Austin Film Society announces plans for reopening cinema

Classic programming as well as new releases will kick off July 15


The Austin Film Society announced today plans for the July 15 reopening of its cinema with a lot of programming featuring some of the world’s most classic films as well as new ones.

“We are thrilled to announce our opening date and can’t wait to see everyone at the AFS Cinema this summer,” said Rebecca Campbell, CEO of AFS. In May, the cinema launched a crowdfunding drive, which continues, but has already raised $130,000 for more than 700 donors in just over a month — indicative of Austin’s support for the nonprofit. The campaign, called The Next Picture Show, runs through June 17, and donors receive perks, including AFS membership.

Opening weekend will feature a tribute to Larry McMurtry with a screening of “The Last Picture Show” and a screening of Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran.” It will also feature the new documentary “Summer of Soul” by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, and the Austin theatrical premiere of” Dear Mr. Brody,” with director Keith Maitland and filmmakers in attendance on July 18.

Tickets for the July and August programs will go on sale to the public on June 25 through the organization’s website,

Other summer events include an Essential Cinema screening of newly restored films by Eric Rohmer; Big Screen Classics with screenings of Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in America,” Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Marriage of Maria Braun” and Martin Ritt’s “Hud.”

Restorations of classic films will also screen. They include Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Mirror,” and Ousmane Sembene’s “Mandabi.”

A noir-themed batch of programming will include Howard Hawks’ “The Big Sleep,” Billy Wilder’s “Double Indemnity” and Orson Welles’ “Touch of Evil.”

The cinema will also show a series called the “World of Wong Kar Wai,” with restorations of his classic films.

Related: ‘In the Mood for Love’ is the highlight of a streaming Wong Kar-Wai festival

But some moviegoers will be most excited about the new releases that will screen at AFS Cinema. They include “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It,” by Mariem Perez Riera, and “Without Getting Killed or Caught,” with director Tamara Saviana in attendance on July 23.

Related: Guy Clark documentary tells story through his wife’s eyes

If you’re concerned about the precautions because of the pandemic, the cinema says that masks will be required at all times in the lobby and in the theater when not eating or drinking. Improved air filters have also been installed, and theaters will be operating at reduced capacity.

For a full schedule and calendar, visit

Charles Ealy
Charles Ealy
Charles Ealy is a former movies editor for The Dallas Morning News and Austin American-Statesman.

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