The Packard Campus Theater programs events year round, usually on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The schedule for each month is posted approximately two weeks in advance. Short subjects are presented before select programs. Titles are subject to change without notice.
In case of inclement weather, for screenings at the Packard Campus Theater, check the information line at (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 no sooner than three hours before show time to see if the movie has been cancelled.
Need directions to the theatre? Click here
For more information about how to attend, go to the “About the Theater” link at the top of this page.
Request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov
Thursday, June 18 (7:30 p.m.)
ANIMAL CRACKERS (Paramount, 1930)
The legendary family comedy act known as the Marx Brothers were stars in vaudeville and on Broadway before making their first film, “The Cocoanuts,” which was based on their stage hit, in 1929. In fact, while they were shooting that screen adaptation at Paramount’s Astoria Studio in Queens, the brothers spent their evenings performing “Animal Crackers” on Broadway. In this case, the story (which has to do with a stolen painting) is not the thing; instead it’s numbers like "Hooray for Captain Spaulding," comedy gags, and countless hilarious one-liners such as “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know.” Victor Heerman directed (or at least tried to direct) Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo Marx, along with the stalwart Margaret Dumont and the pert Lillian Roth. The screening print is courtesy of UCLA Film and Television Archive.
Black & white, 97 min.
Friday, June 19 (7:30 p.m.)
DOUBLE INDEMNITY (Paramount, 1944)
A seductive housewife (Barbara Stanwyck) lures an insurance salesman (Fred MacMurray) into murder while the salesman's partner (Edward G. Robinson) tries to untangle their web of deception. Raymond Chandler adapted the script from a novella that was based on a 1927 murder in which Ruth Snyder persuaded her boyfriend, Judd Gray, to kill her husband Albert after having him take out a big insurance policy – with a double-indemnity clause. Directed by Billy Wilder, “Double Indemnity” is often cited as a classic film noir that set the standard for the films that followed in that genre. Nominated for seven Academy Awards including best picture, best director, best actress for Stanwyck and best screenplay, it was named to the National Film Registry in 1992.
Black & white, 107 min.
Saturday, June 20 (7:30 p.m.)
MAD ABOUT MUSIC (Universal, 1938)
Young Deanna Durbin saved Universal Studio from bankruptcy with a winning smile, an operatic singing voice and a can-do attitude. Her first picture, "Three Smart Girls" (1936), made when she was 14, was an unexpected box office smash and a string of subsequent hits made Durbin Hollywood's highest paid female star and an honorary Academy Award winner. In this, her third picture, Durbin plays Gloria, the daughter of a famous Hollywood movie star (Gail Patrick), who is sent to an exclusive Swiss boarding school. Gloria invents an exciting father and when her schoolmates doubt his existence, she has to produce him. “Mad About Music” received Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Music, and Best Original Story. Directed by Norman Taurog, the musical also stars Herbert Marshall. Songs by Jimmy McHugh and Harold Adamson include the contagious “I Love to Whistle,” “Chapel Bells,” and “A Serenade to the Stars.” The screening print is courtesy of Universal.
Black & white, 100 min.
Thursday, June 25 (7:30 p.m.)
BARAKA (The Samuel Goldwyn Company, 1992)
Shot on six continents and in 24 countries, this non-narrative documentary directed by Ron Fricke explores the formation and evolution of earth, the ascendance of man and the consequences of technology. "The goal of the ﬁlm," says producer Mark Magidson, "was to reach past language, nationality, religion and politics and speak to the inner viewer." “Baraka” was the first film in more than twenty years to be photographed in the 70mm Todd-AO format and the first film ever to be restored and scanned at 8K resolution. The score by Michael Stearns features music by Dead Can Dance, Ciro Hurtado and Inkuyo. Roger Ebert included “Baraka” in his "Great Movies" list, writing that "If man sends another Voyager to the distant stars and it can carry only one film on board, that film might be ‘Baraka.’" The rarely screened 70 mm print being shown is courtesy of Magidson Films.
Color, 96 min
Friday, June 26 (7:30 p.m.)
MEET JOHN DOE (Warner Bros., 1941)
Frank Capra directed and independently produced this socially-conscious story about a grassroots campaign to spearhead national goodwill created by a disgruntled newspaper columnist (Barbara Stanwyck) with the participation of a naive homeless man (Gary Cooper) and egged on by the paper's wealthy owner. Considered the climax of a trilogy (with “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town”  and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” ) in which Frank Capra dealt with American individualism, contemporary critics have hailed the film as one of Capra's most personal. Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan, Spring Byington, James Gleason, Gene Lockhart are featured in this comedy-drama that Bosley Crowther of The New York Times called “a hard-hitting, trenchant picture on the theme of democracy and a glowing tribute to the anonymous citizen.”
Black & white, 127 min.
Saturday, June 27 (2:00 p.m.)
SHALL WE DANCE (RKO, 1937)
In their seventh picture together, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers star as a ballet master and a showgirl whose manager fakes their marriage for publicity purposes without telling them! Comedy and romance multiply as these two dance their way through a charming plot loaded with misunderstandings. Mark Sandrich directed the musical that features six classic songs by George and Ira Gershwin, including the Oscar-nominated "They Can't Take that Away From Me," and “Slap That Bass,” “Let's Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Beginner's Luck,” “They All Laughed” and “Shall We Dance.” Supporting players include Eric Blore, Edward Everett Horton and Jerome Cowan.
Black & white, 109 min.
Saturday, June 27 (7:30 p.m.)
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN (Universal, 1946)
The brilliant British film-making team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (“The Red Shoes”) manage to combine fantasy and reality in a captivating manner in this romantic tale of British Royal Air Force pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) who survives a jump from a burning airplane – without a parachute. It seems Conductor 71, the angel-guide sent to escort him to the "Other World," made an error and comes to earth to reclaim the pilot. But Carter has fallen in love with June (Kim Hunter), the US radio operator who found him seemingly unharmed on the beach. Claiming it was not his fault that he survived, Carter must now plead for his life and his love in a dream-like Heavenly court. Production for the film (released in Great Britain as “A Matter of Life and Death”) began on the day that Japan surrendered to General MacArthur, bringing an end to the Pacific campaign. The timing was fortuitous for the resulting film captured the imaginations of World War II veterans and their countrymen through its magical blend of romance, comedy and tearful drama. Its bold use of Technicolor is still considered one of the peak achievements of that process. Featured in the cast are Raymond Massey, Roger Livesey, Robert Coote, Marius Goring and Richard Attenborough. The screening print is courtesy of Sony Pictures.
Black & white and color 104 min
Thursday, July 2 (7:30 p.m.)
RAMBO DOUBLE FEATURE
FIRST BLOOD (Orion, 1982 *R-rated)
Sylvester Stallone portrays troubled Vietnam vet John Rambo who, after being harassed and arrested by police in a small town, escapes into the woods and launches a war against the offending sheriff and his men. Rambo's former commanding officer Col. Samuel Trautman (Richard Crenna) is brought in to help defuse the situation. Ted Kotcheff directed this psychological action thriller that was a great commercial success despite mixed reviews. Now regarded by many as an underrated, cult and influential film in the action genre, “First Blood” spawned three sequels, all co-written by and starring Stallone.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Color, 93 min.
RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II (Tristar Pictures, 1985 *R-rated) (9:15 p.m.)
Picking up where “First Blood” left off, John Rambo is released from prison by the government for a top-secret mission to document the possible existence of POWs in Vietnam. Although he is told to only photograph where the POWS are being held, Rambo, with the aid of female Vietnamese freedom fighter Co Bao, embarks on a mission to rescue the prisoners. Richard Crenna returns as Col. Samuel Trautman in this blockbuster action film that was directed by George Cosmatos.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Color, 96 min.
Thursday, July 9 (7:30 p.m.)
BATTLE OF BRITAIN (United Artists, 1969)
The Battle of Britain, which began 75 years ago this month, was the first major campaign of WWII to be fought entirely by air forces. Waged by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) against the United Kingdom, the battle lasted for three months and three weeks and included the worst of the London Blitz. For this British made film, producer Harry Saltzman and director Guy Hamilton assembled over 100 vintage planes and hired three of the greatest veteran flying aces of the battle - two British and one German - as technical advisers. The story alternates personal vignettes of commanders, flyers and civilians with vivid dogfight sequences. The all-star British cast includes Laurence Olivier, Trevor Howard, Ralph Richardson, Michael Caine, Robert Shaw and Susannah York.
Color, 132 min.
Friday, July 10 (7:30 p.m.)
LIVE: THE PAUL REISLER TRIO WITH LEA MORRIS AND MARSHALL KEYS
Prolific songwriter and performer Paul Reisler will bring his music to the Packard Campus Theater stage along with Marshall Keys on sax and vocalist Lea Morris for an evening of jazz-folk-soul fusion. Based in Rappahannock County, Virginia, Paul has written more than 3500 songs, recorded 50 albums and taught songwriting to thousands of students through his Kid Pan Alley program. Marshall Keys is a fixture on the Washington jazz scene and has recorded eight albums of his music, while Lea Morris is a singer and songwriter whose “soul-folk” blends gospel, jazz, country and R&B with authentic, thought provoking song craft.
Approximately 120 min.
Saturday, July 11 (2:00 p.m.)
YOU’LL NEVER GET RICH (Columbia, 1941)
The first of two musicals that paired Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth, “You’ll Never Get Rich” (followed by “You Were Never Lovelier” in 1942), was a successful career move for both. Astaire proved he could carry a picture without his popular partner Ginger Rogers while Hayworth, after languishing in B movies at Columbia, was finally given a starring role in a big budgeted film. Directed by Sidney Lanfield with a story made up of a series of misunderstandings that lead to romance, the musical comedy features a Cole Porter score, bravura dancing by the two stars, and Robert Benchley to provide witty banter. Combining elements of a behind-the-scenes musical and a life-in-uniform military comedy, the film was a box-office success praised by Variety for being "a happy combination of music, dancing and comedy."
Black & white, 88 min.
Thursday, July 16 (7:30 p.m.)
MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (Paramount, 1937)
Director Leo McCarey’s progressive Depression-era drama, based on a play by Helen and Nolan Leary and a novel by Josephine Lawrence, follows a penniless elderly couple (Beulah Bondi and Victor Moore) forced by their self-absorbed children to live separately in order to save money. Challenging the tried-and-true conventions of late-‘30s films, “Make Way for Tomorrow” presents the “golden years” with realism and tenderness. The film received only modest reviews and average box office in 1937, but the sensitive screenplay by Viña Delmar and touching performances by Bondi and Moore have earned the respect and affection of modern audiences turned off by the bloated and saccharine “family” pictures typical of the ‘30s. The film was selected for the National Film Registry in 2010.
Black & white, 91 min.
Friday, July 17 (7:30 p.m.)
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (Warner Bros., 1955)
This portrait of youthful alienation spoke to a whole generation and remains wrenchingly powerful, despite some dated elements. The yearning for self-esteem, the parental conflict, the comfort found in friendships, are all beautifully orchestrated by director Nicholas Ray, screenwriter Stewart Stern, and a fine cast. This was James Dean's defining performance and an impressive showing for Sal Mineo who was nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting actor. Named to the National Film Registry in 1990, the film also received Oscar nomination for best writing, motion picture story for Nicholas Ray and best supporting actress for Natalie Wood.
Color, 111 min.
Saturday, July 18 (7:30 p.m.)
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (Orion Pictures, 1991 *R-rated)
Jodie Foster, Sir Anthony Hopkins and director Jonathan Demme won accolades for this chilling thriller based upon a book by Thomas Harris. Foster plays rookie FBI agent Clarice Starling who must tap into the disturbed mind of imprisoned cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter in order to aid her search for a murderer and torturer still at large. A film whose violence is as much psychological as graphic, "Silence of the Lambs"—winner of Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Adapted Screenplay—has been celebrated for its superb lead performances, its blending of crime and horror genres, and its taut direction that brought to the screen one of film's greatest villains and some of its most memorable imagery. The film was named to the National Film Registry in 2011.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Color, 118 min.
Thursday, July 23 (7:30 p.m.)
THE SOUTHERN STAR (Columbia, 1969)
In French West Africa in 1912, a business entrepreneur pays a penniless American geologist and several other experts and fortune hunters to uncover a large diamond, known as the southern star. The geologist, along with his companion, finds the diamond and takes it back to the businessman. When both the diamond and the companion disappear, a search is begun to retrieve the valuable stone. George Segal, Ursula Andress and Orson Welles star in this British-French comedy crime adventure based on the novel “The Vanished Diamond” by Jules Verne.
Color, 104 min.
Friday, July 24 (7:30 p.m.)
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (United Artists, 1956)
Michael Todd's epic production of Jules Verne's novel recounts the adventures of Englishman Phileas Fogg (David Niven), who takes on a seemingly impossible wager: traveling around the world with his butler, Passepartout (Cantinflas), in just 80 days. The whirlwind journey takes the pair on adventures to India, Hong Kong and the United States. The film's star-studded cast includes Shirley MacLaine, Charles Boyer, Marlene Dietrich, Buster Keaton, George Raft, Frank Sinatra, Ronald Colman and many, many others. “Around the World in Eighty Days” won the 1956 Academy Award for best motion picture, best adapted screenplay, best cinematography, best film editing and best music score.
Color, 167 min.
Saturday, July 25 (2:00 p.m.)
IN SEARCH OF THE CASTAWAYS (Disney/Buena Vista, 1962)
In this fantasy adventure tale set in 19th century England, French scientist Professor Paganel (Maurice Chevalier) finds a floating bottle containing a note which he believes to have been written by the missing sea Captain Grant. The Professor and the Captain’s children Mary (Haley Mills) and Robert (Keith Hamshere) embark on a dangerous quest to find their father who vanished years before, somewhere along the Chilean coast. The film was directed by Robert Stevenson from a screenplay by Lowell S. Hawley based upon Jules Verne's 1868 adventure novel “Captain Grant's Children.”
Color, 98 min.
Thursday, July 30 (7:30 p.m.)
CLASSIC JAZZ FROM THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS ARCHIVES (1940s-1980s)
An evening of rarely seen performances by such legendary jazz musicians and singers as Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gilliespie, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and many more will be presented on the big screen at the Packard Campus Theater. Curated and preserved by Library of Congress video preservation specialists Bill Rush and John Grandin, the program will include Soundies (musical numbers shot on 16mm and shown on coin-operated film jukeboxes in the 1940s), Snader Telescriptions (musical numbers produced for television in the early 1950s and used as fillers), and selections from local, network and public television programs - many not seen since the original broadcast.
Color and black & white, approximately 120 min.
Friday, July 31 (7:30 p.m.)
THE NEW KLONDIKE (Paramount, 1926)
Based upon a short story by Ring Lardner and inspired by both the national baseball craze and the Florida land boom speculation of 1925, this silent romantic comedy directed by Lewis Milestone was Ben Hecht's first film assignment. Partly shot on location in Miami, the story concerns small-town pitcher Thomas Kelly (Thomas Meighan) who is sent to spring training with a minor league baseball team in Florida, but is fired by its jealous manager. Kelly is then persuaded to be the celebrity endorser for a Florida real estate firm, and his former teammates invest money in the firm through him. The resentful team manager conspires with a crooked broker to sell Kelly and the investors some worthless swampland. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Andrew Simpson.
Black & white, 80 min.
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Last Updated: 06/17/2015