Free Movie Marathons Running Across D.C. Region This Week

By Nathan Hager
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Nathan Hager, All News 99.1 WNEW (Credit: CBSDC.com) Nathan Hager
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Going to the movies for free sounds like a lot of fun. This week, it could pose a bit of an endurance test.

A couple of movie marathons get the week going on Saturday. One, at the Hirshhorn, is devoted to cult disaster movies. The other, at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, includes a couple of old dinosaur movies. It’s part of the museum’s welcome of the Nation’s T. Rex to Washington, before it closes its rotunda for the next five years for a major renovation.

If you have the stamina to catch more freebies, this week’s list also includes Steve Martin in a bar on Sunday, Paul Newman in jail on Monday, Mary Poppins in French on Wednesday, and a tribute to Mickey Rooney on Thursday.

This week also sees the return of free movies to D.C.’s American City Diner and the latest run of outdoor films at the Park at Mosaic in Fairfax, Va.

Here’s the full list of free movies for the week starting Saturday, April 26:

Saturday:

  • 10:30am: A double feature. First, “Stories We Tell” (2012), actress Sarah Polley’s debut documentary about her family. Then at 2pm, a screening of one of Lon Chaney’s best-known films, “The Unknown” (1927). Playing at Baltimore’s Central Library, 400 Cathedral St.
  • 12pm: Disasterthon! Six cataclysmic classics will be screened from noon till midnight at the Hirshhorn Museum’s Ring Auditorium, 700 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC. They include “Miracle Mile” (1988), “The Host” (2006), “War of the Worlds” (the one with Tom Cruise, 2005), “Sharknado” (2013) (!), “28 Days Later” (2002), and “Dr. Strangelove (1964). Live-tweeting will be allowed, and special prizes will be awarded to anyone who makes it through all six films.
  • 12:30pm: “Eroica” (1957). A two-part story out of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Part of the series “Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema” at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th St. and Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC.
  • 2pm: “Matilda” (1996). Based on the Roald Dahl classic about a six year old girl who finds strength within to deal with the bullies around her. Playing at the Library of Congress Packard Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd., Culpeper, Va.
  • 2pm: “The Wiz” (1978). The Emerald City is New York in this musical update of L. Frank Baum’s classic tale. Playing at Orleans Street Library, 1303 Orleans St., Baltimore, Md.
  • 2pm: “The Blind Side” (2009). An adopted teen rises from homelessness to the NFL. Reel Pages Movie Club at Crofton Library, 1681 Riedel Rd., Crofton, Md.
  • 2pm: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (2013). A daydreamer working at a struggling magazine decides to turn his imagination into adventure. Playing at Germantown Library, 19840 Century Blvd., Germantown, Md.
  • 2pm: “A Touch of Sin” (2013). Four intertwined stories reveal the struggles that persist in fast-growing China. Director Jia Ziang-ke and star Zhao Tao will attend the screening at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 1050 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, DC.
  • 2:30pm: A series of “Documentaries with a Human Face begins with a number of shorts from Soviet bloc nations, then at 4pm, “235 000 000” (1967), a portrait of the Soviet Union 50 years after the October Revolution. Playing at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th St. and Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC.
  • 3pm: A Dino Film Fest at the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium begins with a lecture at 1pm. Then the films begin at 3pm with “The Valley of Gwangi” (1969), followed at 5pm by “The Last Dinosaur” (1977). The day concludes at 7pm with “Jurassic Park 3D,” but you’ll need a paid ticket to see that. 10th St. and Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC.
  • 4pm: A selection of films from the Women in Film and Video International Short Films Showcase will play at DC’s Northeast Library, 330 7th St., NE.
  • 7pm: Cylon Happy Hour at the Black Cat. This week’s episode of “Battlestar Galactica:” “Resistance,” from season 2. 1811 14th St., NW.

Sunday:

  • 3pm: “The Soviet Story” (2008). A documentary about Russia’s connection to Nazi Germany during World War II. Playing at Columbia Pike Library, 816 S. Walter Reed Dr., Arlington, Va.
  • 4pm: “Helsinki, Forever” (2008). Finland’s capital, as seen through the eyes of a vast collection of documentary photographers and filmmakers. Part of Filmfest DC at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th St. and Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC.
  • 5pm: “Vegucated” (2010). Three meat-loving New Yorkers try a vegan diet for six weeks, just to see what happens. Part of a celebration of US VegWeek 2014 at Bloombars, 3222 11th St., NW, Washington, DC. A $10 donation suggested. RSVP here.
  • 8pm: “Roxanne” (1987). A modern-day retelling of the Cyrano de Bergerac story. Part of a month of Steve Martin flicks at Tallula EatBar, 2761 Washington Blvd., Arlington, Va.

Monday:

  • 2pm: Marvelous Movie Monday at DC’s Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave., NW. Film repeats at 6:30pm. Call (202) 282-0021 for details.
  • 5pm: “Unbreakable” (2000). M. Night Shyamalan’s film starring Bruce Willis as a man who finds he can’t be harmed after surviving a train wreck. Playing at Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Avenue Library, 1531 W. North Ave.
  • 6pm: “Cool Hand Luke” (1967). Paul Newman’s seating performance as a Southern prisoner who refuses to buckle to authority. Part of the series “Cool Hand Paul” at the National Theatre’s Helen Hayes Gallery, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC.
  • 6pm: “Stella” (1990). Based on the 1920 novel “Stella Dallas” starring Bette Midler as a single mom who raises her daughter on her own, until the wealthy father re-enters her life. A Fiction Lover’s Film Companion at Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G St., NW, Washington, DC.
  • 6:30pm: “Hanna’s Journey (Hannas Reise) (2014). A German woman moves to Israel to work with the disabled. Playing at the Goethe-Institut, 812 7th St., NW, Washington, DC.
  • 7:30pm: “Young@Heart” (2007). A documentary about a group of senior citizens who cover rock songs. Part of the Aspen Hill Library Film Festival, 4407 Aspen Hill Rd., Rockville, Md.
  • 8pm: “Island of Death” (1976). A British couple terrorize the locals on a Greek island. The Washington Psychotronic Film Society claims this film was banned in the UK, so proceed to McFadden’s at your own risk. 2401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC.

Tuesday:

  • 12pm: “Invisible Nature” (2014). Exploring the wonders hidden from the naked eye. Part of Tuesdays at Noon at the National Geographic Museum, 1600 M St., NW, Washington, DC.
  • 7pm: “Zulu Love Letter” (2004). A young black journalist investigates a murder that took place before the end of apartheid in South Africa. A $10 donation is suggested at Bloombars, 3222 11th St., NW, Washington, DC. RSVP here.

Wednesday:

  • 3pm: A Wednesday Night Teen Movie at Palisades Library, 4901 V St., NW, Washington, DC. Call (202) 282-3139 for details.
  • 3:30pm: “Mary Poppins” (1964). The Disney classic about a magical nanny who’s “practically perfect in every way” will be screened in French at the West End Library, 1101 24th St., NW, Washington, DC.
  • 4pm: “Gravity” (2013). The Oscar-nominated thriller starring Sandra Bullock as a first-time astronaut caught in a disaster high above the earth. A movie matinee at Alexandria’s Burke Library, 4701 Seminary Rd.
  • 7pm: “The Civil War” (1990). Ken Burns’s epic documentary will screen at Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G St., NW, Washington, DC.

Thursday:

  • 5pm: Movie Madness at Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G St., NW, Washington, DC. Call (202) 727-0321 for details.
  • 6pm: Teen Movie Night at Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC. Title to be announced at the first of the month.
  • 6:30pm: “Fruitvale Station” (2013). The true story of a young man’s deadly encounter with police at a public transit station in Oakland. Playing at Alexandria’s Burke Library, 4701 Seminary Rd.
  • 7pm: “Rescue in the Philippines” (2013). A little known story from the Holocaust. Playing at Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library, 1630 7th St., NW, Washington, DC.
  • 7:30pm: “Boys Town” (1938). Spencer Tracy’s Oscar winning performance as a priest who founds a center for delinquent youth. A tribute to the late Mickey Rooney, who plays the toughest youth of the bunch, at the Library of Congress Packard Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd., Culpeper, Va.
  • 8:30pm: “Anatomy of a Murder” (1959). The epic courtroom drama starring Jimmy Stewart and directed by Otto Preminger. The first free movie of the season at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC.

Friday:

  • 4pm: A Friday film at Mount Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St., NW, Washington, DC. Call (202) 671-3121 for details.
  • 6pm: “Diner” (1982). Barry Levinsons’s coming of age story set in late 1950s Baltimore. Part of the Spring Drive-In at Union Market. Cars cost $10, but walkups are free. 1309 5th St., NE, Washington, DC.
  • 7pm: “Planes” (2013). The world of Disney’s “Cars” takes to the air. The first film in this summer’s Films in the Park series at Mosaic, 2910 District Ave., Fairfax, Va.
  • 7pm: Dr. Who Happy Hour at the Black Cat. This week’s episode: “The Angels Take Manhattan,” from the 7th series. 1811 14th St., NW.
  • 7:30pm: “The Host” (2006). Toxic dumping into a Korean river spawns a giant mutant squid. Playing at the Library of Congress Packard Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd., Culpeper, Va.
  • 8:30pm: “Night and the City” (1950). A small time scam artist finds himself in over his head when he tries to pass himself off as a wrestling promoter in London. Part of the series “Here Comes the Night: Cinema Nocturnes” at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 1050 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, DC.
  • 8:30pm: “Pulp Fiction” (1994). Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece day-in-the-life look at Los Angeles’s seedy underbelly. Playing at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC.

WNEW’s Nathan Hager contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter.

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