Freebie

Movie Madness

A weekend of free movies ushers in the new Madstone Theaters at Old Hyde Park Village.

A community-oriented movie theater, Madstone aims to show the best in independent, foreign, sophisticated studio and classic films. So it's appropriate that the theater's inaugural weekend of free films includes such art-house classics as Amelie, Pulp Fiction, Y Tu Mama Tambien and Dr. Strangelove.

The screenings take place Nov. 21 through 23, and free passes can be downloaded from the Madstone Theaters' website, www.madstonetheaters.com, or by visiting the box office after 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21.

The seven-screen theater, formerly the AMC cineplex at Old Hyde Park, has been remodeled and renovated. It now has a lounge area and a gourmet café offering beer, wine, various specialty coffees, teas, fruit smoothies, baked goods from local bakeries, gourmet sandwiches and fresh popcorn cooked in canola oil.

Add a guy in a black turtleneck and a girl with a nose ring and you've got yourself something seriously, scarily hip.

Madstone Theaters' official opening for business is on Wednesday, Nov. 26. The films scheduled for that weekend include Elephant, Gus Van Sant's mise-en-scene masterpiece starring high school kids improvising natural roles in one day of Colombine-like violence; Sylvia, a Sylvia Plath biopic starring Gwyneth Paltrow; and This Thing of Ours, a crime drama about a gang that uses a sophisticated Internet and satellite system to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from the world's banks.

Yes, Bay area moviegoers are actually going to get those intelligent movies the cineplexes don't see as profitable, and that Tampa Theatre can't screen more than one of per week.

For more info, visit www.madstonetheaters.com, call 813-258-4646, or see this week's Film column.

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