If your brood contains youngsters and you’re looking for a fun way for the whole gang to beat the heat, Film Scene heartily recommends grabbing a seat at one of the many family-oriented feature films being shown around our area over the next seven days.

Unsurprisingly, most of these lighthearted screenings are taking place at historic, specialty theaters, which could surely use your support — so that’s an added motivator.

Tybee variety

Let’s start with the restored Tybee Post Theater, an intimate single-screen auditorium with exposed brick walls and 200 vintage 1940s art deco seats.

On July 19 and 26, they’ll show the 2017 Marvel Studios blockbuster “Thor: Ragnarok,” starring Chris Hemsworth as the titular Norse deity. On July 24, the Post screens “Cars 3,” the third installment of the popular CGI-animated action comedy franchise centered around NASCAR racing. And on July 25, 2018’s “Sherlock Gnomes,” a rather absurd mashup of garden gnomes and master detectives (that’s actually a sequel to 2011’s — wait for it — “Gnomeo & Juliet”) will be presented. Each of these movies screens twice on their given day, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Admission info can be found in the accompanying sidebar listings.

 

Animation fun

The Mars Theatre in nearby Springfield is similar to the Tybee Post in both size, capacity and the types of films and live shows they book. Just a 30- or 40-minute drive from downtown Savannah, the Mars makes a lovely alternative to the area’s standard corporate multiplexes. On July 19-21 and again July 26-28, they’ll show writer-director Brad Bird’s recently released “Incredibles 2.”

This immensely well-received CGI-animated sequel to 2004’s similarly made “The Incredibles” stars the vocal talents of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Bob Odenkirk and Sarah Vowell, among others. Designed with a delightfully retro mid-century modern visual flair, it’s the comedic action tale of a family of talented superheroes, and made history by setting the highest-ever opening weekend box-office revenues for an animated film. It is closing in on the $1 billion mark. Shown nightly at 7 p.m.

Then, on July 24, the Mars will also screen “Sherlock Gnomes” as part of their Two for Tuesday family-oriented films series. Tickets to both the 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. shows are only $2 for everyone, regardless of age.

 

Hitchcock romantic thriller

Heading into downtown, on July 21, the Lucas Theatre for the Arts continues its "Hitchcock or Hepburn" series with a rare public viewing of one of director Alfred Hitchcock’s most beloved romantic thrillers: 1955’s “To Catch a Thief,” starring Cary Grant as a highly skilled (yet retired) cat burglar and Grace Kelly as the daughter of a wealthy widow. Set in the luxurious French Riviera, this tale of a master jewel thief who’s on the trail of another thief (for casting unfounded suspicion upon the first robber) lacks the white-knuckle suspense of many of Hitchcock’s other classic thrillers, but makes up for that in glitz, glamour and a fast-paced plot packed with unexpected twists and carefully staged set pieces. If you’ve never seen this one on a big screen, it’s a must. Showtime 7 p.m.

 

Fairy tale delight

On July 22, the Lucas’ Disney Summer Classics series continues with the 1989 animated musical fantasy “The Little Mermaid,” which is believed by many to have helped usher in the second great wave of the famed animation studio’s best output. Very loosely based on the fairy tale by the prolific Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, it is the story of a love-smitten mermaid who longs to be transformed into a human so that she may marry the man of her dreams, a handsome prince. Listen closely for a featured voice role provided by none other than Kimmy Robertson (police dispatcher Lucy Moran in David Lynch’s landmark surreal TV series “Twin Peaks”). Showtime 3 p.m.

 

‘Princess Mononoke’

Speaking of acclaimed animation, Fathom Events’ ongoing Studio Ghibli Fest continues at the Regal Stadium 10 multiplex behind the Savannah Mall (and the Cinemark multiplex in nearby Bluffton, S.C.) with a special three-day engagement of that award-winning Japanese anime studios’ epic 1997 historical fantasy flick “Princess Mononoke,” written and directed by legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki (“Spirited Away”).

Considered one of the finest anime films ever made, it’s set in Japan in the 1400s and is the somewhat dark tale of a young prince who encounters a variety of animal gods and evil demons in a massive forest. The English language version was adapted by esteemed graphic novelist Neil Gaiman, and it will be shown at 12:55 p.m. July 22 and 7 p.m. July 25. The original Japanese-language version (with English subtitles) screens at 7 p.m. July 23.

 

High-def ballet

On July 23 at both the Regal Stadium 10 and Bluffton’s Cinemark, Fathom presents a digital film of the Bolshoi Ballet’s stage production of Tchaikovsky’s transcendent “Swan Lake,” which was first performed at this Moscow venue in 1877! This recent production runs three hours in length and features prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova in the dual roles of white swan Odette and her rival black swan Odile. It will be shown in amazing high-definition audio-visual clarity for one show only at 7 p.m. (in both venues).

 

‘Newsies’ on Broadway

On July 26, the Regal presents an encore screening of “Newsies: The Broadway Musical,” a Disney-funded theatrical stage production based on the 1992 musical film of the same name (which was a massive flop when first released, but gained a devoted cult following on home video), featuring music by Alan Menken and a book by famed actor Harvey Fierstein. Based on the true-life New York City newsboys strike of 1899, this Broadway adaptation earned two Tony Awards and turned a profit faster than any prior Disney-based stage musical. Showtime 7 p.m. at the Regal and the Cinemark, Bluffton, with an encore at 12:55 p.m. July 28 at the Regal only.

 

Award-winning 'Custody'

Folks who appreciate the opportunity to see foreign films that would otherwise likely never play our market on the big screen will be pleased to know that Ju​ly 22, local organization CinemaSavannah (which specializes in such things) is back with another one-show-only engagement at the Jewish Educational Alliance auditorium​. This time around, it’s the universally praised 2018 French drama “Custody,” a psychological thriller about an abusive marriage and child custody battle that took home major awards at several major international film fests, including Venice, Glasgow and San Sebastian.

Described by noted critics as “one of the most emotionally devastating cinema experiences of the past year” and a “well-observed study of domestic violence,” it’s said to be quite a draining experience for viewers, but a rather stunning calling card for its upstart director Xavier Legrand. Shown in spoken French with English subtitles, it starts promptly at 4 p.m. (doors open 30 minutes prior). Please remember that all CinemaSavannah screenings are cash only, at the door.

 

Jason Robards tribute

And last but certainly not least, the Psychotronic Film Society’s long-running weekly Wednesday night series of marginalized or overlooked feature films from around the world continues at The Sentient Bean with a posthumous 96th birthday tribute to the late, great stage and screen actor Jason Robards.

Robards, whose face and voice are instantly recognizable to millions of admiring viewers, is best known for his lead and supporting roles in such challenging, memorable feature films as “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” “Once Upon a Time in the West,” “Johnny Got His Gun,” “All the President’s Men,” “Melvin and Howard” and “Magnolia.” Over the course of his lengthy career, he won a Tony Award, two Oscars and an Emmy.

 

The PFS salutes Robards with an insanely rare public screening of one of his least-known films (yet one that has a small but fanatical following worldwide): 1975’s “Mr. Sycamore.” Don’t let the movie’s low, low profile (it’s virtually unknown to this day and has been unavailable on home video for decades) or its “G” rating fool you; it’s an absolutely delightful slice of whimsical, emotional filmmaking.

Adapted from a 1942 Broadway play that wound up being one of the most infamous flops of its era, it stars Robards as a postman who desperately longs for some sense of peace and purpose in his life. This longing leads him to become obsessed with a tree along his mail route to the point of wanting to physically become a tree himself — much to the dismay of his family and friends who assume him to be mentally ill, rather than simply idealistic. A bittersweet and inspirational picture that has been unfairly forgotten, it screens at 8 p.m. July 25.

Until next issue, see you at the movies, be kind to those around you and don’t forget to turn off that cell phone.

Jim Reed directs the Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah.

 

IF YOU GO

What: “Thor: Ragnarok”

When: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. July 19 and 26

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $5-$7

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

 

What: “Incredibles 2”

When: 7 p.m. July 19-21, 26-28

Where: Mars Theatre, 106. S. Laurel St., Springfield

Cost: $7

Info: marstheatre.com

 

What: “To Catch a Thief”

When: 7 p.m. July 21

Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

Cost: $5-$8

Info: lucastheatre.com

 

What: “Princess Mononoke”

When: 12:55 p.m. July 22, 7 p.m. July 23 and 25

Where: Regal Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee St.; Cinemark, Bluffton

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

 

What: “The Little Mermaid”

When: 3 p.m. July 22

Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

Cost: $5-$8

Info: lucastheatre.com

 

What: “Custody”

When: 4 p.m. July 22

Where: Jewish Educational Alliance, 5111 Abercorn St.

Cost: $10, cash only

Info: tomwar@bellsouth.net

 

What: Bolshoi Ballet Live "Swan Lake”

When: 7 p.m. July 23

Where: Regal Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee St.; Cinemark, Bluffton

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

 

What: “Sherlock Gnomes”

When: 10 a.m. 2 p.m. July 24

Where: Mars Theatre, 106 S. Laurel St., Springfield

Cost: $2

Info: marstheatre.com

 

What: “Cars 3”

When: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. July 24

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $5-$7

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

 

What: “Sherlock Gnomes”

When: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. July 25

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $5-$7

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

 

What: “Mr. Sycamore”

When: 8 p.m. July 25

Where: The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.

Cost: $8

Info: instagram.com/pfssav

 

What: “Newsies: The Broadway Musical”

When: 7 p.m. July 26 at both venues, 12:55 p.m. July 28 at Regal only

Where: Regal Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee St.; Cinemark, Bluffton

Cost: $16.05

Info: fathomevents.com