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Film Spotlight: Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque 

The cinephiles on staff here at Scene are stoked for the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque's long-awaited move uptown. At the end of July, Sir John Ewing — the Cinematheque's mastermind and mule — will vacate the "historic" Russell B. Aitkin auditorium in University Circle and set up shop in a brand-new state-of-the-art theater on Euclid Avenue.

We've long celebrated the programming at the Cinematheque with about as much vigor as we've lamented the seats, so we're eager to view the arthouse repertoire in amply cushioned digs.  

To celebrate the penultimate month at the Aitkin, throughout the month of June the Cinematheque will screen films only from 35mm and 16mm film stock. Nineteen films will be presented, and all of them one time only. You're encouraged to check out the full lineup at — and if you've never been to the Cinematheque, now's your golden opportunity — but we're pleased to publicly express interest in the offerings for the first weekend of June, two of which are highly appropriate in the context of the month's "all-film" theme.

The first screens on Friday, June 5, at 7 p.m. We know it's next week, but we're putting this column together pretty far in advance because of Memorial Day, so chill out — and enjoy Out of Print, a documentary about the New Beverly Arthouse Cinema in California. This doc, directed by former New Bev employee Julia Marchese, advances the noble view that classic films should be enjoyed theatrically, and on 35mm film (go figure). The theater is now owned by Quentin Tarantino — who's that? — who fiercely adheres to the theater's all-35mm policy. Fun interviews from folks like Kevin Smith and Patton Oswalt are peppered in as well. It's a fun one for industry followers, and a decent treatise on the state of film in the digital age.

If film nostalgia's got you hankering for a good old-fashioned double-feature, stick around after the conclusion of Out of Print and catch the 8:45 screening of La Ultima Pelicula, a "snarky, satirical riff" on a 1971 Dennis Hopper flick called The Last Movie.

In this mockumentary, an obnoxious American director scouts film locations among the Mayan ruins, constantly drawing equivalence between the death of civilization and the death of film. He intends to create a glorious, even spiritual, cinematic epic on the world's last remaining 35mm film stock.

All tickets are $9 ($7 for the 25-and-under set), and you get the distinct pleasure that comes with seeing a movie that you can't see anywhere else.

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January 5, 2022

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