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While the cineplexes offer new big-budget flicks, the Loft offers classic blockbusters that don't suck

While the cineplexes blast you in the face with shiny, new blockbusters this summer, the Loft Cinema is going to great lengths to bring back the great movies of yesteryear with their excellent Cult Classics series.

For just $5 per ticket, you can see a cult classic every Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m., giving you renewed chances to see them on their intended medium: the big screen.

Making the Loft even cooler, of course, is that they serve beer, wine and pizza. That's just awesome.

Here's the cult classic schedule, presented by Bookmans, through July 26:

Taxi Driver (May 30 and 31): I still regard this as Martin Scorsese's best film, containing Robert De Niro's best performance. He plays Travis Bickle, a sociopath taxi driver who takes a liking to a beautiful woman (Cybill Shepherd) and develops an unhealthy need to protect a young hooker (Jodie Foster). Bickle's assassination plot against a presidential candidate inspired a Foster-loving John Hinckley Jr. to shoot President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

A Boy and His Dog (June 6 and 7): This eternally strange film stars Don Johnson and a telepathic dog traveling across a post-apocalyptic wasteland. As the Loft's Web site explains, the dog was played by Tiger from the Brady Bunch. I never knew that!

Clue (June 13 and 14): Tim Curry plays the butler in this big-screen adaptation of the classic board game. The print includes all three surprise endings. Both Clue and A Boy and His Dog will be shown with brand-new 35mm prints.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (June 20 and 21): Before Sarah Michelle Gellar took up the stake, Kristy Swanson teamed with Donald Sutherland to fight a campy vampire played by Rutger Hauer. It also stars Paul Reubens.

The Goonies (June 27 and 28): A group of kids including Sean Astin and Josh Brolin find themselves in a big Spielberg-produced adventure. Sloth rules! Director Richard Donner has always wanted to make a sequel, but it doesn't appear that Goonies II will be happening.

Top Gun (July 4 and 5): This one solidified Tom Cruise as a superstar, and showed us Anthony Edwards with a full head of hair. If you are unfamiliar with the film, it features a lot of planes flying fast, and music by Berlin.

Harold and Maude (July 11 and 12): One of the strangest romances ever put to screen. Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon, depicting characters with a 60-year age difference, fall in love in Hal Ashby's bizarre and hilarious love story.

Jurassic Park (July 18 and 19): This will always be one of the greatest times I've ever had at the movies. When the T-Rex showed up for the first time, I was scared out of my wits. If you've never seen it on the big screen, make yourself go. You'll be happy you did.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (July 25 and 26): Gene Wilder scared the crap out of me in this wacky children's fantasy. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp did a great job, but the original, with Wilder, is still the best.

On top of the Cult Classics series, the Loft is keeping things interesting with their Mondo Monday films. Line up for Hot Rods to Hell on June 2, Peter Jackson's revoltingly hilarious Bad Taste on June 9, and Linda Blair in Roller Boogie on June 16. Admission is only $2 for these 8 p.m. films

Special screenings include The Rocky Horror Picture Show on June 7, The All Nite Scream-O-Rama on June 13, and the America, F**K Yeah! The Team America: World Police Sing-Along and Curse-A-Thon on July 4.

Their Essential Cinema Series includes La Strada on June 15 and The Hidden Fortress (which inspired George Lucas' Star Wars) on July 13.

For more details, visit the Loft Web site. And, oh yeah, on top of all this, the Loft continues to screen the best in current independent and art cinema. It's the freaking jewel of Tucson!

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