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SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: ABCs of the SCV: M is for Movies | 04-13-2013
Santa Clarita CA
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August 20
1967 - New Town of Valencia dedicated; homes sell for $25,000 [story]

The Good Long Road | Commentary by Jennifer Fischer
| Saturday, Apr 13, 2013

JenniferFischerWe are now officially halfway through the ABCs of the Santa Clarita Valley this week with “M” for Movies. So far, I have focused on Animals, Bicycle Trails, Central Park, Drums, Education, Family Dinner, Golf, Hiking, Imagination, Jammin’, Kids in the Kitchen, and “L” for Libraries.

When it comes to movies, often it is easy to think that we have two options in the Santa Clarita Valley: the Regal theater in Valencia and the Regal theater in Canyon Country, which feels a lot like one option, really. However, there are actually other movie options that you may not even know about. I only learned about some of them recently.

College of the Canyons has two movie series that run all school year, and the movies are free to the public. These movie options are better for date night, rather than family affairs, unless you have older children that are really cinema buffs. However, since date nights can get costly once you have paid for the babysitter, it is cool to know that these free movie options exist.

The Cinema Department at COC runs one free series with films shown on Fridays, often once or twice a month. The next free movie night coming up is a really good one, on May 10, with the Hitchcock classic “Psycho” at 4 p.m., followed by the film “Hitchcock” – only recently released on DVD – at 6 p.m., and “Farewell, My Queen” at 8 p.m.

The next Cinema Department screening series is May 23, with the American Western classic “Shane” at 4 p.m. followed by “Rust and Bone” at 6 p.m. and “On the Road” at 8 p.m.

Additionally, the French Department screens films for free on Fridays with an emphasis, of course, on foreign films. Upcoming screenings include “Fitzcarraldo” by Werner Herzog on April 19 at 7 p.m., “Wings of Desire” (“Der Himmel uber Berlin”) on April 26 at 7 p.m., “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!” on May 3 at 7 p.m., and “Santa Sangre” on May 17 at 7 p.m. All of the films are subtitled in English, and admission is free. The screenings take place at Hasley 101. Contact Pierre Etienne at 661-362-3069 if you have questions.

The April and May film screenings I shared wrap up the free film screenings for this school year at College of the Canyons, but they will pick up again in the fall. Gary Peterson of COC always posts and shares the film line-up on the Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival Facebook group page, so if you are having trouble finding information, join the group, and we will make sure we share all of these opportunities when they start up again in the fall.

The Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society often hosts film screening events, as well, so if you are a history buff and film buff, make sure you check out their site to stay updated on events and screenings they host.

For your kids, especially teens, the Newhall Library offers free movie screenings. Upcoming films include “The Hunger Games” on Wednesday, April 17, at 3 p.m. in the Community Room; “The Avengers” on May 1 at 3 p.m.; and “The Adventures of Spider-Man” on May 15 at 3 p.m. Check the Santa Clarita Library calendar for screenings throughout the summer and other activities.

I also have to share this family movie tip, especially for families with younger children like I have. Since my boys are 3 and 20 months, spending top dollar to do a family movie outing doesn’t really make sense. We discovered that the Regency Theater in North Hollywood has movies for $1.50 all day on Sundays and Tuesdays. Heading to the theater on Sunday is a great way to try out films with the boys without spending a lot of money or feeling frustrated if we need to bow out of a movie earlier. It is an older theater, and we did have technical difficulties one time when we went, but for $1.50 it was just fine. The Regency Theater in Ventura also has discounted movies.

Finally, on May 3, there is a special film screening event and celebration of diversity happening in Santa Clarita that is also a fundraiser to support free and low-cost filmmaking classes, animation classes and other digital arts classes for youth in the Santa Clarita Valley.

smuggledmovieThe film that will be featured is “Smuggled,” a multi-award-winning film from local writer-director Ramon Hamilton, the founder of the Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival. Full disclaimer: I also produced the film and am married to Ramon, and I run Generation Arts with him (the company that the fundraiser will support so we can offer more free and low-cost programs for local youth).

In addition to the film, which has been featured by ABC, Univision and NBC Latino, the event will feature performances by the Folkorico dancers, the screening of a short film made by youth at Newhall Elementary School, and speakers who are featured in the book “Profiles in Latino Courage” by Bill Miranda. The event, called Embracing Diversity, is a family event celebrating Latino culture in the Santa Clarita Valley. Details and tickets can be purchased at embracingdiversityfundraiser.eventbrite.com.

I hope you have realized that movies in the Santa Clarita Valley go well beyond the Regal cinemas. (The Art Slam in Old Town Newhall earlier this month included a movie component, too). Keep your eyes peeled and you might discover some cool films and film opportunities – for free.

You can always find me at  The Good Long Road on Facebook. Just ask and I will share the free film opportunities that I am aware of; as an independent filmmaker, I always keep my eyes peeled for cool films in the SCV.


Jennifer Fischer is co-founder of the SCV Film Festival, a mom of two, an independent filmmaker and owner of Think Ten Media Group, whose Generation Arts division offers programs for SCV youth. She writes about her parenting journey on her blog, The Good Long Road. Her commentary is published Saturdays on SCVNews.com.


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1 Comment

  1. Gary R Rich says:

    Like everyone you forget about CalArts. The Bijou theatre runs films several time a day and visitors are almost always welcome. Student films, classic art films, extremely eccentric indie films. About as far from Regal as you can get. Usually no posted schedule, you have to go by and look at the schedule on the wall

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