Cinema in the City Presents
"The War of the Worlds"
At Beatnik Bob's in the City Musuem, 15th and Lucas
Wednesday, January 3
7:30 p.m., all ages, $4 admission
It happens once a month, playing to enthusiastic, if too-small houses.
In one sense, that gives you a certain proprietary interest in keeping the word down, hanging onto the knowledge that you're in on some really cool little secret. But the fact remains that hundreds of folks would probably dig the programming that the Webster University Film Series brings down to the City Museum every month.
Really, what's not to like?
For starters, the environment does nothing but breed fun. The cost is modest. Food and drink of a different stripe than your average multi-plex is readily available. You know. Corndogs. Moon pies. Beer, if you're old enough.
Best, of course, are the films. This month, the selection is apt for the chill of winter: Byron Haskin's winning adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic, "War of the Worlds." The 1953 film won an Oscar for special effects, though the cast may not give that household feel, featuring none other than: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne, Lewis Martin, Robert Cornthwaite and Sandro Giglio. But with Martians blowing things up all over the place, who needs stars. Or even dialogue?
But this one's got plot, sure, famed when read on the radio by Orson Welles. The film adaptation is said to lean heavily upon that version, with solid results. It's widely considered one of the best "spacemen invade Earth" films of the era.
One quick tip for watching the fare at Cinema in the City: don't sit too near the projector. It's old-school and l-o-u-d. Otherwise, sit back and relax for one of the best nights of entertainment this town has to offer.
St. Louis Record Collector's Show
American-Czech Center, 4690 Landsdowne (at Kingshighway)
A-C Center: (314) 752-8168
Sunday, January 7
10 a.m.-4 p.m., $2.50 admission
Have you read "High Fidelity?"
Then you can guess that the novel's "Barry" and "Dick" would be the kind of cats who'd find their way down to the St. Louis Record Collector's Show, a five-time-a-year event at the gloriously central American-Czech Center. Hell, they'd probably be the first in line.
At the show, you'll find hundreds of men between the ages of 25-50 scouring through bin-after-bin of used vinyl, each looking to score that rare or unseen (insert your preference here): Francoise Hardy, Ramones, Confunkshun, Monkees or Les Baxter gem. While the majority of the action seems to lie in the endless vaults of vinyl (from $1 cutouts to white label rarities), other vendors pitch a diverse set of wares. Bootleg concert videos of Yes and Jeff Buckley? Yup. Posters of Fiona Apple and Asia? Of course. Compilation tapes of old beer ads and monster-movie trailers? No place, but here!
This is a wonderful way to spend your Sunday morning and afternoon, in the company of other, obsessed souls, clutching their paper bags and duffels, exclaiming to themselves as they run across that album that Jimmie-down-the-street borrowed-but-never-returned back in 1988.
You can eat cheap pretzels, too.
Can it get better than that?
The answer is "no." Bring cash.