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Movies

END OF SUMMER FUN The Port Jefferson Greek Festival kicks off tonight, Aug. 25, at 5 p.m. File photo by Kyle Barr/TBR News Media
Thursday August 25

Summer Thursdays at the LIM

See off summer with the Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook at its last Summer Thursday event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Bring a picnic basket, a blanket, and a friend and enjoy the grounds of the museum after hours with music by Pirates of the Snowy Terminal Moraine. Free. Visit www.longislandmuseum.org for more info.

Historic Walking Tour & Pub Crawl

The Huntington Historical Society hosts a Historic Walking Tour & Pub Crawl beginning at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building, Main Street, Huntington at 6 p.m. Led by Town of Huntington Historian, Robert C. Hughes, this walking tour will guide you through the notable buildings and events in the history of Huntington Village. Along the way participants will stop at local establishments, (with a great history or in a historic building) to enjoy some refreshment before continuing the tour. $25 per person, $20 members (drinks not included). To register, call 427-7045 or visit www.huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org.

Port Jefferson Greek Festival

Opa! Greek Church of the Assumption, 430 Sheep Pasture Road, Port Jefferson presents its annual Greek Festival today from 5 to 10 p.m., Aug. 26 from 5 to 11 p.m., Aug. 27 from noon to 11 p.m. and Aug. 28 from noon to 10 p.m. with vendors, authentic Greek delights, dancing, music, carnival rides, church tour and giant raffle. Fireworks on Aug. 26 and 27 (weather permitting), raffle drawing on Aug. 28 at 8 p.m. $2 per person, free for children under 12. For more information, call 473-0894 or visit www.portjeffgreekfest.com. 

Holbrook Carnival

Join the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce for its annual Carnival & Festival on the grounds of the Holbrook Country Club, 700 Patchogue-Holbrook Road, Holbrook tonight and Aug. 26 from 6 to 11 p.m., and Aug. 27 and 28 from 2 to 11 p.m. Games, food, rides, craft vendors, entertainment and fireworks (on Aug. 27). For more info, call 471-2725.

Harborside Concerts

The Village of Port Jefferson concludes its free Harborside Concert series with a special performance by The Hit Men (classic rock) at the Port Jefferson Ferry Dock, 102 West Broadway, at 7 p.m. For more information, call-473-4724 or visit www.portjeff.com. 

Native American Drumming

All Souls Parish House, 10 Mill Pond Road, Stony Brook will host an evening of Native American Drumming Meditation led by elder drummer Ric Statler from 7 to 8:45 p.m.  Drumming meditation seeks to integrate the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual parts of the human self, creating a state of well-being. Free. Call 655-7798 for more information.

Friday August 26

Port Jefferson Greek Festival

See Aug. 25 listing.

Holbrook Carnival

See Aug. 25 listing.

Musical Moments in Kings Park

The Kings Park Civic Association continues its 2022 Musical Moments series tonight at Russ Savatt Park, 14 Main St., Kings Park at 7:30 p.m. with Moonflower – Spirit of Santana. Bring seating. Call 516-319-0672 for further details.

Happenings on Main Street

The Northport Arts Coalition presents a free concert by The Toby Tobias Ensemble at the Northport Village Park Gazebo at the harbor at 7 p.m. as part of its Happenings on Main Street Series. Bring seating. Call 827-6827 or visit www.northportarts.org.

Poets in Port

The Northport Arts Coalition hosts an evening of poetry at First Presbyterian Church, 330 Main St., Northport at 7:30 p.m. Featured poet will be Carlo Frank Calo. An open reading will follow. Free tickets are available through eventbrite.com.

Tribute to Frankie Valli

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson continues its 2022 Summer Concert Series with Oh What A Night!, Las Vegas’s hottest Frankie Valli tribute featuring all the original hits  including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “My Eyes Adored You,” and “Working My Way Back To You,” at 8 p.m. Tickets are $59. To order, call 928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

Friday Night Face-Off

Friday Night Face Off, Long Island’s longest running Improv Comedy Show, returns to Theatre Three’s Second Stage, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson tonight at 10:30 p.m. Using audience suggestions, FNFO pits two teams of improvisers against each other in an all-out championship! Recommended for ages16 and up, due to adult content. Tickets are $15 at the door – cash only. Call 928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com for more information.

Saturday August 27

Port Jefferson Greek Festival

See Aug. 25 listing.

Holbrook Carnival

See Aug. 25 listing.

WMHO’s Pop Up Saturday

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization concludes its Pop-Up Saturdays at the Stony Brook Village Center with artist Marty Macaluso who will visit the village and draw caricatures of individuals and groups from 2 to 4 p.m. (no rain date) Free. Call 751-2244 or visit www.wmho.org.

Farmingville Community Day

Join the Farmingville Residents Association, One More for Jesus Church, Helping Hands Outreach, Sachem Public Library and YMCA Long Island for its annual Community Day Festival at Triangle Park, corner of Horseblock Road and  Woodycrest Drive from 3 to 8 p.m. Enjoy food, entertainment, activities for kids, a bounce house area, and more. Held rain or shine. For more information, call 260-7411 or visit www.farmingvilleresidents.org.

St. James FD Parade

In honor of its 100th anniversary of serving the community, the St. James Fire Department will celebrate with a parade kicking off on Woodlawn Avenue at the high school at 5 p.m. and then traveling left on Lake Avenue to St. James Elementary School. Enjoy a Battle of the Bands, town party, DJ, kids activities, refreshments and fireworks by Grucci at 9 p.m. For more information, call 584-5760.

Smithtown End of Summer concert

Town of Smithtown Supervisor, Ed Wehrheim and the Town Council, in conjunction with Relish Kings Park, The Inlet and Gusto’s of Hauppauge will host a free, Country Music Concert at the Kings Park Bluff to close out the Summer Season at 7 p.m.. , Residents are invited to enjoy Nathan Dean and The Damn Band along Bootleggers Trail with Bootsie Magou Straight Bourbon Whiskey Nationwide Tour. . Parking for the event is limited and must be reserved online at: https://CountryMusicAtTheBluff.eventbrite.com. In the event of rain, the concert will take place on Aug. 28.   Bring seating. For more info, call 360-7600.

Tribute to Beach Boys, Beatles …

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson continues its 2022 Summer Concert Series with Four by Four, a musical tribute to the Beach Boys, Beatles, Bee Gees and Motown, at 8 p.m. Enjoy instantly recognizable classic pop songs in fully staged and choreographed production numbers. Informative and often humorous banter ties all of this extraordinary music together for an evening of feel good, raise-the roof entertainment. Tickets are $59. To order, call 928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

Sunday August 28

Port Jefferson Greek Festival

See Aug. 25 listing..

Holbrook Carnival

See Aug. 25 listing.

Nesconset Street Fair

Join the Nesconset Chamber of Commerce for Nesconset Day along Smithtown Blvd., Nesconset Plaza and the Nesconset Gazebo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The street fair will feature vendors, crafts, music, games, food trucks, face painting and bounce houses. Questions? Call 672-5197 or visit www.nesconsetchamber.org.

Sunday at the Society

Join the Northport Historical Society, 215 Main St., Northport for a Sunday at the Society lecture titled “Remembering 9/11: A Discussion” with Darryl St. George at 1 p.m.  St. George will contextualize the tragic events of September 11th’s, break down the history leading up to the attacks, and provide a look at the events that followed such as the Global War on Terror, the rise of ISIS, and the Arab Spring. Join him in contemplating how the September 11th Attacks shaped our world today and in honoring those who lost their lives twenty-one years ago. Free. Advance registration required by visiting www.northporthistorical.org.

Wind Down Sundays

The popular summer concert series continues at Hap’s historic Red Barn at Frank Melville Memorial Park, 1 Old Field Road, Setauket tonight with One Step Ahead (jazz, R&B, reggae, rock, pop, classics) at 5:30 p.m. Bring seating. Call 689-6146 or visit www.frankmelvillepark.org.

Summer Sunset Stroll

Join the staff at Sunken Meadow State Park, Sunken Meadow Parkway, Kings Park for a Summer Sunset Stroll from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Bring your camera and your walking shoes as you enjoy an early evening stroll along the sandy beaches, forests and marshes and capture the beauty of the late summer sunset from multiple angles.  Adults only. $4 per person. To register , visit www.eventbrite.com & search #NatureEdventure.

Summer Concerts on the Green

Summer concerts are back in front of the Stony Brook Post Office at the Stony Brook Village Center, 111 Main Street, Stony Brook from 7 to 9 p.m. every Sunday through Aug. 28, courtesy of the Ward Melville Heritage Organization. Tonight’s final performance will be by the Sound Symphony Orchestra. Spnosored by the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame, the concert will feature light classical songs, movie themes and Broadway tunes. Additionally, a vocalist will performs opera songs. Bring seating. Call 751-2244 or visit wmho.org.

Monday August 29

Tide Mill Tour

The Huntington Historical Society will lead a tour of the Van Wyck-Lefferts Tide Mill, one of the best preserved 18th century tide mills in the country at 12:30 p.m. The tour begins with a short boat ride from Gold Star Battalion Beach into Puppy Cove, past waterfront mansions with sightings of egrets, ospreys, and visiting waterfowl. Your guide will explain the workings of the mill with some related social history, and each tour participant will receive a comprehensive, illustrated booklet. Ticket are $20 per person, $15 members. To purchase, call 427-7045 or visit www.huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org.

Tuesday August 30

Concerts at The Gazebo 

Enjoy the final Tuesday night concert of the summer at The Gazebo, 127 Smithtown Blvd., Nesconset by 70s Rock Addiction, courtesy of the Nesconset Chamber of Commerce. Tonight’s performance is a fundraiser for Paws of War. Rain dates are the next day. Bring seating. Questions? Call 672-5197 or visit www.nesconsetchamber.org.

Wednesday August 31

Port Jefferson Sunset Concert

Greater Port Jefferson Arts Council concludes its Sunset Concerts at Harborfront Park, 101-A East Broadway, Port Jefferson with the Eastbound Freight Bluegrass Band from 6:30 to 8 p.m. through Aug. 31. Tonight’s performance will be by Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks. Bring seating. Call 473-5220 or visit www.gpjac.org.

Thursday Sept, 1

No events listed for this day.

Film

‘Star Wars’ Trilogy

For all the Star Wars fans out there! This is your chance to see the Original Trilogy back on the big screen! For one week only, the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington will be screening A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi! All three films will screen each day, with successive screenings on Friday and Saturday for those who want to binge watch the trilogy! See them at the Cinema August 26th – September 1st. Visit www.cinemaartscentre.org for more information.

‘YOU TALKIN’ TO ME?’
Catch a screening of ‘Taxi Driver’ on the big screen at the Cinema Arts Centre on Aug. 27.

‘Taxi Driver’

As part of its Cult Cafe series, the Cinema Arts Centre will screen Martin Scorcese’s 1976 classic Taxi Driver starring Robert DeNiro, Cybill Shepherd and Jodie Foster on Aug. 27 at 10 p.m. Tickets are $7, $5 members. Visit www.cinemaartscentre.org.

‘The Godfather’

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, The Godfather will be screening at the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. Considered by many to be one of the greatest films of all time, the movie follows the saga of the Corleone crime family led by Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), then later his son Michael (Al Pacino). With new digital restoration. Tickets are $15, $10 members. Visit www.cinemaartscentre.org.

Theater

‘Every Brilliant Thing’

One more performance! Theatre Three, 412 Main Street, Port Jefferson, in association with Response Crisis Center, presents the Long Island premiere of Every Brilliant Thing, a one-man show starring Jeffrey Sanzel, on the Second Stage Sundays at 3 p.m. from July 10 to Aug. 28. You’re seven years old. Your mother is in the hospital. Your father said she’s “done something stupid.” So, you begin a list of everything that is truly wonderful about the world — everything worth living for. With audience members recruited to take on supporting roles, Every Brilliant Thing is a heart-wrenching, hilarious story of depression and the lengths we will go for those we love. All seats are $20. Fifty percent of the gross proceeds of this production will benefit Response Crisis Center. To order, call 928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com. 

‘On Your Feet!’

Extended! The John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport presents On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan from July 14 to Sept. 3. From their humble beginnings in Cuba, Emilio and Gloria Estefan came to America and broke through all barriers to become a crossover sensation at the very top of the pop music world. But just when they thought they had it all, they almost lost everything. On Your Feet! takes you behind the music and inside the real story of this record-making, and groundbreaking couple who, in the face of adversity, found a way to end up on their feet. Get ready to get on your feet, and dance to the smash hits “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” “1-2-3,” “Live For Loving You,” “Conga,” and many more. Tickets range from $75 to $80 with free valet parking. To order, call 261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com. 

‘Henry V’

The Carriage House Players continues its annual Shakespeare Festival at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport with Henry V from Aug. 26 to Sept. 18 on Wednesdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7 p.m. Performances take place outdoors on stage in the courtyard, where the Spanish-Mediterranean architecture adds a touch of timeless charm and magic. Bring a picnic dinner to enjoy before the show and bring your own lawn chair. Inclement weather cancels. Tickets are $20 adults, $15 seniors and children ages 12 and under. To order, visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.

‘Guys and Dolls’

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson kicks off its 52nd season with Guys and Dolls from Sept. 17 to Oct. 22. Considered the perfect musical of Broadway’s Golden Age, this delightful romp gambles in luck and love from Times Square to Havana. High rollers and low characters from Damon Runyon’s mythical New York are joyously presented in Frank Loesser’s bold and brassy score, featuring “Luck Be a Lady,” “I’ve Never Been in Love Before,” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.” An award-winning classic for the entire family! Tickets are $35 adults, $28 senior and students, $20 children ages 5 and up. To order, call 928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

Vendors Wanted

Davis Town Meeting House Society seeks vendors for its Yard Sale & Craft Fair on Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Davis House, 263 Middle Country Rd., Coram. Rain date is Sept. 11. $25 per table. For an application, call Maryanne at 631-804-2256 or email: [email protected]. 

Yaphank Historical Society seeks vendors for the annual Fall Yard sale on Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of the Hawkins House at 4 Yaphank Avenue, Yaphank. Rain date is Sept 18. Vendor fee is only $10 per spot. No advance reservations necessary. Call 631-924-4803 with questions, or visit www.yaphankhistorical.org.

Hallockville Museum Farm, 6038 Sound Ave., Riverhead seeks artisan craft & farmers market vendors for its 41st annual Country Fair on Sept. 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more details and an application, visit www.Hallockville.org/countryfair.

Port Jefferson Lions Club seeks vendors for its 1st annual Car Show at Brookhaven Town Hall, 1 Independence Hill, Farmingville on Sept. 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Rain date is Sept. 25) Call Warren at 631-258-6165.

Caroline Episcopal Church of Setauket is sponsoring a Fall Craft Fair & Barn Sale on the Setauket Village Green (Main St. and Caroline Ave.) on Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rain date is Sept. 25 from noon to 5 p.m. Limited spaces still available on the Village Green (10’x10’) and covered Carriage Shed (9’x18’). Reserve your spot at depasmarket.com. Questions? Call 631-806-4845. 

Stony Brook Community Church, 216 Christian Ave., Stony Brook is seeking vendors for its Apple Festival on Oct.1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rain date Oct. 2). Spots (10’ x 10’) are $40 each; vendors can call or text 631-252-0777 for an application.

St. Thomas of Canterbury, 29 Brooksite Drive, Smithtown seeks craft or new merchandise vendors for its Craft Fair and Car Show on Oct. 8 (rain date is Oct. 15 for craft fair only) $50/space. Visit www.stthomasofcanterbury.net or call 631-265-4520 to obtain an application.

Northport Arts Coalition seeks artists and musicians for its annual ArtWalk on Oct. 9 from 1 to 5 p.m. ArtWalk turns the entire Village of Northport into an immersive art experience. Artists in this juried event exhibit and sell their work in shops and offices while musicians serenade visitors on the streets. Artists will need to submit samples of their work to be considered for entry, and musicians will need to submit videos or recordings of live performances. The deadline to submit is Aug.21 and you’ll be notified by Sept. 1 if you’ve been accepted. Visit www.NorthportArts.org/ArtWalk.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 716 Route 25a, Rocky Point seeks vendors to be a part of their annual October Festival on Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fee for vendor participation of new items, no raffles is $35 per  10’ x 10’ space. Must supply own table and chairs. Visit www.thefishchurch.com Festivals and Events page.

Class Reunions

✴Port Jefferson (ELVHS) Class of 1972’s 50th reunion is planned for September 9 and 10. Please spread the word, and visit Facebook page “Port Jefferson(ELVHS) Class of 1972 50th Reunion” for details or e-mail [email protected].

✴Ward Melville High School Class of 1972’s  50th reunion is Oct 1. Please spread the word and visit Facebook page “Ward Melville High School Class 72 50th Reunion” for more information and purchasing tickets. For more information, email [email protected] or call 631-928-5684 and leave your name and contact information for any questions.

Pixabay photo

By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

Intuitively we know that our behavior changed in just about every way during the unprecedented events of last year. The American Time Use Survey, a responsibility of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, asks thousands of people annually to record how they spend their daily minutes, and they came up with some research to back up our intuition on how we adapted to COVID-19 in 2020. The New York Times covered the story last Thursday, breaking out a number of categories for comparison.

As far as non-work and non-school time, the data was divided into sleeping; watching TV, movies or videos; playing games; cooking; doing housework; grooming; exercising; and texting, phone calls and video chats. It was further broken down by demographic groups: 15-24; 25-44; 45-64; and 65+. As far as sleeping goes, all the age groups slept more, with those 25-44 and 45-64 getting the most rest and both the 15-24 and the 65+ cohorts having the smallest increases. That makes sense to me because those getting more sleep are probably the primary workforce. The ones who did not have to commute as much and could sleep a little later.

The 45-64 and the 15-24 groups also spent the most extra time watching TV, movies and videos, about 25 minutes more per day. Yay for Netflix and the other streaming services who introduced us to binging. By far and away the most increase playing games was among the 15-24 folks, averaging 24 more minutes a day.  Mostly all four groups didn’t change much in the amount of cooking they did, but while the others increased slightly, the 15-24 category decreased six minutes a day.

Doing housework wasn’t much different from 2019, with the oldest category completely unchanged.

So what went down? Are you surprised to know it was grooming? The others dropped from four to seven minutes a day, but the youngest members increased four-tenths of a minute. Exercising increased four to five minutes, except for the oldest set, who decreased their exercising by five minutes daily. And everybody spent more time texting, phoning and participating in video chats, with the youngest crowd up eight minutes a day.

Last year was a difficult time for those forced to be alone. The survey tracks people during waking hours by how much time spent with people outside the household, with household members only and with those alone. The numbers for time with outsiders sank to one hour and 33 minutes less a day, while for household members, the amount rose by 31 minutes. The amount of alone time rose 57 minutes on average out of an eight-hour day. Remember all these numbers measure increases, not absolute time. For those in nursing homes, for example, who were unable to receive visitors, it was a miserably lonely year. And socializing among children was severely limited.

The greatest disruption caused by the coronavirus was in the lives of parents. With schools closed, parents became homeschoolers, particularly for children in elementary school. This burden could be in addition to working on a job from home and it affected women more than men because in most cases they carry the greater responsibility for child care. Sometimes it forced women to quit their jobs. Single mothers were particularly disrupted by the situation.

The nature of work also changed. For starters, in 2019, only one in seven people worked remotely. Last year it was one in three. And the changes laid bare disparities among workers.  Hispanic workers were more likely to lose their jobs. Black workers were most often required to go to their jobs in person, thus being more exposed to infection. White and Asian workers were often able to work from home.

There were also stark differences depending on educational levels. Those with graduate and professional degrees generally spent more hours last year working from home than in the office. Those with a high school diploma or less were often considered “essential workers” and had to function in person in the workplace, 

Will this data cause change in the future?

File photo by Kyle Barr

By Sabrina Artusa

After many gloomy months in quarantine, movie theater-starved citizens can now return to PJ Cinemas.

The Port Jefferson Station-based theater, owned by Phil Solomon, officially reopened May 28 after tentative operation and eventual closure during quarantine.

PJ Cinemas has long been a cornerstone of Port Jefferson life. Many Port Jeffersonians grew up in front of its screens, snacking on popcorn, splurging on candy and laying back in the dimmed theater to enjoy a movie with family and friends. 

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic suspended its operation, halting these happy excursions. Deprived of their local movie theater, many residents have not seen a film on the big screen in more than 15 months.

Most businesses were affected by the COVID-19 virus, and PJ Cinemas was no exception. Although closing was less than ideal, manager Brian Fiederlein recognized that it was necessary in order to “do our part for the community” and “ensure the safety of the staff as well as the patrons.” 

With the worst of the pandemic behind us, Fiederlein is optimistic and excited about reopening. However, the process has not been easy. Seven months after the initiation of quarantine, PJ Cinemas experimented with reopening for a brief time in October, but was forced to close again soon after. 

In regards to this latest reopening, Fiederlein said that it is “energizing to get back to working” but the process of getting acclimated to the state guidelines required “a lot of hustle.”

This time around, however, reopening is more promising. Fiederlein said he has a “more solid belief that things are safe.” 

In December there was no “light at the end of the tunnel” — vaccinations were not yet released and there was not any indication of the virus alleviating, so remaining open was unsustainable.

Fiederlein feels that he and his staff have a moral obligation to secure the safety of moviegoers. 

So, in determining when to reopen, Fiederlein posed the question: “How can we get people back to the movies safely?” Increasing vaccination rates helped answer this question. 

The PJ Cinemas staff had several factors to consider in the reopening process: infection rates, hospitalization rates, product and vaccination availability. Presently, the movie theater is under little restriction — patrons can watch a movie mask-free, as long as they are vaccinated. 

Since reopening, the theater has been awash in accounts of filmgoers’ excitement to be back. “Every day there are more stories about how long people have been waiting,” Fiederlein said. He added that although incoming business is “nowhere where it was pre-COVID,” he is happy to be “getting excitement back into the place — but also safely.”

“There is a buzz in the community,” Fiederlein said. “It’s good to be back.”

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The Comsewogue library. File photo

The on-demand film streaming service Kanopy is now available for free at the Comsewogue Public Library. Those who hold a Comsewogue library card can access Kanopy and sign up to start streaming films on instantly by visiting www.cplib.org/kanopy. Films can be streamed from any computer, television, mobile device or platform by downloading the Kanopy app for iOS, Android, AppleTV, Chromecast or Roku.

Kanopy showcases more than 30,000 films, including award-winning documentaries, rare and hard-to-find titles, film festival favorites, indie and classic films, and world cinema with collections from Kino Lorber, Music Box Films, Samuel Goldwyn, The Orchard, The Great Courses, PBS and thousands of independent filmmakers.

Head of Adult Services, Loretta Holtz, said she is happy to be adding this free service to complement the library’s collection strategy.

The Kanopy collection includes indie hits like “Hunt For the Wilderpeople” and 2 Days in Paris, classic masterpieces like “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” and “Seven Samurai,” and award-winning documentaries like the 2017 Oscar-nominated “I Am Not Your Negro” and Sundance Film Festival winner “Mother of George.”

Daniel Dunaief

By Daniel Dunaief

The film “Bohemian Rhapsody” is far better than the critics suggest, while “Green Book” isn’t as deep or powerful as it could be. After watching four movies recently, including “Aquaman” and “Mary Poppins Returns,” I want to share my reactions to each of these films.

Featuring my favorite superhero, “Aquaman” had the opportunity to inspire and demoralize me at the same time. The movie was going to be a CGI (computer-generated imagery) extravaganza, with numerous impossible-to-imagine scenes filmed underwater. I don’t generally crave spectacular and splashy visuals, especially if they are designed to compensate for a weak script or disappointing acting.

Unfortunately for the water hero, the CGI was considerably more polished than the script, with attempts at humorous dialogue that were so underwhelming that it was tempting to urge the actors to stop talking and continue to swim through the scenery. Nonetheless, the movie did have its escapist and captivating elements. Perhaps the best way to enjoy a movie like this is not to think too much and to appreciate the ride. The spectacular visual spectacle almost merited the effort of seeing the movie on a large screen, instead of waiting for it to appear on a movie channel in a few months time.

Making a “Mary Poppins” sequel immediately asks the film to build on its successes, while introducing something new and engaging in its own right. The film succeeded on the first front, but fell a bit short, at least for me, on the second. Emily Blunt captured Mary’s supreme self-confidence, and magic magnificently. She took an iconic character owned by Julie Andrews and made it her own. The animated sequences, which were more lavish and extended than in the original, helped the movie create its own indelible images. The lyrics to the songs, however, weren’t quite as memorable as the original, at least for me.

“Green Book” maneuvers through the societal challenges that arise from a white driver who is transporting an African-American pianist, Don Shirley, through the South for performances in 1962. The movie feels important because it addresses bias and stereotypes during a period when the struggle for Civil Rights took root. Set against racial tensions, the film addresses the developing relationship between its two stars and has moments of tenderness and transformation for the duo at the heart of the story. It also addresses the remarkable contradiction between white society eager to enjoy the talents of an African-American entertainer and the inability of that same audience to respect the person as an equal.

Still, the movie felt like it could have been so much more. The film shows details of the life story of the driver Tony Lip, played with his usual energy and passion by Viggo Mortensen. Shirley, portrayed by Mahershala Ali, tells the background of his life. The movie would have benefited from a deeper and better understanding of Shirley’s life, which, some members of his family have suggested was different from the portrayal in the film.

That leads me to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I didn’t know a great deal about the musicians or their backstory. For me, the film was an enormous hit for two reasons: Rami Malek, who played lead singer Freddie Mercury, and the music itself. Malek embodied the energy, spirit, and unique character that was Mercury, parading around the stage, commanding every scene and blending bravado with an underlying vulnerability. The story doesn’t turn Mercury into a saint but, rather, shares his complicated life.

For fans of Queen’s music, the movie is a satisfying compilation of familiar hits that allow the legend of a wildly successful group to resonate.

From left, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murry and Harold Ramis in a scene from the original ‘Ghostbusters.’ Image courtesy of Fathom Events

Who you gonna call?

Thirty-two years after “Ghostbusters” took the world by storm, Fathom Events and Columbia Pictures invite you to a special screening of the 1984 “Ghostbusters.” Tickets are now available for audiences to revisit the classic in select cinemas on Wednesday, June 8 — the anniversary of the original release date — and Sunday, June 12 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time (both dates).

The film is being re-released in anticipation of the worldwide release of the new “Ghostbusters” starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth in theaters July 15 and will include an exclusive sneak peek of the remake.

Participating cinemas in our neck of the woods include AMC Loews Stony Brook 17 (631-941-0156), Island 16 Cinema de Lux in Holtsville (631-758-9100) and Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas (1-800-315-5000). For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, visit www.fathomevents.com.

Alan Ruck, Mia Sara and Matthew Broderick star in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’ Image from Fathom Events

It’s time to save Ferris … again! Still as hilariously irresistible as the day it was released in 1986, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” returns to cinemas for two days only this May, just in time for its 30th anniversary.

The iconic ’80s film will return to select theaters across the country on May 15 and 18 in honor of the anniversary.

Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) present John Hughes’ venerated comedy as part of the TCM Big Screen Classics series. Audiences can take the day off to join Ferris, Sloane and Cameron in more than 650 theaters nationwide for two screenings each day: at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time.

In our neck of the woods, screenings will be held at Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas, AMC Stony Brook 17 and Island 16 Cinema de Lux in Holtsville. Tickets may be purchased online at www.fathomevents.com or at the box office.

Residents living with dementia and their care partners watch a clip from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at a past Making Memories at the Movies event. Photo from Raj Tawney

Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre is taking residents with dementia down memory lane with its innovative and unique program series titled Making Memories at the Movies.

The community-based event, which social worker Marcy Rhodes established last year and which returns on Monday, March 21, targets people living with dementia as well as their care partners. While the event helps these residents socialize with others, it has also helped many of them remember parts of their past.

“The idea is to invite people with dementia and their care partners into a creative environment where they have an opportunity to relate to the arts, and to engage in conversation and be inspired by the art,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes screens clips of six to eight iconic old movies or television shows that attendees may have seen during their youth. With winter winding down and spring on the way, the theme of next Monday’s program is Springtime. The event will feature clips of films like “Singin’ in the Rain.” Rhodes also mentioned “Easter Parade” as a film option before she finalized clips for the upcoming show.

She hesitated to disclose the names of all the clips as participants try to identify the film or TV show. Many of these clips include musical numbers as music helps people connect with one another, Rhodes said.

“People really get into it. They laugh, they talk, they share memories,” said the CAC’s director of publicity, Raj Tawney. “It’s just a really wonderful experience to watch.”

The Cinema Arts Centre is just one of a few places in the Town of Huntington that offers this program. While the Whaling Museum and Education Center of Cold Spring Harbor started offering a similar program in December of last year, the Heckscher Museum of Art established its program three years ago. Rhodes said word of the program spread among close-knit organizations like the CAC and museums.

Although Rhodes started the CAC’s Making Memories program, the concept of the program originated in Boston and has become an international effort that has extended from The Museum of Modern Art in New York City to the Louvre in Paris and Art Institute in Australia.

Marcy Rhodes speaks to event attendees at a past Making Memories at the Movies event at the Cinema Arts Centre. Photo from Raj Tawney
Marcy Rhodes speaks to event attendees at a past Making Memories at the Movies event at the Cinema Arts Centre. Photo from Raj Tawney

“It’s a social opportunity for people [with dementia] and their care partners to engage in an activity that is typical,” Rhodes said.

According to Tawney, many of these residents living with dementia rarely leave their homes, which further affects their mental health.

“Their minds can deteriorate if they go unsocialized,” Tawney said. “So when they come here, they get to see movies, they get to have a conversation with each other. It’s a very interactive program.”

Community members with dementia and their care partners can register for Making Memories at the Movies on March 21 at 11 a.m. at the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington, by calling 631-423-7611. Admission is $5 per person. Popcorn and beverages will be served.

Residents who can’t make Monday’s program will have another chance to challenge their memories on May 23 and July 25 at 11 a.m.

A scene from ‘The Finest Hours.’ Photo from Walt Disney Pictures

By Rich Acritelli

Last week Walt Disney Pictures released “The Finest Hours,” a film based on the story of four Coast Guard members that braved a nor’easter that caused havoc off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952. From the beginning, you will notice an impressive cast that works well together to bring this story to light. Directed by Craig Gillespie, the film stars Chris Pine (Boatswain’s Mate First Class Bernard “Bernie” Webber), Casey Affleck (Robert Sybert), Holliday Grainger (Miriam Pentinen), Ben Foster (Seaman Richard Livesey) and Eric Bana (Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff). 

Gillespie depicts the simple life of the 1950s with the customs of enjoying a nice drink, meal and the chance to attend a town dance. This film starts by showing Coast Guard service member Webber as an easy going and hard-working man who goes on a blind date with Miriam Petinen. While they are opposites, they fall in love with each other.  The movie depicts a different kind of love with Miriam asking the cautiously mannered Bernie to marry her. After an awkward moment, he states that they will get married, but only after he receives permission from his commanding officer.  As Webber works on getting approval from Chief Cluff, a terrible storm hits the shores of Cape Cod. 

Gillespie does a good job in casting Bana who is a proven actor who could handle the rigors of military films (“Black Hawk Down,” “Munich,” and “Lone Survivor”). Before Webber can ask for approval, Cluff is faced with anxiety from two different fronts.  First, he understands that a rescue operation for the SS Pendelton is being conducted from the headquarters in Boston, but he is unsure how his men fit into the rescue endeavor. Second, he is a southern officer who has not yet gained the respect of these northern men who openly doubt his professional abilities.

As rescue efforts are mounted, Webber is ordered to take three Coast Guardsmen to search for the Pendleton.  It is believed that this is a suicide mission that will only lead to the death of these men. Webber has to maneuver through hazardous waters in a vessel that is too small to handle the fury of these poor maritime conditions. 

The film does a masterful job of showing the strains that are placed on these men to locate this ship. They display a comradeship that never losses focus of their objective to locate the Pendleton.

With Webber organizing the rescue efforts, the Pendleton and its crew is commanded  by Sybert played by Affleck who is masterful in showing a man who is conflicted by his superior knowledge of this ship, but a man who is deemed to be a loner.

It becomes apparent that the ship will sink after it is split in half by the storm.  Sybert refuses to accept his crew’s position that they should abandon ship in their small rescue boats. He firmly states that they will be killed from the rough waters. Sybert believes that they have to run the tanker ashore if they are  going to have any chance of seeing their loved ones. At the same time, Webber’s crew is risking their lives to reach the Pendleton: Their compass malfunctions from the multiple times that their ship takes on water from the tenacity of the massive waves.

Unflinchingly, Webber is faithful to his duty to find the Pendleton and save the crew of thirty-two men from drowning.

The film concludes with the residents  of Cape Cod helping Webber bring the men to safety. Members of this community along with Webber’s fiancée figure out the location of the tanker and they travel to a nearby dock where they turn on all of their car lights as beacons of hope to guide the rescuers to safety.  From start to finish, “The Finest Hours” portrays the devotion of the Coast Guard to overcome the gigantic weather strains that are caused by Mother Nature.

‘The Finest Hours,” rated PG-13 (for intense sequences of peril), is now playing in local theaters.

Cinema Arts Centre photo by Victoria Espinoza

Looking for a more exclusive way to enjoy movies in Huntington? The Cinema Arts Centre has just the fix.

The Preview Club is a new program opening in March that will allow a select amount of people to attend advance screenings of new films before their New York release dates.

David Schwartz, chief curator of the Museum of the Moving Image in Manhattan, will be curating the program and will also design the program from audience feedback. After every show, a guest speaker — for example, the producer of the movie — will lead a discussion with the audience related to the film shown. The audience will also be given cards for comments, which will aide Schwartz in his development of the program going forward.

Preview-Card-Raj-wThere is a maximum of 270 members allowed in the club, and Raj Tawney, director of publicity and promotions at the Cinema Arts Centre, said the club already has about one hundred members after just announcing the program last week.

“The exciting part of it is you as an audience member won’t know what you’re seeing until you sit down in the theater,” Tawney said in a phone interview.

The films shows will be a range of major independent and international movies and will be shown about once or twice a month.

The first showing is Mar. 16, and the following few include April 16 and 27.

The Preview Club is not only a ticket to new movies but also a social club meant for fellow film lovers to interact.