In five short years, the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In (1901 East 51st St.) has moved from a six-car alleyway to 90-car capacity at the Austin Studios/old airport complex.
To celebrate, Blue Starlite is screening fan favorites such as "Grease," "Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure" and "Independence Day" on the Fourth of July
Blue Starlite will also begin its first limited summer schedule — Saturday showings only throughout the month of August, starting July 25 and running through Aug. 29. The full schedule returns starting Sept. 3.
Here’s what’s coming in July:
July 2, 9 p.m.: "Back to the Future" 30th anniversary showing featuring Patrick Phillips’ Pop Culture Tonight pre-show
July 3, 9 p.m.: "Independence Day" and "Back to the Future" with high-definition digital fireworks.
July 4, 9 p.m.: "Independence Day" with digital high-definition digital fireworks.
July 10-11 8:45 p.m.: Fifth Anniversary Celebration Kick-off: "The NeverEnding Story" and "The Goonies" (reverse order on July 11).
July 15, 9 p.m.: Patron Appreciation Night: "Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure," half-price admission for bikes of all kinds and classic cars.
July 16, 9 p.m.: Patron Appreciation Night Party: "Grease," half-price admission for classic cars and hot rods.
July 17, 9 p.m.: Patron Night Special: "Raising Arizona" and "Wild at Heart."
July 18, 9 p.m.: "The Princess Bride" and "Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure" featuring a preshow bicycle race.
July 25, 8:45 p.m.: "Wet Hot American Summer" and "One Crazy Summer" with Saturday evening cartoons, plus diner burgers and shakes, giant s’mores roast and mini kids’ pool boat race.
‘Before You Know It’ on PBS
"Before Your Know It," Austin filmmaker PJ Raval’s documentary on the lives of three gay senior citizens, makes its television premiere at 8 p.m. Tuesday as the season finale of "America Reframed" on the World Channel. Unfortunately, there isn’t a World Channel affiliate in Austin, but there will be a free online stream simultaneous to the broadcast with a live chat with Raval and his subjects at worldchannel.org.
Austin filmmakers featured in PBS Online Film Festival
What are the two best things about this year’s PBS Online Film Festival?
First, you can stream all the nominated short films online for free from now until July 17.
Second, at least two Austin-based filmmakers are among the 25 nominated for the festival’s "People’s Choice Award."
Born in Brazil, raised in Mexico and now based in Austin, Ivete Lucas ran a Kickstarter in 2012 to help her fund her nominated film, "Ex-Votos." The short follows a pregnant teenager in Mexico fleeing her dangerous neighborhood with her mother to go on a pilgrimage to the festival of Saint Francis.
John Spottswood Moore’s film "Once Again" debuted at the 2014 Austin International Film Festival. The short documentary follows the University of Texas MFA alumna’s own childhood and adulthood struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder through home movies, animation and live-action footage.
"Sugarless Tea," a short about an Indian man’s attempt to find his identical twin after 54 years of separation, was made by three Texans and a Brooklyn-based comedian. Dallas-based Sai Selvarajan wrote and directed the film, made up of watercolor stop-motion still images created by his wife, Amanda Selvarajan. It premiered at the Austin Film Society SXSW ShortCase earlier this year.
Championing independent filmmakers, the Webby Award-nominated PBS Online Film Festival includes a mix of documentary and narrative shorts sponsored by PBS local member stations, POV and public television producers including the Center for Asian American Media and Latino Public Broadcasting. You can vote online once every day from now until July 17 for your favorite film.
You can find out more about the festival by following #PBSolff. — Hannah Thornby
"Superman: The Movie" plays at 12:45 p.m. Saturday as part of Alamo Drafthouse’s Free Kids Club. I wonder if today’s kids will be into it or be bored silly by a film whose pacing was a bit suspect even in 1979.
The crime drama "7 Minutes," starring Jason Ritter, Leven Rambin and Luke Mitchell, plays Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar for two evening showings Monday. It is also on demand as of Friday.
As the June 19 Friday Night Films event at the South Shore District was postponed due to inclement weather, "Clueless" (still one of the best movies of the 1990s, even if Paul Rudd isn’t all that great in it) is now rescheduled to be screened July 10. So look for "Hard Target" Friday, "Sleepless in Seattle" July 3 and "Clueless" July 10. Films begin approximately at 8:40 p.m.
Over at the Marchesa, at 4 p.m. Sunday, the Austin Film Society presents Dorothy Arzner’s 1931 picture "Working Girls," a pre-Code melodrama that touches on adultery, lesbianism and everyday workplace sexual harassment.
Pre-Code Hollywood movies (meaning movies made before the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code around 1934) are a world of their own, a look at the directions cinema could have gone had self-censorship not entered into the, um, picture, and "Working Girls" is a sterling, taboo-busting example.