Events & Films

October 2017
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October 2017
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Golden Door Film Festival
October 5 - October 8 (All day event) at Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre

See http://goldendoorfilmfestival.org for more information.

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
October 20 8:15 PM - 10:00 PM at Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre

Silent with LIVE Organ  Starring Lon Chaney, Sr., Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry. Directed by Rupert Julian.  1925, 80 mins., B&W.

If Universal Pictures’ 1925 “Phantom of the Opera” did not invent the horror movie, the studio certainly set the mold that would become the genre’s hallmarks in the 1930s with such subsequent films as “Dracula,” “Frankenstein” and “The Wolfman.” Phantom’s moody sets and murky patterns of shadows and light were heavily influenced by German Expressionism, and that look became the lexicon of horror on screen in the next decade.  And the striking yet repulsive appearance of the Phantom himself -- created by Chaney who, besides acting, was also arguably Hollywood’s first make-up genius -- set a remarkably high standard of expectation in audiences, which spurred the creation of Universal’s iconic monsters in the Talkie Era.

Of course, the silent The Phantom of the Opera is more than just an avatar of Universal’s later horror dynasty; it is a remarkable work in its own right.  The melodramatic tale of a deformed man, an abused outsider all his life, searching for love in a world of socialites repulsed by his presence moves audience even as it scares them.  As the Phantom, Chaney – one of the greatest actors of the Silent Era – created such a riveting but empathetic villain that it is nearly impossible not to root for him.  And then there is the alchemic mix of horror, melodrama and Expressionism with the sound of a live theatre organ:  it pierces the soul in a way that nothing else can.

It is tribute to the power of Chaney’s performance and of the whole production that this silent movie is still one of the most famous films of all time, later decades’ worth of technological development from sound to CGI notwithstanding.

Don’t miss this chance to see this film as it was originally enjoyed – with LIVE organ accompaniment, played on the Loew’s Wonder Morton by Bernie Anderson, Jr.

Admission: $10 Adults / $8 Seniors & Kids

House On Haunted Hill (1959)
October 21 6:00 PM - 7:40 PM at Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre

House On Haunted Hill" With EMERGO!

Starring Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, Richard Long, Elisha Cook, Jr.
Directed by William Castle. 1958, 75 mins.,  B&W. (Screened In 35 mm)

“House On Haunted Hill” is a great Halloween movie because it is equal parts spooky, creepy, campy – and fun, replete with floating skeletons and flickering candles, and punctuated with just enough ghastly images to ensure shivers and shrieks.  Vincent Price, a screen epitome of fiendish malevolence, plays the sinister owner of a frightening mansion on a desolate hill, who offers $10,000 to anyone who can last one entire night in his haunted house.  To set the tone, he festively gives each of his guests a tiny coffin containing a loaded handgun, explaining they’ll need it for protection.  Price is in top form, alternating between pure ham and quiet subtlety, able to express a macabre notion simply by arching an eyebrow. The venerable Elisha Cook Jr. has only one task here, to look shell-shocked and mutter predictions of doom, and he performs it with twitchy, sweaty aplomb.  The picture twists and turns to a surprise ending. Castle’s trademark style, together with Price’s perfect performance, imbue the film with an infectious and irresistible sense of mischief.

But besides being a movie maker, William Castle was also a movie showman, who always managed to come up with a campy gimmick to help market his films.  For “House On Haunted Hill”, Castel’s ads promised the unique experience of “Emergo” - a prop skeleton that "emerged" from the side of the screen at a crucial moment to frighten the audience. Like most of Castle's best films, “House” didn't really need the gimmick, but its presence added to the fun. Campy and creepy in equal measures, “House On Haunted Hill” deserves its status as a horror classic.

Enjoy “House On Haunted Hill” on the Loew’s BIG Screen – with genuine “Emergo”!

Admission: $8 Adults / $6 Seniors & Kids

Island of Lost Souls (1932)
October 21 7:45 PM - 9:15 PM at Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre

Starring Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams.  1932, 71 mins., B&W.  Screened in 35mm.

“The Island of Lost Souls” may not be among the first titles that come to mind when you think “horror film”, but it should be.  Now observing its 85th anniversary, the film has retained its raw power to unnerve.  That’s largely due to the vivid, sweaty amorality that Charles Laughton brings to his incarnation of H.G. Welles’ Dr.Moreau, who performs unspeakable experiments transforming animals into human form on his island-laboratory; when a survivor of a ship-wreck lands on the island, Moreau decides to expand his experiments.  A lot of mad scientist characters in movies have played God, but few made it seem more morally repugnant, genuinely disturbing – and frightening believable than Laughton.

Bela Lugosi, just a year after playing the lead in "Dracula", gives a remarkable, and not a little poignant performance as one of Moreau's "manimals".

If not as celebrated as the same era’s make-up work at Universal, Paramount’s Wally Westmore's creations here genuinely resemble a grotesque middle ground between humans and animals; he gave Moreau's creations a rough, unpolished quality that suits the story perfectly. And while the film is extremely modest in its on-screen violence, the terrors and mutilations implied off-screen by the hideously pained overheard screams of the "manimals" are as frightening as the most gore-soaked scenes in modern horror movies. In its day, “The Island of Lost Souls” was considered a film that went too far (it was banned in England until the late 1960s), and its rough audacity gives it a power that hasn't dulled all these years later.  It will be seen at the Loew’s in a rare 35mm screening.

Admission: $8 Adults / $6 Seniors & Kids

Halloween (1978)
October 21 9:20 PM - 11:00 PM at Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre

Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Nancy Loomis, P.J. Soles.
Directed by Jon Carpenter.  1978, 93mins, Color. Rated R. (Screened Digitally)

“Halloween” was the foundation of John Carpenter’s career, made Jamie Lee Curtis a star, and the helped reinvigorate the horror genre for the 1970s and ‘80s.  But though it is widely acclaimed as an avatar of the “slasher” style of the horror film, “Halloween” is in fact remarkably blood-free on screen.  Instead, Carpenter followed in the footsteps of Val Lewton in “Cat People,” Howard Hawks in “The Thing” and Alfred Hitchcock in “Psycho” by building tension and dread through the constant suggestion that something terrible is lurking just out of the audience's view. Oceans of blood, no matter how shocking at first, would get monotonous. Yet by definition, what’s not seen but only imagined never ceases to command attention. Carpenter also took the somewhat unorthodox tack of shifting to the killer's point-of-view, leaving the audience with only the sound of his breathing and the sight of the unaware victim.

The storyline — which Carpenter co-wrote — mixed elements of the venerable haunted-house horror trope with psychosexual undertows and copious amounts of teenage angst to put a distinctive spin on Hitchcock’s old dictum of how to sell tickets: torment the heroine. It was this formula that made Halloween truly an avatar of horror for its generation, and was imitated in countless movies that followed, though seldom done as well. In 2006, “Halloween” was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Admission: $8 Adults / $6 Seniors & Kids

Rocky Horror Nite & Masquerade
October 28 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM at Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre

(Details to come...)

Jersey City Mayoral Candidate Forum
October 14 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Participants: Mayor Steven M. Fulop & Bill Matsikoudis
The forum is sponsored by the New Journal Square Community Association and Friends of the Loew's.
Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Concert Fundraiser
October 15 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Please attend this benefit concert for Puerto Rico Hurricane relief efforts!

You won't want to miss Salsa superstars Frankie Negron, Frankie Morales and Los Hermanos Moreno, along with a lineup of local bands playing island music.

A minimum $25 donation is suggested and all proceeds will benefit NJ4PR!