Cinema Showdown

Rebel Without a Cause and more coming to Tucson screens

If you've got a teenager at home who's constantly sulking, take him or her to Cinema La Placita this month to show 'em how it's really done. All month long Cinema La Placita presents "It's Not Easy Being a Teen," a series devoted to teen angst on screen. First up is the immortal Rebel Without a Cause on Thursday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m. $3 gets you in, plus a bag of popcorn. 

The Loft Cinema is also kicking off a new series this month. Starting on Thursday, July 3 is "Spielberg Summer," a repertoire of some of maverick filmmaker Steven Spielberg's greatest works. First up is the 1975's Jaws, the film that gave birth to the summer blockbuster. If you've never seen this film about a phantom-like Great White shark terrorizing a New England coastal town on the big screen before, you're doing yourself a disservice. On Saturday, July 5 is E.T. the Extra-Terrestial, one of the finest, non-pretentious and heartwarming science-fiction films ever made. Heck, I still choke up at certain scenes. Both films start at 7 p.m., and both are $8, while Loft members and children under 12 are $6.

If you'd like to celebrate some of Independence Day inside, the Loft has several options for you. Liberty Watch Radio presents the 1949 Navy boiler Task Force, starring Gary Cooper, at noon. The Sly Dog food truck will be on hand to dish out some delicious hot dogs! Richard Lester's classic Beatles romp A Hard Day's Night is back on the screens, and the Loft has it for at least a week. At the 3 p.m. screening, stop by early and enter in a free raffle from Zia Records for your chance to win Beatles merch and other prizes.

At 6 p.m., catch the long-running 4th of July tradition The Team America: World Police Sing-A-Long & Curse-A-Thon. Sing and cuss your heart out along with Trey Parker and Matt Stone's patriotic puppets! Show up early to belt out a few sordid South Park numbers! At 10 p.m., brace yourself for a brand-new restored version of the Citizen Kane of horror films, 1974's grisly The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Can you believe it's been 40 years since Leatherface cranked up the saw and let loose the carnage? If you can't make it on Friday, it also plays at 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 5. For ticket prices and other information on all of these events, visit

Save some room for the sweet yet creepy 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. This one gave me some kinder-trauma once upon a time, and the Oompa-Loompas still weird me out. As does Gene Wilder's scene in the tunnel. Yikes! See it at Cinemark Park Place and El Con on Sunday, July 6 at 2 p.m. and on Wednesday, July 9 at 2 and 7 p.m.

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