The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville is offering a variety of film programs this summer, including a free series of classic science fiction films on Thursday evenings. All screenings are scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Saturn V Hall Digital Theater. No reservations are required, and guests are asked to use the Davidson Center entrance for these events. Here is the schedule for this series, which begins on May 22 and ends on June 27.
May 22 – “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick, this celebrated classic features a screenplay by Arthur C. Clarke. It won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects in 1969 and was nominated for three additional awards, including a Best Director nod for Kubrick. First-time viewers should be warned that this film runs 141 minutes. You can learn more about Stanley Kubrick by watching the video at the top of this article.
May 30 – “Silent Running” (1972)
Bruce Dern stars in this environmentally-motivated tale of an astronaut fighting to protect the last of Earth’s plants and animals, which exist only in pods in space. Douglas Trumbull, better known for his visual effects work on other science fiction films, directs.
June 6 – “Fiend without a Face” (1958)
This B-movie from the classic drive-in age mixes science fiction and horror in its story of invisible atomic monsters who attack a military base. Arthur Crabtree directs leading man Marshall Thompson and a large supporting cast.
June 13 – “Forbidden Planet” (1956)
Definitely a highlight of the summer schedule, this influential sci-fi classic from director Fred M. Wilcox takes its cues from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon, and Anne Francis star, but the scene-stealer of the cast is Robby the Robot, who would become a sci-fi icon and the inspiration for many later robot characters.
June 20 – “Primer” (2004)
The most recent film of the line-up is this 2004 thriller directed by Shane Carruth, who also stars as one of four friends who discover a way to travel in time.
June 27 – “The Rocketeer” (1991)
Another highlight of the schedule is this cult favorite, adapted from the graphic novel by Dave Stevens. Joe Johnston directs a cast that includes Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Timothy Dalton, and Alan Arkin, as well as “Lost” star Terry O’Quinn as aviation innovator Howard Hughes. Set in 1930s Hollywood and produced by Walt Disney Pictures, this fun PG adventure is the best bet of the set for families. Fans of the current superhero craze will particularly enjoy the retro heroics of the dashing protagonist.
Visit the official website of the Space & Rocket Center for more information about this and other upcoming programs. The center is located at One Tranquility Base just off Interstate 565 at Exit 15.