Benjamin Franklin said there were only two certainties in life: death and taxes. If I were making the list, it would be much longer and include such items as (1) no matter the care you take, Captain Crunch will shred the roof of your mouth, (2) every gas station iPhone charger you buy will break after three weeks, and (3) you can always find the best programming on TV at any time of the day on Turner Classic Movies.
It’s no secret that I love the classics. I could talk your ear off about Louis B. Mayer, Edward G. Robinson, Al Jolson, Richard Burton, talkies, Cagney, three-point lighting, Fairbanks, Peck and the list goes on and on. As a young man, I was raised on the original AMC and I’m proud to say I think (I’ve got to double check the past few years — since the kids have disrupted our theater routine) I’ve seen every Oscar nominated movie.
I wanted to be Robert Osborne when I grew up, getting paid to watch movies with famous actors and actresses and sharing inside stories about classic Hollywood — now that would be awesome!
If you are a cinephile like me, then you probably got super excited several years ago when theater franchises across the country began highlighting classic movies in their weekly rotations, to both introduce a younger audience to the period and entice a seasoned audience to re-experience the classics in a high-tech theater environment.
If you can’t wait for May 16 (National Classic Movie Day) to get your fix of film noir, show tunes or screwball comedies, then I suggest you set aside Wednesdays and Sundays for the next month and a half, because Houston Lakes Stadium Cinema in Warner Robins is bringing the classics to Middle Georgia. “Flashback Features” play at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays, and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesdays.
The series began last week with “It Happened One Night” (1934), and over the next few weeks you can see “The Godfather” (1972), “Singing in the Rain” (1952), “Rear Window” (1954), “Dirty Dancing” (1987) and “Young Frankenstein” (1974).
Did you know that Donald O’Conner had to re-shoot the famous “Make ’em Laugh” dancing scene after the studio accidentally destroyed the footage? To make matters worse, following the first shoot, the four-pack-a-day smoker was so exhausted he was placed on bed rest for a week to recover.
In “Rear Window,” you will catch the stunning Grace Kelly smoke the only cigarette she ever lit on screen — she refused to engage in the lucrative practice of brand endorsement and hated smoking. Fact: Mel Brooks, famous for appearing in his own movies, was contractually required to stay out of “Young Frankenstein” by his good friend and co-writer Gene Wilder, who feared the appearance of two funny men would disrupt the flow of the movie. Brooks does make an off camera appearance as a howling wolf and shrieking cat! I could keep going …
So, if you are looking for a fun-filled afternoon or evening, head on down to Houston Lakes Stadium Cinema, grab a bag of popcorn, load up on jalapenos for your nachos, and sneak in that box of candy. The seats are comfortable, the prices right and the viewing spectacular. Visit gtcmovies.com/georgia-locations/houston-lakes/flashback-cinema for full details.
Chris Tsavatewa is the director of experiential learning at Middle Georgia State University, and an overly engaged citizen. Follow him on twitter @chiefchippy and criticize his grammar.