By Melissa Arnold
The holidays are all about spending time with the family and making memories, whether it’s by shopping, baking together or traveling. But when all the hustle and bustle wraps up next week, some families might be left wondering, “Now what?”
The Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington is offering a unique suggestion: Give your kids a taste of your childhood.
Beginning Dec. 26, the theater will celebrate Winter Holiday Week, where moviegoers can see some of the most beloved family classics on the big screen for the first time in decades.
The lineup includes “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial” on Dec. 26, a 25th anniversary celebration of “Home Alone” on Dec. 28, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” on Dec. 29 and a special sing-along version of the musical “Grease” with onscreen lyrics on Dec. 30.
“These are shows that evoke memories for a lot of people, and getting to see it in the theater with their families or friends can be a lot like reliving the experience of seeing it for the first time,” said Raj Tawney, publicity director for the theater.
The CAC plays host to all kinds of artistic expression, not just film, including concerts and lectures. The theater typically screens films with serious or intense themes that are best suited for adults, but they also offer events for all ages at least once a month with their Cinema for Kids and Families series.
“We’re looking for films that will interest a large audience and maintain our integrity as an art house cinema,” Tawney explained. And with kids off from school until the new year, there’s no better time for family films.
Also in the lineup for the week is Kid Flix Mix on Dec. 27, an hour-long collection of 11 live-action and animated shorts from the New York International Film Festival. The films come from all over the world, but all dialogue is in English.
“Kid Flix Mix has films from Australia, France, Russia, Norway, England and many other places throughout the world, which is a great opportunity for kids to learn something new,” Tawney said. “They can see more than just what’s a part of their culture. They’ll learn the importance of fantasy and that creativity comes in so many different forms.”
Many of the short films feature animals. One film, Torill Kove’s “Me and My Moulton,” was an Oscar nominee this year.
Before or after the show, Tawney recommends visiting the center’s Skyroom Café for a meal or snack, beverages and conversation. “People really love getting together at the cafe to talk and relax after a show,” he said. “The day doesn’t have to end just because the show is over.”
Winter Holiday Week will be held at noon every day from Dec. 26 through Dec. 30. The Cinema Arts Centre is located at 423 Park Ave., Huntington. Tickets are $12 for adults and free for children under 12.
To buy tickets or learn more, visit www.cinemaartscentre.org or call 631- 423-7611.