December 2019


Menu of this month's listings, stories and columns

Movie Nite on the Lawn — The Fountains at Farah, 8889 Gateway West, hosts its free holiday movie night at 7 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 21. Bring blankets or lawn chairs. Admission is free. Information:
Nov. 30: Polar Express
Dec. 7: Elf
Dec. 14: The Santa Clause
Dec. 21: A Christmas Story.

Texas Gas Holiday Movies at Plaza — El Paso Community Foundation’s Plaza Classic Film Festival and El Paso Live present free holiday movies Sundays at the Plaza Theatre, as part of the 4th annual WinterFest. Local organists Ken Fedorick, Richard Garven and Laurie Koval perform on the Plaza’s restored Wyler Mighty Wurlitzer Organ before each movie. No movies Dec. 15. Information: or
Dec. 1: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1 p.m.), and The Polar Express (3:30 p.m.)
Dec. 8: Elf (1 p.m.), and A Christmas Story (3:30 p.m.)
Dec. 22: It’s a Wonderful Life (3:30 p.m.)
Dec. 29: Toy Story (1 p.m.)

Classic Film Series — The Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main Street in Las Cruces, presents the classic film “Miracle on 34th Street” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Films include an introduction and short question and answer session. Admission: $8. Information: (575) 541-2290, or on Facebook.
  Showing at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, is “Elf.” Admission: $5.
  Las Cruces International Film Festival and Film Las Cruces film screenings:
• The 1965 cult classic ”The Devil’s Mistress” is 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, created and produced in the Las Cruces area and premiered nationally at the Rio Grande Theater. Admission: $5-$12.
• A film on New Mexico’s behavioral healthcare system, “The Shake-up,” is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17. Admission is free.

Christmas Movie Nights — The Substation at 145 E. Sunset (at Doniphan) hosts free family holiday movies at 6:30 p.m. Fridays in Suite F-100. Admission is free. Information: or on Facebook.
Dec. 6: Frozen
Dec. 13: Elf
Dec. 20: The Grinch

Film Salon — The Film Salon presents “Miracle on 34th Street” at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 250 E. Montecillo, as part of a series on holiday films. Tickets: $5, available at Information: or on Facebook.
  Next month’s film is “My Man Godfrey” (Jan. 4).

Jay’s Pix Presents at the International Museum — Film historian Jay Duncan and the Sunset Film Society host presentations at 2 p.m. Saturdays at International Museum of Art, 1211 Montana (door on Brown opens at 1:30 p.m.). Admission is free. Snacks available for purchase. Information: 543-6747 (museum), and
  This month features classic and popular family-friendly holiday movies, as well as the first of the “all-star” disaster films.
Dec. 7: ”One Magic Christmas” (1985). A guardian angel (Harry Dean Stanton) helps a poor, weary woman (Mary Steenburgen) whose family faces eviction at the holidays.
  Also showing is the 1952 classic “The Gift of the Magi,” based on the short story by O. Henry.
Dec. 14: “Gremlins” (1985). An inventor (Hoyt Axton) gives his son (Zach Galligan) an odd little creature that multiplies into monsters who create havoc. Directed by Joe Dante.
Dec. 21: Favorite Christmas shorts and specials, including:
  “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962). Television’s first animated Christmas special, which became an annual holiday event for the next two decades but then vanished from regular telecasts.
  “Peace on Earth” (1939). In December 1939, MGM released an animated short made when much of the world was contemplating peace – or the diminishing prospect thereof. Two young squirrels ask their grandfather why they say “Good will to men” at Christmastime and inquire what exactly “men” are.
  “The Snowman” (1982). Based on the wordless best-selling children’s book by British author Raymond Briggs. Academy Award nominee for “Best Animated Short Film.”
  “The Red Balloon” (1956). Filmed entirely in the back streets and narrow alleys of Old Montmartre, it tells the adventures of a little boy and a big red balloon he rescues from a lamppost.
Dec. 28: “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972). The SS Poseidon is an aged luxury liner on her final voyage from New York City to Athens. On New Year's Eve, she is overturned by a rogue 90-foot wave. Nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning Special Achievement for Visual Effects and Best Original Song.

Pax Christi Film Series — A screening of “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at St. Joseph
School auditorium, 1315 Travis (enter through parking lot across from rectory). Discussion follows. Admission is free, donations accepted. Information: 740-3962.
  Franco Zeffirelli’s film captures the joyous and generous spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Backyard Cinema — Sunland Park Mall, 750 Sunland Park Drive, hosts family holiday movies at 6 p.m. Thursdays through Dec. 19, just inside the Greenery entrance. Information:
Dec. 5: Elf
Dec. 12: The Polar Express
Dec. 19: The Grinch.
Sci Fi and ArtFilm Nights — Brew Lab, 601 N. Oregon, Suite 1, hosts science fiction classics 5:30 to 8 p.m. the second Thursday of every month (Dec. 12) and art films every third Thursday (Dec. 19) of the month. Information: 307-4242 or on Facebook at brewlabep.

Movies at Branigan Library — Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, 200 E. Picacho, presents free book-based movies in the Roadrunner Room. Admission is free. Call for titles and ratings. Information: (575) 528-4014, or
  Movies rated PG-13 and R are 5 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month.
  Family-friendly movies rated G and PG are 10:30 a.m. the fourth Saturday of the Month.
  Award winning foreign films are featured at 2 p.m. the fourth Sunday of the Month (rated PG to R).

Plaza Classic Film Festival — El Paso Community Foundation’s 13th annual classic and ”semi-classic” movie festival is July 30-Aug. 9. Billed as the “world’s largest classic film festival,” the festival presents more than 90 movies of all genres from the golden age of cinema to more recent favorites. Screenings are in the Plaza’s Main (Kendle Kidd) Theatre and Philanthropy Theatre. Discounted festival passes offered Nov. 29-Dec. 31. Information: 533-4020 or

Fountain Theatre — 2469 Calle de Guadalupe, 1/2 block south of the plaza in Mesilla. The historic theater, operated by the Mesilla Valley Film Society, features films at 7:30 p.m. nightly, plus 1:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Some 7:30 p.m. Sunday night screenings have an open caption option. Admission: $7 ($6 seniors, military and students with ID; $5 children and society members); $5 on Wednesday. Information, schedule: (575) 524-8287 or
Nov. 29-Dec. 5: “Pain and Glory.” A film director reflects on the choices he’s made in life as past and present come crashing down around him.
  No Nov. 30 matinee.
Dec. 6-12: “Frankie.” Three generations struggle with a life-changing experience during a short vacation in Sintra, Portugal.
Dec. 13-22: “Parasite.” An unemployed young man and his family ingratiate themselves into the lives of wealthy and glamorous family, but get entangled in an unexpected incident.
  The theatre will be closed Dec. 23-31, and will reopen on New Year’s Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1.

New Mexico Museum of Space History — 3198 SR 2001, Alamogordo. Tombaugh IMAX Dome Theater tickets are $7 ($6 seniors and military; $5 ages 4-12). Planetarium show is $5 ($4 seniors, military and children). Ages 3 and under free. Museum/IMAX combo tickets available. Information: (877) 333-6589 or (575) 437-2840, or on Facebook.
  Now showing:
• “Apollo 11: First Steps,” 10:10 and 11:05 a.m. and 1:10 and 4:05 p.m.
• “Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity,” 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.
  Star Show is 11:55 a.m. and 2:55 p.m.

Jay’s Film Forecast — Film historian Jay Duncan prepared this list of top monthly “Coming Attractions” for movie fans, listed by studio and release date (subject to change):
  Dec. 6:
• The Aeronauts (Amazon) — Eddie Redmayne, Himesh Patel, Felicity Jones. Directed by Tom Harper.
• Brahms: The Boy II (STX) — Owain Yeoman Katie Holmes, Ralph Ineson. Directed by William Brent Bell.
• Little Joe (Magnolia) — Emily Beecham, Ben Whishaw, Kerry Fox. Directed by Jessica Jaysner.
• Midnight Family (1091 Media) —Documentary. In Mexico City's wealthiest neighborhoods, the Ochoa family runs a private ambulance, competing for patients. Directed by Luke Loretzen.
• Playmobile: The Movie (STX) — CG Animation. Voices of Anya Taylor-Joy, Gabriel Bateman, Jim Gaffigan. Directed by Lino DiSalvo
• Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Neon) — Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami. Directed by Céline Sciamma.
  Dec. 13:
• Black Christmas (Universal) — Imogen Poots, Cary Elwes, Brittany O’Grady. Directed by Sophie Takai. Second remake of 1974 Bob Clark film.
• Cunningham (Magnolia) — Documentary. The iconic Merce Cunningham and the last generation of his dance company. Directed by Alla Kovgan.
• A Hidden Life (Fox Searchlight) — August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Michael Nyqvist. Directed by Terrence Malick.
• Jumanji: The Next Level (Columbia) — Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black. Directed by Jake Kasdan. Continuation of franchise begun in 1995.
• Richard Jewell (Warner Bros.) — Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm. Directed by Clint Eastwood.
• Seberg (Amazon) — Kristen Stewart, Margaret Qualley, Zazie Beetz. Directed by Benedict Andrews.
• Uncut Gems (A24) — Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Kevin Garnett. Directed by enny Safdie and Josh Safdie.
  Dec. 20:
• Bombshell (Lionsgate) — Brigette Lundy-Paine, Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron. Directed by Jay Roach.
• Cats (Universal) — Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench. Directed by Tom Hooper. Based on the long-running stage musical.
• Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney) — Billie Lourd, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley; Directed by J.J. Abrams. The ninth film in the franchise begun in 1977.
  Dec. 27:
• Clemency (Neon) — Alfre Woodard, Wendell Pierce, Michael O’Neill. Directed by Chinonye Chukwu.
• Just Mercy (Warner Bros.) — Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jamie Foxx. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.
• Little Women (Columbia) — Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Emma Watson. Directed by Greta Gerwig. Another re-imagining of the Louisa May Alcott novel.
• 1917 (Universal) — Dean-Charles Chapman, Andrew Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch. Directed by Sam Mendes.
• The Song of Names (Sony Classics) — Clive Owen, Catherine McCormack, Tim Roth. Directed by François Girard.
• Spies in Disguise (20th Century-Fox) — CG Animation. Featuring the voices of Karen Gillan, Ben Mendelsohn, Will Smith. Directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane.

DVD/Blu-ray Releases

Dec. 3:
• Ad Astra. PG-13
• Ready or Not. R

Dec. 10:
• Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood. R
• It Chapter Two. R
• Hustlers. R

Dec. 17:
• Downton Abbey. PG
• Abominable. PG
• Rambo: Last Blood. R

Dec. 24:
• Judy. PG-13.

El Paso Scene MONTHLY
This month's listings,
stories and columns

Feature story
Here's the Ticket
Program Notes
On Stage
Southwest Art Scene
At the Museum
History Lessons
Film Scene
Keep on Bookin'
Liner Notes
Stage Talk
Gallery Talk


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