Wanna be downtown? Wanna see a movie? Then you might want to find yourself at Luckie and Forsyth streets on Friday and Saturday for the first-ever Be Downtown Film Festival at the Rialto Center for the Arts (80 Forsyth St. NW).
The festival — screening films from from the 1960s, ’70s and ’90s — pays homage to the Rialto’s roots: The 833-seat arts center opened 100 years ago as the largest movie house in the Southeast, shuttering to the public in 1989 and reopening in 1996 as part of Georgia State University. The event also marks the 40th anniversary of the Atlanta Film Society. Here’s the schedule:
Both movies played the Rialto when they were first released.
- Shaft | 7:30 p.m. (Rated R, 100 mins). Cool black private eye John Shaft (Richard Roundtree) is hired by a crime lord to find and retrieve the man’s kidnapped daughter in this 1971 thriller. Directed by Gordon Parks. Ernest Tidyman and John D.F. Black wrote the screenplay, based on Tidyman’s novel. This screening is of a rare 35mm print.
Enter the Dragon | 10 p.m. (R, 142 mins). Bruce Lee rules as a martial artist who agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament as a cover. Lee, who helped launch and cement the popularity of the martial arts genre, died in 1973 at age 32, the same year this movie was released. Robert Clouse directed the Michael Allin screenplay. Shot in WideScreen Cinemascope.
- Aladdin | 12:30 p.m. (G, 90 mins). Hold onto your flying carpets, this is a sing-along! Disney animates the story of a street urchin who uses a genie’s magic powers as he vies for the love of a beautiful princess. Voiced by Scott Weinger, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman, Gilbert Gottfried and, most famously, Robin Williams. The score includes “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me.” From 1992.
Space Jam | 3 p.m. (PG, 88 mins). Michael Jordan gets game when he agrees to help Looney Tunes characters play a basketball game against alien slavers to determine their freedom. Cast includes Wayne Knight, Bill Murray, Bugs Bunny, Larry Bird and many others. Joe Pytka directs the 1996 movie, seen here in a 35mm print.
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly | 5:30 p.m. (Not rated, 161 mins). The original 1966 widescreen director’s cut of Sergio Leone’s epic spaghetti western about a bounty-hunting scam that joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune buried in a remote cemetery. Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef star.
- Night of the Living Dead | 10 p.m. (Not rated, 96 mins). See this 1996 zombie classic in an extremely rare original widescreen 35mm print. A brother and sister visiting their father’s grave escape the bloodthirsty undead by seeking refuge in a farmhouse. They’re not alone. Directed by George A. Romero.
Outdoor festivities begin at 8:30 p.m. Saturday on Forsyth Street (a block featured in Season 1 of “The Walking Dead”) with professional makeup artists and photo ops.
When Night of the Living Dead concludes, a wrap party will be held on Poplar Street.
Tickets are $9 per film; $5 children. Get them online HERE or by calling the Rialto box office at 404.413.9849.