Cinema Sundays founder George Udel wants to assure his loyal subscribers that fliers for the coming season of the film series will be arriving in mailboxes today or early next week. This autumn's 10-film program will kick off Sept. 26 with "Happy, Texas," which will be introduced by Sherry Parks.
New subscriptions are available for $120, five-program mini-memberships are available for $70, and membership renewals may be purchased for $100. Send checks to the Charles Theatre, 1711 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md. 21201. Members can also sign up on Sept. 26.
Cinema Sundays screenings begin around 10: 30 a.m. and include a brunch buffet of bagels and coffee. Each screening will be introduced by a guest speaker, who will lead a discussion after the film. For more information, call 410-727-3464.
Benefit nets $5,000
George Figgs made around $5,000 for the Orpheum Cinema at last Sunday's benefit film program at the Charles. The money will go toward paying the Fells Point theater's debts and to building a new elevator so that any new nonprofit theater will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to Figgs.
Although the benefit made only half as much as he expected, Figgs pronounced himself pleased with the turnout -- around 275 people -- and the program, which included silent classics accompanied by live performers, a collection of vintage previews, samples of new works by local filmmakers Martha Colburn, Joy Lusco and Scott Kecken, and a series of outtakes from Steve Yeager's John Waters documentary "Divine Trash."
"It gave a core sampling of what you can expect from a nonprofit film co-op and archive," Figgs said, referring to his plans for the Orpheum, which was shuttered earlier this summer. In addition to raising funds for a new elevator, Figgs said he's helping with plans for a sound stage in the Baltimore area and has been approached to help program an outdoor film series for First Thursdays in Mount Vernon next spring: "It's an exciting time here." Stay tuned.
Screenings around town
The Columbia Lakefront Summer Festival's summer family film series wraps up tonight and Saturday with screenings of "Yellow Submarine" (1968) and the animated version of "Watership Down" (PG), respectively. The screenings begin at sundown on the lawn at the Columbia Town Center Lakefront (Lake Kittamaqundi), off Little Patuxent Parkway. Admission is free and open to the public.
Loews Theatres will present the annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Theatrical Film Festival Sunday with a 50th anniversary screening of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical "South Pacific." The film will be shown at the Valley Centre Theater at 2 p.m., and the program will include a raffle and door prizes (tickets to the engagement of "The Sound of Music," starring Richard Chamberlain, at the Lyric). A 10-minute clip of rarely seen footage -- including three musical numbers featuring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza -- will also be shown. Tickets are a $4 donation to BC/EFA and are on sale at Loews Valley Centre, White Marsh and Rotunda theaters. The second film of the festival, "The King & I," will be shown Oct. 6.
Towson University alumnus Keith B. Plummer will present "Mentality," his feature film debut, at Towson's Stephens Hall Theatre on Thursday at 7 p.m. "Mentality," a contemporary drama in which an African-American neurosurgeon and a white supremacist form an unusual partnership, was written, directed and produced by Plummer and has been shown at festivals in London, Austin, New York, Los Angeles and Laurel. Plummer will answer questions after the screening. Admission is free and open to the public. The Stephens Hall Theatre is located at 8000 York Road.
Baltimore filmmakers on the move: Best of luck to director Jim McCabe ("Who You Know") and Towson University student Mike Flanagan ("Makebelieve"), who will attend New York's Independent Feature Film Market with their works next week.
Flanagan is being produced by Steve Yeager ("Divine Trash," "In Bad Taste"), who will make his third appearance when a work-in-progress cut of "Makebelieve" is screened on Wednesday. Aminibigcircus ("Albert's Thumb") will perform "Magic Show," a multi-media music and theater piece, at Philadelphia's Fringe Festival next Thursday, Friday and Saturday.