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Published: Sunday, 3/20/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Film gems sparkle at Valentine

BY ROD LOCKWOOD
BLADE STAFF WRITER

After a successful first month showing 'Silver Screen Classics,' standards like 'Casablanca' and 'Psycho' were added in a second month of Friday film screenings. After a successful first month showing 'Silver Screen Classics,' standards like 'Casablanca' and 'Psycho' were added in a second month of Friday film screenings.
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You can hop in your car just about any time you want and drive down to the video store and pick up a copy of Casablanca to watch in the comfort of your living room.

Or if you’re a little more technologically advanced, you can mosey over to your TV, push a few buttons and download Psycho, stick a bag of popcorn in the microwave, and settle in for the movie.

But we all know it’s not the same as seeing a movie on the big screen. You’re watching it on a little box, there are interruptions — the phone’s ringing, your children need help with their homework, the dog has to go out — and how many people have had the option of seeing these great movies on the big screen?

The folks at the Valentine Theatre understand this demographic challenge — you’ve got to be up there in age to have seen Gone With the Wind at a proper theater — and they’ve answered it with a so-simple-it’s-brilliant solution that also is a money-maker for the venerable downtown Toledo institution:

Show the classics on the big screen on Friday or Saturday nights. Charge a low price (just $4) and turn the whole thing into a low-key, fun night out.

"It gives [people] an opportunity to see an older movie on a large screen in a beautiful older theater," said Matt Letnz, the Valentine’s marketing director. "It kind of harkens back to that nostalgic time when you could go to a movie house and see a film on a large screen."

Best of all for the Valentine, the series has been a source of new revenue. Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, North By Northwest, and Singin’ In the Rain all sold out — the Valentine’s capacity is 900 — and second nights were added for three of the movies. A total of 6,075 people have attended the seven movies that have been shown since the beginning of January.

The films are selected based on surveys of people who have attended the movies combined with Valentine staff selections.

Mr. Lentz said the Valentine will continue to show the movies while guarding against overdoing it and robbing the program of its novelty. He said it’s likely that few, if any, films will be shown in the summer.

Coming up are Some Like it Hot, Friday; Rear Window, April 1; An American in Paris, April 8; Doctor Zhivago, April 15; Easter Parade, April 16 for a matinee; Sound of Music, June 10; Raiders of the Lost Ark, June 17, and Jaws, June 24 and 25 if sales warrant.

Tickets are $4 and can be purchased in advance, which is generally a good idea because they’re all general admission and often sell out. If you buy them online, there is a $2.50 service charge. They can be purchased at the Valentine box office, 410 Adams St.

Contact Rod Lockwood at rlockwood@theblade.com or 419-724-6159.


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