Movie News & Reviews

Kentucky Theatre to reopen with a scary movie film fest

Gloria Stuart in “The Old Dark House.”
Gloria Stuart in “The Old Dark House.” Universal Pictures

When the Kentucky Theatre announced that it was closing for most of October, many fans noted that the move put the theater out of the scary-movie game for the weeks leading up to Halloween, when the theater had programmed a lineup of late-night horror classics.

The theater will make up for lost time when it reopens Friday, with something of a horror fest through Tuesday, Halloween. Here’s the lineup:

The Old Dark House” (1932): Horror master Boris Karloff re-teams with director James Whale the year after “Frankenstein” for this tale of stranded travelers taken in by fiendish hosts (a plot we see revisited in the last film on this list). It also stars Melvyn Douglas, Raymond Massey, Gloria Stuart, Charles Laughton and more in a cult classic that was a pioneer of the dark-house horror genre. 7:40 p.m. Fri., 3 p.m. Sat., 5 p.m. Sun, 5:30 p.m. Tues.

Aliens” (1986): A lot of fans thought this sequel was better than the 1979 not-plural original, even if it didn’t have Kentucky’s own Harry Dean Stanton. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) returns to the moon where she first encountered the multi-jawed monster, and things don’t go any better than they did before. This features a pre-“Mad About You” Paul Reiser as a really sleazy bad guy. James Cameron wrote and directed this, based on the success of “The Terminator” (1984). 4:50 p.m. Fri.; 7 p.m. Sat.

They Live” (1988): Wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper starred in this film about alien rulers masquerading as humans and manipulating the populous through mass media. Filter that through whatever 21st-century lens you see fit. The John Carpenter film started slow in the late ’80s, but it has since become a cult classic. 1 p.m. Sat.; 3 p.m. Sun.

Halloween 1978
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode in “Halloween.” Compass International Pictures

Halloween” (1978): Now this Carpenter film became an instant classic, introducing an iconic bad guy, Michael Myers, and popularizing the slasher film genre. It also introduced then-unknown Jamie Lee Curtis as a scream queen and inspired a series of sequels and a 2007 remake by Rob Zombie. 9:40 p.m. Mon., 7:40 p.m. Tues.

Night of the Living Dead
Judith O'Dea and Duane Jones in “Night of the Living Dead.” Image Ten

Night of the Living Dead” (1968): Once criticized for excessive gore, the low-budget classic is now regarded as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” by the Library of Congress. Things change. If you want to look for the roots of the recent zombie craze, they’re in this George A. Romero icon. 9:40 p.m. Fri.; 5 p.m. Sat.; 1 p.m. Sun.

Suspiria” (1977): An Italian import from Dario Argento, the story focuses on an American ballet dancer who goes to a German ballet school and finds that it’s a front for sinister, gory activities. A remake is due next year starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton. 7 p.m. Sun.; 5 p.m. Mon.; 9:40 p.m. Tues.

The Shining” (1980): Isolation and psychic abilities are culprits in this Stanley Kubrick classic, based on Stephen King’s novel, set in an isolated, snowbound Colorado hotel. The place already has a murderous history when Jack Nicholson and his family arrive, and as he goes crazy, the body count is bound to rise. 9:30 p.m. Sun; 7 p.m. Mon.

Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975): Fox and others have tried, but the original Tim Curry version remains the classic rendition of this bizarre musical that has become the ultimate cult classic. Midnight Fri ; 9:30 p.m. and midnight Sat.

In addition to the horror series, the Kentucky will show the new Judi Dench film “Victoria & Abdul” and will add the Pearl Jam concert documentary “Let’s Play Two” on Nov. 1. The theater closed Oct. 2 for renovations to its concession stand, restrooms and acoustics. When it reopens, work won’t be complete on the concession stand, so concessions will be sold out of the State Theatre lobby until the new stand is complete. There also will be a 50 cent increase in ticket prices to $8.50 for shows after 6 p.m. and $6.50 for matinees and for ages 13 and younger and 60 and older.