RED BANK: FREE SUMMER FILMS AT THE BASIE
The 2015 Disney/Pixar hit “Inside Out” screens Saturday morning at the Count Basie Theatre, part of a free Summer Film Series that resumes on August 10 with the Mel Brooks monster-mash “Young Frankenstein.”
The doldrums of summer are prime time for free outdoor movie series like the long-running Tuesday attractions at Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park and Sea Bright’s Movies on the Beach. Still, there’s no time like the sweltering present to enjoy the cooling comforts of climate control, and no better place to enjoy a classic moviegoing experience than at Monmouth County’s longest-running picture show, the historic Count Basie Theatre.
Ninety years after its 1926 debut as a venue for the latest in silent films, the former Carlton Theater keeps the big screen a-flicker in the weeks ahead with a special four-part Summer Film Series that’s free of charge.
Presented in part by the nonprofit Friends Of Film, it’s a slate that kicks off this Saturday morning at 11 a.m. with an all-ages screening of the Disney-Pixar hit “Inside Out.”
Hailed as one of the most inspired recent efforts from the groundbreaking digital animation studio, the 2015 release centers on a young girl named Riley and the personified emotions (Joy, Anger, Fear, Sadness, Disgust) who inhabit the control center inside her head. When a move halfway across the country takes her away from familiar friends, school and surroundings, Riley’s increasing unhappiness threatens to upset standard operating procedure — and when Joy and Sadness are accidentally removed from the control room, the remaining emotions steer things toward chaos and confusion.
The series picks up on the “black and white night” of Wednesday, August 10, with a 7 p.m. showing of “Young Frankenstein,” the pastiche/parody of 1930’s Universal Frankenstein films from director Mel Brooks and co-writer/star Gene Wilder that made its local premiere at the old White Street Cinema in 1974. An all-star comic cast of Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Terri Garr, Madelyn Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Ken Mars (and, in an uncredited turn, Gene Hackman) delivers the shtick — some of it even mustier than the Doctor’s monstrous creation himself — and chews the spectacular, detail-intensive scenery in this handsomely produced hokum that’s attained classic status in its own right.
Reaching all the way back to 1939 — and the grandpappy of all wide-screen, Technicolor Hollywood blockbusters — “Gone with the Wind” returns to Red Bank on Tuesday, August 16, for a 1:00 p.m. showing. Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard and (recent centenarian) Olivia De Havilland star in producer David O. Selznick’s Civil War epic which, fans must agree, really cries out to be experienced in a stately movie palace.
The series wraps on Wednesday, August 17 with a 7 p.m. screening of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” the third (and at that time final) entry in the high-adventure franchise from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Harrison Ford’s globetrotting archaeologist undertakes a literal quest for the Holy Grail (joined for the occasion by Sean Connery as his dad) in the 1989 thriller that opened locally at the old Shrewsbury Cinemas (located at what’s now A.C. Moore in the Shrewsbury Plaza on Route 35).
While all events in the Summer Film Series are free of charge, tickets are required from the box office, and can be reserved here.