Winter film programs bring classics to the Island

A number of Island venues are offering regular film series, with a focus on vintage films.

The 1966 version of "Batman" will be shown at the Vineyard Playhouse on Feb. 16. – Photo courtesy Vineyard Playhouse

Island moviegoers will find plenty of opportunities this winter to see film classics on the big screen. In addition to Wednesday nights at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, the Vineyard Playhouse, and a number of Island libraries are offering regular film series, with a focus on vintage films.

Jamie Alley of Island Entertainment Video hosts a 7:30 pm Monday series at the Vineyard Playhouse. As well as being a theatrical venue, the Playhouse is also equipped as a movie theater, with a large screen and surround sound. Coming up are Shock Treatment, a 1981 satire on reality TV by the makers of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, on Feb. 9; the 1966 version of Batman on Feb. 16; and Mary Poppins on Feb. 23, which will be screened at 6:30 pm for a special family-night screening in conjunction with school vacation week. Mr. Alley draws on his extensive cinematic background to provide introductions to the films. The charge for these films is $5 cash at the door, and the series will continue through March.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has teamed up with the M.V. Film Center to screen films from the 1960s on Wednesday nights in conjunction with its current exhibit, “Sea Change: M.V. in the 1960s.” Historian and film buff A. Bowdoin Van Riper will discuss how films like Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), scheduled for Feb. 11, and Easy Rider (1969), which will play Feb. 25, reflect the climate of the Sixties. These films will be shown at the M.V. Film Center for a charge of $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers.

Now in its seventh year, the Tuesday-night film series at the Edgartown Public Library is currently screening films about war for an adult audience. The theme for upcoming movies shown in April is road films. The screenings start at 7 pm, and are free. The West Tisbury library is running a monthly series at the M.V. Film Center in honor of the late Jonathan Revere. The next movie will be Sullivan’s Travels (1941) on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Pianist Michael Haydn will play Cole Porter tunes during the hour before the screening, and champagne and cookies will be served.

Two winter movie series are underway at the Chilmark public library. Weekly on Wednesdays, the free Chowder and a Movie events begin at noon. Playing Feb. 11 is The 39 Steps (1935), The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945) follows on Feb. 18, and The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) is slated for Feb. 25.

Friday nights at 7 pm the Chilmark library offers water-themed movies, the next of which will be Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) on Feb. 6, Chocolat (2000) on Feb. 13, South Pacific (1958) on Feb. 20, and Mister Roberts (1955) on Feb. 27. Sponsored by Friends of the Chilmark Library, this free series provides moviegoers with popcorn and drinks.

In Vineyard Haven, the library has a Tuesday-night schedule of Oscar films. After the 2015 Academy Awards are announced on Feb. 22, the Vineyard Haven Library will select from the winners for its next series. These 7 pm movies are free, and popcorn and cider are served. The Chilmark-based Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival will hold its 15th annual festival March 19 to 22, with the schedule of films still to be announced. Check for additional details as the date gets closer.