‘Late Night Movies’ selects comic book theme

Cinema’s most popular superheroes are returning to the big screen at Gateway Film Center.

The “Late Night Movies” series at Gateway Film Center will be screening comic book and superhero films every Friday and Saturday in April. Admission is $5 and all screenings begin at midnight.

“It’s a great tradition with a lot of the movie houses we admire,” said Melissa Starker, sales and marketing manager for Gateway Film Center. “A lot of great theaters have a history with late-night shows, and it just happens to work out that late-night business here is really good.”

Films screened in the series are part of a monthly theme based on what new releases are scheduled.

“It gives us a chance to try to think up some fun things and movies that people would really like to see again,” Starker said.

Past themes include Tim Burton films for the release of his remake of “Alice in Wonderland,” and “Nightmares on High Street” featuring horror films to promote the release of “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

Once a theme is chosen, Gateway Film Center staff pick the films that will be screened.

“We just kind of start from [a theme] and brainstorm what we think people would really like to see again,” Starker said.

Comic book and superhero films were chosen for April to promote the upcoming comic-based films “Kick-Ass” and “Iron Man 2.” “Kick-Ass” hits theaters April 16 and “Iron Man 2” will be released May 7.

Films screening in April include “The Dark Knight,” “Sin City,” “Spider-Man” and “Hellboy.”

With “Iron Man 2” scheduled for release in May, Gateway Film Center attempted to screen “Iron Man” as part of the series, but was unable to secure the rights.

“Usually with movies if they’ve got a sequel coming out or a remake coming out, the original is kind of hard to get your hands on,” Starker said.

Gateway Film Center also attempts to project prints of the films, but that is not always possible. Some films don’t have a quality print available. Others have been released on the high-definition Blu-ray format.

“Evil Dead,” which was screened as part of the “Nightmares on High Street” month, featured a new 35-millimeter print. However, Gateway Film Center resorted to a Blu-ray projection of “The Dark Knight.”

“A lot of times, if you’re looking at a movie that’s more than ten years old, you can show it on 35 [millimeter], but that 35-millimeter print is going to be in pretty rough shape,” Starker said. “We show stuff on Blu-ray, so that can look better.”

Success of “Late Night Movies” has prompted Gateway Film Center to continue the series into the upcoming months. Several possible themes in the works include a Quentin Tarantino month, a Coen brothers month and a mind games month to promote “Inception,” which hits theaters July 16.

The popularity of late-night shows is attributed to dynamic Columbus night life, Starker said.

“The weekend late-nights are among our strongest,” she said. “I think people in this town aren’t afraid of going out late at night.”

[This story ran in The Lantern on April 13, 2010. Click here.]

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