After a bit of an uncertain restart in July after a two-year pandemic darkening, the Packard Campus Theater is back in mid-August with a schedule of free film screenings.
A sampling of film genres named to the National Film Registry for posterity will be showcased in the theater inside the Library of Congress National Audio Visual Conservation Center on Mount Pony in Culpeper.
The series will offer a film at 7:30 every Friday night, a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturdays followed by a 7:30 p.m. screening. Due to necessary electrical maintenance work on the facility, there will be no movies Aug. 5-6.
Shows will resume Aug. 13 with Humphrey Bogart, mystery and the things that dreams are made of in “The Maltese Falcon” (Warner Bros, 1941). A classic for the ages, this was the first film shown in the Packard Campus Theater in September 2008.
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The Aug. 13 matinee will be “The Dark Night” (Warner Bros, 2008). Christopher Nolan directed this retelling of the Batman story. It was the second in a trilogy of Batman films directed by Nolan, with Christian Bale starring as Batman, according to event publicity.
The Saturday night show Aug. 13 will be “Selena” (Warner Bros, 1997). It’s a story about a young singer with a tragic ending. Known as the “Queen of Tejano music,” Selena is one of the most influential Latin music artists of all time.
The Packard Campus Theater reopened to the public in mid-July with a single weekend of showings. The following weekend was cancelled due to a high CDC Community Level for COVID-19 in Culpeper County before shows returned for the last July weekend.
Moving Image Curator Rob Stone said cancellations should not happen again as a protocol has been developed that will allow the theater to remain open even considering CDC levels.
Culpeper County was listed at Medium for COVID Community Level as of Friday, July 29.
Theater screenings are free and the matinee shows will be family friendly. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Seating at the screenings is on a first-come, first-served basis unless otherwise noted.
Wearing face masks is recommended as the theater will open to 100% capacity. Patrons must go through an “airport-style” security check, and no large parcels, purses or backpacks are permitted.
The Packard Campus is located at 19053 Mount Pony Road. Access to the parking lot begins one hour before show time, entrance into the building 45 minutes before the show, and the theater opens for seating 30 minutes before the curtain.
Theatergoers are asked to please not arrive early and queue at the gate.
The Library of Congress Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center oversees one of the largest collections of motion pictures in the world.
Acquired primarily through copyright deposit, exchange, gift and purchase, the collection spans the entire history of the cinema, according to publicity.
Since 2008, the art deco theater located at the Packard Campus has shown films each week and screened more than 2,500 titles. The programs will again highlight the best in cinema, including silent films, Hollywood classics, kids’ cartoons and foreign films.
Here’s the rest of the August schedule:
FRIDAY, AUG. 19, 7:30 p.m.
“Golddiggers of 1933” (Warner Bros, 1933): A prime example of a good Broadway play transferred to the silver screen. “Golddiggers of 1933” features Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler and Joan Blondell.
SATURDAY, AUG. 20, 2 p.m.
Short Films on the National Film Registry: “The Great Train Robbery,” Mabel Normand in “Mabel Blunder” and Laurel and Hardy’s “Battle of the Century” highlight a program of silent short subjects added to the National Film Registry. Live musical accompaniment by Ben Model.
SATURDAY, AUG. 20, 7:30 p.m.
“Safety Last” (Hal Roach/Pathe, 1923): Harold Lloyd hanging from a clock on the side of a building! This thrill comedy is Lloyd and Hal Roach Studios at its best. Live musical accompaniment by Ben Model.
FRIDAY, AUG. 26, 7:30 p.m.
“The Godfather” (Paramount, 1972): Francis Ford Coppola’s take on the Mario Puzo novel. Considered by some the best crime drama ever made and Marlon Brando’s best performance. Robert Duvall, Al Pacino and James Caan are also featured.
SATURDAY, AUG. 27, 2 p.m.
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”(Disney, 1937): Walt Disney’s first full-length animated film tells the Brothers Grimm story in a way never before seen on screen. Disney risked his studio to make the film, and ended up making a classic that is still enjoyed by children today.
SATURDAY, AUG. 27, 7:30 p.m.
“The Godfather Part II” (Paramount, 1974): Sequels are rarely better than the first film, but “The Godfather Part II” might be the exception to the rule. Al Pacino becomes the new don of the Corleone family.
For general Packard Campus Theater information, call 540/827-1079 ext. 79994 or 202/707-9994 and loc.gov/avconservation/theater/ Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at 202/707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov.