Mobile’s only independent movie theater is still very much open for business, and there are high hopes the Crescent Theater can remain open. The time has come for film fans to pony up for a month-long Crescent fundraiser; the films coming up through the summer alone are worth a donation. However, a successful fundraising campaign can keep the Crescent where it belongs for the next two years.
“The Crescent Theater is planning on staying at its current location at 208 Dauphin St. The landlord has granted us a one-month extension on the current lease while we work out the details on a new two-year lease,” stated Carol Hunter of the Crescent Theater Film Society.
“If, in the next month, the Crescent Theater Film Society is able to raise the money to cover the rent, roughly $65,000, we’ll be able to sign that lease. Nearly all single-screen, independent theaters rely on nonprofit support, and the Crescent is no exception,” she added.
Visit the Crescent’s website (www.crescenttheater.com) to donate, or make a donation by check. Make your check payable to the Crescent Theater Film Society and drop it off in the lobby, or send it by mail to 208 Dauphin St., Mobile, AL 36602. Contributions by check will be reflected in the bar on the website showing progress made toward the goal.
Here are the films we can look forward to this summer. Every one of them has been making a buzz in big cities or film festivals, and the Crescent will most likely be the only place we can see them.
“The Lovers” Rolling Stone calls this “a near perfect rom-com, brilliant and bittersweet,” a sophisticated adult love story about two married people who, on the verge of ending their marriage and joining their respective lovers, find their spark again. The two leads, Debra Winger and Tracy Letts, are described as “perfection.” This one is probably the film I’m most excited about seeing.
“The Hero” Sam Elliott stars as an aging actor confronting mortality — and romancing a younger woman played by Laura Prepon — in Brett Haley’s film, which premiered at Sundance. You could listen to Sam Elliot read a cereal box in that voice of his for two hours and be entertained, so a star turn as the reluctant half of a May-December romance should be promising.
“Paris Can Wait” Anne (Diane Lane) is at a crossroads in her life. Married to a successful but inattentive movie producer (Alec Baldwin), she unexpectedly finds herself taking a car trip from Cannes to Paris with her husband’s business associate (Arnaud Viard).
What should be a seven-hour drive turns into a carefree two-day adventure replete with diversions involving picturesque sights, fine food and wine, humor, wisdom and romance, reawakening Anne’s senses and giving her a new lust for life. The film is directed by Eleanor Coppola, a longtime documentary filmmaker making her first foray into fiction; she is the wife of Francis and mother of Sofia.
“Maudie” Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”) is one of the most intriguing actors on the screen today, so her performance in the true story of a Canadian folk artist overcoming crippling arthritis should be worth checking out. She plays Maud Lewis, a woman stricken with rheumatoid arthritis who nevertheless summons the strength to transform her surroundings.
An unappealing job as housekeeper to an impossibly gruff man (Ethan Hawke) is her only way out of an even worse existence living with relatives, and her spirit enables her to work as an artist and even find success. She also, like our own Walter Anderson, paints every inch of a tiny cottage, which is still on display in the Arts Gallery of Nova Scotia.
“The Big Sick” A breakout hit at Sundance, directed by Michael Showalter (“Hello, My Name is Doris”) and co-written with comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani. Variety describes this as “a film that’s by turns romantic, rueful and hilarious.” The cast also includes Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano, and reviews say it starts out charming and becomes absolutely riveting. Maybe this is the one I’m most excited about.
In the words of manager Max Morey: “The patrons of the Crescent Theater in Mobile, Alabama, have shouted from the top of their lungs, ‘we love this theater and we want to keep it open. We want to continue to watch our city grow and prosper.’ With a small donation from everyone we can make this happen.”