A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

Oscar-nominated short films screen at Summerfield, Rialto

Oscar-nominated movies get a lot of attention, but there are some that many movie-goers never get to see. Those are the short films, both animated and live-action, gathered for special release once a year in two separate feature-length packages. Two Sonoma County theaters will show the films, starting Friday, Jan. 31, at the Summerfield Cinemas in Santa Rosa, and Feb. 7 at the Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol. The 2014 Oscar-nominated animated short films are: “Feral,” (USA). A wild boy, found… Read More »

Rialto, Summerfield plan special screenings

Two Sonoma County movie theaters plan special events this month. The Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol opens the new monthly New York Film Critics Series next week, featuring screenings of new films before their national release, plus high-definition simulcasts of question-and-answer sessions with the stars and filmmakers. The first film in the series is “American Hustle,” starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence. The movie was named best picture of 2013 this week by the New… Read More »

‘Magic Flute’ at Summerfield, ‘Love Free or Die’ at Rialto

Coming up at Sonoma County’s art cinema houses: — “The Magic Flute,” the film version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s classic two-act opera, will screen twice at Summerfield Cinemas in Santa Rosa. The 134-minute film, directed by Kenneth Branagh, will be show at 1 p.m. Sunday (June 9) and 6 p.m. Tuesday (June 11) at the theater, 551 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa. $16-$20. 539-6773, summerfieldcinemas.com. — The Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival and Community Cinemas will present a free screening of “Love… Read More »

Rialto Cinemas screens ‘Mumia’ documentary

“Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary, a two-hour documentary about journalist and writer Mumia Abu-Jamal, opens Friday (May 10) at the Rialto, 6868 McKinley St. Sentenced to death after he was convicted of murdering a policeman in 1981, Abu-Jamal continues to live and work on Death Row in a Pennsylvania prison. The film includes interviews with author-activists Cornel West, Alice Walker and Angela Davis, comedian and activist Dick Gregory, and journalist Amy Goodman. Tickets prices range from $7.25 to $9.50. Information: 525-4840,… Read More »

Oscar-nominated short films come to movie theaters

Every year, the Academy Award nominations spark a fierce flash of interest among film fans. But for decades, one category languished in the shadows — the short films. Locally, Ky Boyd, proprietor of the Rialto Cinemas — first in Santa Rosa, and now in Sebastopol — has championed these little gems. When the shorts, both live and animated, became available to release as a package program to movie theaters in 2001, the Rialto was among the few nationwide to leap… Read More »

Rialto Cinemas screens ‘Rebels With a Cause’

“Rebels With a Cause,” an award-winning documentary about the fight to preserve open space, protect agriculture and wildlife and establish public parks, will screen 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol. Created local filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto, who will attend the screening, the film is narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Frances McDormand. Special guests also include Marty Griffin, author of “Saving the Marin-Sonoma Coast,” a novel about the crusades to preserve the Point Reyes… Read More »

Rialto hosts new ‘Community Cinema’ film series.

Rialto Cinemas and the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival will launch “Community Cinema,” a new free monthly series of films from the Emmy Award-winning Public Broadcasting System series, “Independent Lens,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11. The series kick offs with “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” a documentary miniseries by Maro Chermayeff, based on the bestselling book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. The series follows six actress-advocates — America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg… Read More »

Rialto screens ‘Collaborators’ at 6th Street

What happens when a satirist tangles with a tyrant? John Hodge, best-known for his “Trainspotting” screenplay, has a written a new play about an imaginary 1938 encounter between Josef Stalin and dissident Russian playwright Mikhail Bulgakov. In the play, Bulgakov — stalked by the secret police — is offered a commission to write a play about Stalin to celebrate the Premier’s 60th birthday. You can see the London production of the play, starring Alex Jennings as Bulgakov and Simon Russell… Read More »

Rialto Cinemas lives on at 6th Street Playhouse

Ky Boyd’s Rialto Cinemas lost its lease on its longtime site on Summerfield Road last August,  but Boyd’s passion for showing good movies lives on in his “Rialto on the Road” events. Boyd and his partner, Michael O’Rand, showed up Monday night at the 6th Street Playhouse to present “E.T.” at the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition’s “Bike-In Movie” fund-raiser, which featured valet bike parking and a screening of the film in the theater’s main auditorium. Boyd and company return June… Read More »

‘Prairie Home’ in Santa Rosa

This just in from Lake Wobegon: The Jewish Community Center, working with Rialto Cinemas, will present a live, high-definition broadcast of a performance of  Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” from the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minn. The program screens at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, in the Jackson Theater at Sonoma Country Day School, 4400 Day School Place, Santa Rosa. The show features singer and fiddle player Sara Watkins, roots music quintet Old Crow Medicine Show, Texas singer-songwriter… Read More »