OGDEN — Who needs Sundance when you’ve got the Peery’s Egyptian Theater Film Series?
On the heels of last year’s “Chick Flicks and Bro-vies” — that battle-of-the-sexes-themed series which brought to downtown such cinematic classics as “Dirty Harry,” “Mamma Mia,” “Mad Max” and “Thelma and Louise” — this year’s 2020 Peery’s Egyptian Theater Film Series carries with it a new theme. “Cult Comedies.”
After opening last month with the Steve Martin/Chevy Chase/Martin Short buddy comedy “Three Amigos,” the 2020 series continues next week with the second film in the series, “The Princess Bride.” The 1987 fantasy/romance comedy stars Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin in a tale within a tale about a princess, a pirate, and their enduring love. Rated PG, “The Princess Bride” will screen at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, in Peery’s Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd.
“When you go to other theaters to see a movie, you’re just seeing a movie,” theater event manager Ann Reeder said in an email to the Standard-Examiner. “When you come to The Peery’s Egyptian Theater, you are experiencing an event that is unique, fun and memorable.”
For starters, the theater organist plays the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ as audience members enter the venue. And while costumes aren’t required, Reeder says they are welcome. For example, for the upcoming “The Princess Bride” screening, Reeder said the sales and marketing director can’t decide if he wants to come dressed as The Dread Pirate Roberts or the “inconceivable” Vizzini.
“You experience classic movies on a big screen you can’t find anywhere else,” she said.
And there’s one more advantage, according to Reeder.
“We sell beer in our concessions, if you like that sort of thing,” she said.
The rest of the film series for the year includes:
• March 18 — “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”
This 1963 zany comedy stars many of the big names of the ’60s, including Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Edie Adams, Ethel Merman, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney and Jonathan Winters — just to name a few. The film will probably include an intermission, according to Reeder, as it clocks in at 3 hours, 25 minutes.
• April 3 — “Mamma Mia” sing-along
Offering the annual “Mamma Mia” sing-along on the Friday of LDS General Conference weekend has become a tradition for the theater. The 2008 musical, rated PG-13 and based on the music of ABBA, stars Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard. Reeder suspects this one will again sell out; she encourages folks to purchase their tickets early.
• May 27 — “Galaxy Quest”
This classic “Star Trek” spoof just celebrated its 20th anniversary. Rated PG, it features Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman as the stars of a space opera television series who face real danger when an alien race needs their help.
• Sept. 23 — “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”
The Monty Python gang parodies King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they go in search of the Holy Grail in this 1975 film. Reeder estimates that this Monty Python offering may be the most quoted film of all time. She also says the choice of this film is particularly poignant with the recent passing of Terry Jones. Rated PG.
• Oct. 23-24 — “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”
The theater’s annual Halloween event has sold out for the past three years. If you’ve never been to see this cult classic, you need to experience it at least once, according to Reeder. Many in the audience have made this 1975 sci-fi comedy/musical a yearly tradition. It stars Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick in a bizarre alien-Frankenstein sort of tale. Rated R.
• Nov. 18 — “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
This popular 1993 stop-motion animated musical, directed by Tim Burton, tells the tale of Jack Skellington — the pumpkin king of Halloweentown who sets his sights on Christmas. Rated PG, it features the voices of Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon and Catherine O’Hara. This screening is nicely positioned between Halloween and Christmas.
• Dec. 26 – “The Greatest Showman” sing-along
Back by popular demand, the showing of this 2017 musical has sold out the last two years. It stars Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams and Zac Efron — not to mention you, as a participating audience member. Says Reeder: “We were the first theater in the country to start screening this show as a singalong. Who says we’re not on the cutting edge?” Rated PG.
Tickets for each of the monthly films are $6, available through smithstix.com or at the theater box office.
For more information, call 801-689-8700.