CasablancaIlsa crashes Sam’s pity party at the Café Américain in ‘Casablanca.’


We’ll always have Red Bank.

Beginning tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5:00p, the Count Basie Theatre kicks off a series of free classic film screenings with Bogart, Bergman and a bevy of indelibly entrenched screen characters in that Academy Award-winning movie quote machine known as Casablanca.


It’s the first of nine offerings presented under the title “Take 9 at the Basie: 9 Decades of Film Classics,” and it’s a program designed to salute the historic 1926 venue by featuring one film from each of the nine decades in which the Monmouth Street auditorium has operated.

Or, well, sort of: actually, there are two films from the 1970s and none from the 1920s.

In any event, the series offers an increasingly rare opportunity to catch such films as the often revived (The Wizard of Oz, Singin’ in the Rain) to the seldom screened (Unforgiven, Woodstock) on what remains the biggest movie screen in Monmouth County.

Plus, it’s a comfortable alternative to the gnats and gnoise of those summertime movies-in-the-park deals that usually seem such a good idea until you spread out the towel.

Here’s the sked, following Casablanca (1942):

The Wizard of Oz, 1939: March 2, 2p

The Godfather, 1972: March 27, 7:30p

Unforgiven, 1992:- April 8, 7:30p

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961: April 17, 8p

E.T., 1982: April 20, 2p

Singin’ in the Rain, 1952: May 4, 2p

Woodstock, 1970: May 4, 7p

Ray, 2004: May 6, 7:30p

And then, there’s the series that might have been….

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