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Suburban theaters showing art films; Owings Mills: Two movie houses have the time and the screens to move beyond the mainstream.


Reader and film fan Charles Shubow of Owings Mills phoned the other day to note that both the Owings Mills 17 and the Valley Centre have recently taken to showing smaller movies than usual. Owings Mills is playing "Life Is Beautiful" and "Waking Ned Devine," while the Valley Centre is showing "Hilary and Jackie" and "Little Voice."

Look for more art movies in Owings Mills. Brian Callaghan, head of communications for General Cinema, which owns that 17-screen multiplex, said that the new theater will bring in art fare when it can.

"There will be times in the summer months when there's a lot of mainstream big Hollywood pictures that come out, and at those times it's a little bit tougher to have screens available," he said. "The same thing is true during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's. But during those non-holiday, non-summer periods, we have 17 screens to offer and can play those [art] titles. We try when we can to show these films because, one, we have screens to fill, and two, there is an audience out there to see them. This brings in people who might not be going to see 'Armageddon' or 'Godzilla.' "

Ben Ryland, regional marketing director of Loews Theatres, which owns the Valley Centre, said that "Hilary and Jackie" and "Little Voice" are playing there because their distributors decided to take them beyond art houses. In each case, he said, "the studio wanted to get beyond the art houses, because of potential Academy Award nominations [both movies feature Oscar-nominated actresses, Emily Watson and Brenda Blethyn], so they were offering more than the usual one print."

Cinema Sundays

"Rushmore," the new romantic comedy from filmmakers Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson ("Bottle Rocket"), will be the featured movie for this weekend's Cinema Sundays program. This quirky tale, which stars Jason Schwartzman as a prep school student who vies with a powerful businessman (Bill Murray) for a teacher's affections, has won critical acclaim throughout the country, as well as awards for Murray's performance.

Max Weiss, who reviews movies for Baltimore Magazine and WBAL radio, will present the movie and lead the post-screening discussion. Doors open at 9: 45 a.m. Walk-up tickets are available at the door for $15. Four film mini-memberships are still available for $56 ($48 if you're a renewing member). Call 410-727-3464.

'Silent Running'

Towson University's Film & Video Society continues its spring film series, "Robots, Androids, Cyborgs and Replicants: Artificial Life in Science Fiction Cinema," with a showing of "Silent Running," the classic 1971 movie starring Bruce Dern and Cliff Potts about the mutiny of a space crew caring for a nuclear-devastated Earth. The film was directed by Douglas Trumbull, who created the special effects for "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

"Silent Running" will be shown Monday at 7: 30 p.m. in Van Bokkelen Hall Auditorium on the Towson campus. Admission is free. For more information, call the Center for the Arts box office at 410-830-2787.

Also on Monday, the University of Maryland Baltimore County will continue its spring series of Canadian cinema with a showing of "The Decline of the American Empire," Denys Arcand's 1986 film about a group of academics whose intellectualization of sex and politics devolves as they embark on a series of affairs. The series is presented by the UMBC department of modern languages and linguistics. All screenings are free and begin at 4: 30 p.m. in Lecture Hall IV in the Academic IV Building, UMBC. For more information and directions, call 410-455-2109.

'Return to Auschwitz'

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will present a screening of the film "Kitty: Return to Auschwitz," on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. A discussion with producer-director Peter Morley will follow. The film chronicles the return of Kitty Hart to Auschwitz 34 years after her internment there. Accompanied by her son, she recounts her experiences in the death camp and how they changed her forever. Admission is free, but reservations are required. For ticket information, call ProTix at 800-400-9373.

Pub Date: 2/12/99

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