Route 66 opened in November of 1926 and offered a more direct route for driving from Chicago to California. When completed, it ran 2,448 miles, from the cornfields of Illinois to the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The Albuquerque area was a critical junction, and the center of a political scandal due to re-routing what was to be a north/south road to an east/west alignment, resulting in Albuquerque being the only place where the highway crosses itself. Today, Albuquerque boasts the longest single-city urban stretch of the highway in the nation at 16 miles.
In honor of the 90th anniversary of Route 66, the Albuquerque Museum and KiMo Theatre are partnering to present "Mother Road Movies," a series of films in which historic Route 66, known as The Mother Road, plays a role. The series is in conjunction with Albuquerque Museum's new exhibition, Route 66: Radiance, Rust and Revival on the Mother Road.
From a popular song ("Get Your Kicks on Route 66") to a TV series in the 1960s, Route 66 has been a popular theme in American culture, as is evidenced in the Mother Road film series. Don't miss the opportunity to view these historically significant films at the KiMo Theatre, the only "movie palace" still screening films on Albuquerque's Route 66. All screenings will begin at 7pm.
Kirk Douglas and Jan Sterling star in Ace in the Hole (1951) on Thursday, June 9. Down-on-his-luck reporter Charles Tatum takes a job with a small New Mexico newspaper. When he finds a man trapped in an old Indian dwelling, he jumps at the chance to milk the story by taking the lead and prolonging the rescue effort, resulting in his byline appearing in major papers coast-to-coast. The scheme works in his favor until things go terribly wrong. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Story and Best Screenplay. Be on the look out for a very early version of KOB TV's news van in the film. Not Rated.
The powerful 1969 film Easy Rider will screen on Thursday, June 30. Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper star in this cult film about young hippie bikers who set out on a trip across America. They encounter bigotry and hatred in small towns, spend time with other non-conformists in a commune, take a bad trip on LSD, and are confronted by rednecks who consider them degenerates. Heading to New Orleans, they join in a small town parade and are arrested for parading without a license. While in jail they meet George Hanson (Nicholson), an alcoholic local lawyer. He decides to join them on their trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Violence follows them in their journey, leading to the worst possible outcome.
Dennis Hopper received the First Film Award (Prix de la première œuvre) at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival and Jack Nicholson was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 42nd Academy Awards. The film appears at #88 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 Years...100 Movies. In 1998, Easy Rider was added to the United States National Film Registry, having been deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Rated R.
On Thursday, July 7, Two Lane Blacktop (1971) will be shown, starring James Taylor, Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, Warren Oates and Laurie Bird. Esquire Magazine declared the film its movie of the year for 1971, and even published the entire screenplay in its April 1971 issue. It was not a commercial success, but became a counterculture cult classic. Selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2012, it was deemed as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Rated R.
The next "Mother Road" film to screen on Thursday, July 14 is Starman (1984), starring Jeff Bridges as a humanoid alien who finds a gold phonograph record that was installed on the Voyager 2 space probe and follows the invitation on the recording to visit earth. Shot down by the U.S. government in Wisconsin, he encounters a widow (Karen Allen) and the story becomes both an adventure and a love story as they travel to the Southwest so Starman can rendezvous with people from his planet. Facing danger and many changes in plans, they finally bond into a partnership to save him, and her. Rated PG.
Tickets for each screening: $5. Tickets are available at KiMoTickets.com. Tickets are also available at the KiMo Ticket Office, 505-768-3544. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 11am-8pm; Sunday 11am-3pm. Concessions will be available.
The seven-film retrospective tribute to Akira Kurosawa comes to an end this Thursday night at KiMo Theatre with the master’s final period drama, 1985’s Ran. The film is an epic, majestic retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear saga set in feudal Japan. It certainly demands to be seen on the big screen and is a great film to close out the series on. The screening will take place on Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 to $7.