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AFS Cinema will reopen July 15 with 'The Last Picture Show' and many more films

Eric Webb
Austin 360
"The Last Picture Show" will help open AFS Cinema back up to the public.

Let the film buffs rejoice. Austin Film Society's AFS Cinema announced Wednesday that it will reopen on July 15. And the programmers have been busy.

The North Austin arthouse cinema operated by the organization founded by director Richard Linklater launched a crowdfunding campaign last month to support reopening efforts. AFS Cinema has been closed since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the meantime, it's held a few socially distant outdoor screenings.

Rebecca Campbell, CEO of Austin Film Society, told the Statesman in May, "With vaccines becoming readily and widely available for those who want it, including our staff, and with over a year's worth of information and research about how to reopen and operate safely, including patrons' increasing familiarity with other businesses practicing industry-standard health and safety guidelines — we felt that this summer was the right time to plan for the reopening of the AFS Cinema." 

More:Paramount Theatre's Summer Classic Film Series returns

The crowdfunding campaign, which runs until June 17, has a $150,000 goal. As of this week, the film society said it has raised $130,000 from more than 700 donors.

“We are blown away by the community's incredible support and enthusiasm for reopening the AFS Cinema, and beyond grateful for the generous donations and words of encouragement," Campbell said in a statement on Wednesday. 

When it reopens next month, AFS Cinema will have a mask requirement for guests in the lobby and in the theater when not eating or drinking. "Improved air filters have been installed on HVAC units to improve indoor air quality, and theaters will be operating with reduced capacity," according to a news release from AFS Cinema.

AFS Cinema has lined up an impressive slate of deep-cut, classic and new films for its summer reopening. Opening weekend will include Larry McMurtry-penned/Peter Bogdonavich-directed "The Last Picture Show," Akira Kurosawa’s "Ran," Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson's documentary debut "Summer of Soul" and the Austin theatrical premiere of "Dear Mr. Brody," with director Keith Maitland in attendance on July 18.

Also on tap this summer: Claire Denis' "Beau Travail," Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," John Waters' "Polyester," John Singleton's "Boyz N the Hood," David Lowery's "The Green Knight," Eric Rohmer’s "Tales of the Four Seasons," Sergio Leone’s "Once Upon a Time in America," Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s "Marriage of Maria Braun," Martin Ritt’s McMurty adaptation "Hud," Howard Hawks’ "The Big Sleep," Billy Wilder’s "Double Indemnity," Orson Welles’ "Touch of Evil," Wong Kar Wai's "In the Mood for Love," Mariem Pérez Riera's "Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It," Tamara Saviano's Guy Clark doc "Without Getting Killed or Caught" and a lot more.

Austin Film Society members will be allowed access to a soft opening starting July 9. Tickets for July and August films will go on sale to the public on June 25. Go to austinfilm.org to see the full schedule and buy tickets.

A series of director Wong Kar-wai's films, like "In the Mood for Love," will be part of AFS Cinema's summer 2021 program.