Film series sets holiday mood

Published 9:24 pm Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Now that Halloween and Election Day are over, the holiday season is the next event Suffolk residents are anticipating.

To help them get into the holiday spirit, the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts has planned a holiday film series, starting tonight and leading up to Christmas. The six movies will be shown on Thursdays, except Thanksgiving Day, and will be shown on the big screen in the center’s theater.

“What we’ve been trying to do is have a holiday series and a winter classic series,” said Michael Bollinger, executive director of the center. Bollinger recently announced his resignation effective at the end of the year, but said he’s excited about the holiday film series.

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“I kind of call it a classic series,” he said.

Although some of the films are not necessarily older classics, they all were chosen with care, Bollinger said.

“I try to show you what you wouldn’t see (on the big screen),” he said. “You’re gonna have to look hard to find ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ in a real theater at Christmas.”

That perennial Christmas classic, filmed in 1946, will be the finale to the series, on Dec. 18. The first film, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” begins tonight at 7 p.m. at the center.

The series will continue with “Elf” on Nov. 13; “A Christmas Story” on Nov. 20; “The Polar Express” on Dec. 4; “Miracle on 34th Street” on Dec. 10; and concluding with “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Dec. 18. All films begin at 7 p.m., and admission is $5.

“The movie that is always the most attended is ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’” Bollinger said. “They actually applaud at the end of it.”

Bollinger said that after last year’s film series many people thanked him for showing the classic.

“My whole life it’s been my favorite movie, but this is the first time I’ve ever gotten to see it in a big theater,” he recalled them saying.

Bollinger suggested making a date night out of the movies by getting dinner at the Mosaic Café, a restaurant on the first floor of the cultural arts center.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas,” tonight’s film, was created by Tim Burton in 1993. The animated movie features Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, kidnapping Santa and delivering Christmas presents himself. It is rated PG for scary images, and lasts 75 minutes.