacrest shouldn't be doing this job!"

There was a slight language problem.

Richard thinks singer John Legend's face is "painted for the gods. It was so matte."

Informal tux vs. traditional tux? I'm liking the traditional bow tie.

Nominee Melissa Leo of "Frozen River" shows up. "Her stylist needs to be contacted because she looks like honey mustard," says Richard.

"She looks like a complete catastrophe," Richard says. Her hair woman kept, and left.

On a good note, we both love Viola Davis ("Doubt") in her golden goddess gown. The E! Glamastrator spotlights the stars as they walk the red carpet.

Richard just informs me that all the makeup he just bought in San Francisco will have him looking like Jay Manuel of E! come Monday morning.

Designer John Galliano did actress Freida Pinto's elegant blue gown. But forget the gown, Ryan keeps asking who she's dating. "Ryan has no interest in her whatsover!," says my co-host.

A quick shot of Heidi Klum and husband Seal. Even though her red dress has a slight "origami" look to it, she still is amazing.

February 22, 2009
Madonna's arrived - with a new man

By Leigh Grogan

My friend and local fashion designer Richard Hallmarq just joined me and, so far, he thinks Kevin Kline's "old" hairdo makes him look sooo much older than his wife, Phoebe Cates.

Ryan had to toss out an "American Idol" plug. Phoebe didn't vote, but she likes Danny Gokeym, who made the Top 12.

Richard says he hasn't seen one dress that he likes so far.

Ken Baker of E! reports that there will be stars at the show who haven't been announced and won't walk the red carpet. Some big curtain with past winners presenting. It's supposed to be a break with tradition. Snoooze!!!!

Madonna arrives, and Richard and I think she looks great. Who's she with? "Another new man. She goes through them (men) like a pack of cigarettes," he says.

February 22, 2009
'Star-stalking' at the 81st annual Academy Awards

By Leigh Grogan

OK, so it's the 81st annual Academy Awards. I still don't know why E! starts its coverage of the red carpet (with host Ryan Seacrest) at 3 p.m. - two plus hours before the broadcast - because pretty much all we got was Miley Cyrus in a gown that weighs more than her, asking to be adopted by Angelina Jolie!

"I'm just here star-stalking," the teen quipped, as her mom "date" stood by - wearing her first pair of "borrowed" earrings.

Entertainment news: E! gets the scoop that Nicole Richie is pregnant with her second child.

The guess was it was either Angelina or her nemesis, Jennifer Aniston, who is scheduled to present tonight.

July 3, 2008
Gits documentary at Shiny Object


As part of its ongoing "Movies on a Big Screen" series, Shiny Object will host two screenings of the brand-new documentary "The Gits."

"The Gits," which shows at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Monday, tells the story of the famed Seattle punk band fronted by Mia Zapata until her murder on July 7, 1993.

Zapata's murder was still unsolved when director Kerri O'Kane started shooting "The Gits" in 2002. In 2003, DNA evidence linked Jesus Mezquia to the crime and in 2004 he was convicted of the crime and is now serving a 36-year-sentence.

"The Gits," which also details the closely knit, grunge-era Seattle scene, includes an interview with Joan Jett, After Zapata's death, Jett recorded an album with the surviving members of The Gits called "Evil Stig" - "Gits Live" backwards.

Shiny Object is located at 600 4th Street in West Sacramento. TIckets are $5. For more information visit the Shiny Object site. And, for more information on the film, go here.

May 23, 2008
Carla Meyer's Movie Picks

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" isn't the only movie game in town this weekend. Here are some of my other recommendations:

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
3 stars
In a series of touching montage-flashbacks in this decidedly naughty but big-hearted film, we see how Peter (Jason Segel), a composer for a TV crime drama starring Sarah (Kristen Bell), gladly took a back seat to his actress girlfriend. He happily wore the hideous shirts she bought him and generally thought everything was great until the moment she left.
Rated R

Iron Man
3 stars
Scenes set in Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) workshop highlight his playful relationship with his assistant, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). Downey locks his eyes with Paltrow's in a way that tells us that Pepper might be the one to change Stark's playboy ways. Paltrow looks terrific here, playing her character with a constant hint of a smile that says Pepper is wise to Stark's ways but adores him anyway. Though it's odd to see Paltrow in a supporting role in a comic-book film, she does a lot with it.
Rated PG-13

The Visitor
4 stars
Director and screenwriter Tom McCarthy 's exceptional way with actors doesn't surprise: He recently played the fabulist newspaper reporter on HBO's "The Wire." But he's a marvelous storyteller altogether, injecting humor into his film while exploring the serious topic of the treatment of illegal immigrants.
Rated PG-13

June 21, 2006
Summertime and the living is ...

Just in time for the first day of summer - first day of the 21Q blog! So much to do and for once it'll feel like there's plenty of time on the longest day of the year.

One suggestion for your day/night - and we think this one is very appropriate since Sacramento is hotter-than-you-know-what during the summer months. If you haven't yet, check out "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" documentary at the Crest (1013 K St.) This is a look at underground singer-songwriter Johnston, his amazing music and his lifelong battles with mental illness. And, in case you didn't already know this, Johnston was born in Sacramento (Jan. 22, 1961). Of course, he lives in Texas now - but once a Sactowner, always a Sactowner....

Word is the film is ending its stay at the Crest this week, so catch it while you can.


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