INsite Magazine

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vintage Christmas Special at the Hipp

What better way to spend the holiday season than by watching a free Christmas movie marathon at the Hippodrome Theatre? On Saturday, Dec, 19th, at 12pm, the Hippodrome is having a repeat showing of its Christmas Triple Feature. An entire afternoon devoted to Christmas nostalgia, the triple feature will showcase the original Babes in Toyland, the camp classic Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, and the heart-warming It Happened on Fifth Avenue. While the screening is free, the Hippodrome is asking for a small donation of five to ten dollars.

The Hippodrome hosted one screening of the Christmas Triple Feature last Saturday. Shown in the main cinema, the triple feature presented an opportunity for the Hippodrome to show off some impressive new equipment. “All these films are digital that are being shown on our brand new digital projector,” says cinema manager Robert Matrone. “It’s very, very beautiful. It’s worth it so you can see these films in essentially the highest quality you can find.”

The Christmas Triple Feature offers something for every taste. Kicking off the movie marathon at noon is the original 1934 version of Babes in Toyland, starring the famous comedy team Laurel and Hardy. “A lot of people know this film from the later version, which stars Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves,” Robert says.

Known as one of the worst films ever made, the 1964 science fiction film Santa Claus Conquers the Martians blasts its way on screen at 1:30pm. In the film, the Martian children become so enthralled by the Santa-themed television that the Martian king launches an expedition to Earth to kidnap Santa Claus and bring him back to the Red Planet. “Sometimes we show movies because they’re really good,” Robert says. “In this case, we’re showing it because it’s really, really bad. But it’s as entertaining as any good film.”

Finally, at 3:30pm, the Academy Award winning comedy It Happened on Fifth Avenue tells the story of a New York City homeless man who squats in the empty mansion of a vacationing millionaire during the winter. “This is a feel-good film, more in the classical tradition of It’s a Wonderful Life,” Robert says.

For those looking for a little nostalgia, classic news reels and old-fashioned holiday cartoons from the forties and fifties will be shown in between the features.

—Allison Griner

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