The most popular cultural event of last summer was the Open-Air Italian Film Festival in Little Italy, where Baltimoreans were invited to pull up their lawn chairs each Friday evening at the corner of High and Stiles streets and enjoy Italian or Italian-themed films in cool outdoor comfort.
The tradition continues this year with an expanded program. The festival will now stretch into 18 weeks, and Senator Theater owner Tom Kiefaber has done some inspired reconnoitering to find rarely seen classics, such as last Friday's program of early short films by Martin Scorsese.
This Friday, the movie on screen will be "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone," the 1961 film starring Warren Beatty and Vivien Leigh as two mismatched lovers who find romance in bella Roma.
The screenings begin at 9 p.m. at the Da Mimmo's parking lot at High and Stiles. Admission is free and open to the public. This critic's advice: Catch a pre-show bite at one of the surrounding restaurants and bring your own lawn chair to ensure maximum comfort.