Local cinema offers alternative to summer blockbusters

The art  house cinema
(Photo by Kenny Haeffele) The Art House Cinema 502 is located on Historic 25th Street.

The Art House Cinema 502 on 25th Street is a local independent movie theater known for showing films outside the common flow of Hollywood.

Currently showing is “Shadow Dancer,” directed by James Marsh and starring Andrea Riseborough (“Oblivion”), Clive Owen (“The Bourne Identity”), Aidan Gillen (“Game of Thrones”), Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”) and Domhnall Gleeson (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”). According to the theater’s website, “Shadow Dancer” follows a woman who finds herself trapped into acting as an informant for MI5 in order to protect her son. The film is rated R and will play at the theater until July 4, with screenings at 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Also showing at the cinema is “Starbuck,” directed by Ken Scott and starring Patrick Huard, Antoine Bertrand and Julie LeBreton. The title refers to the code name of the main character, who used it when he donated sperm in his youth — and now finds he has 533 biological children. “Starbuck” is rated R and will play at the theater until June 27, with screenings at 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Jason Runnels, an usher at the cinema, said he is particularly excited for “Starbuck,” as it is the funniest of the films currently playing there.
“It starts out as a typical story of a guy that wants to clean up, start a family and be responsible,” he said. “Then, out of the blue, he finds out that he’s the father of a bunch of kids. It’s way more than he planned for.”
Also playing at the cinema for the rest of this week is “No Place on Earth,” a documentary directed by Janet Tobias about the longest underground survival on record: that of 38 Ukrainian Jews who lived in caves for 18 months during World War II in order to survive. The film is rated PG-13 and will play until Thursday, with screenings at 7 p.m.
Starting at the cinema on Friday is “As Cool as I Am,” a coming-of-age dramedy directed by Max Mayer and starring Claire Danes (“Stardust”), Sarah Bolger (“The Spiderwick Chronicles”) and James Marsden (“Enchanted”). Centering on a smart teenager and her parents, who had her when they were teens themselves and are now watching their marriage fall apart, the film is rated R and will play at the cinema until July 4.
Runnels said he invites those looking to break away from the mainstream summer blockbusters to come to the Art House.
“Our films have more substance. If you can spare the bright lights and budgets, you’ll enjoy your time here.”
More information and showtimes are available at www.ahc502.com.