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This article was prepared for the July 18, 2001 edition of U.S. 1

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Dinner, Date, and the Silver Screen

Summertime is movie time. But if you’re already weary

of the high-octane onslaught of blow ’em up dramas and

out-of-this-world

spooky cyber-effects, New Brunswick City Market has planned a

civilized

summer alternative.

The "Dinner and a Movie" series, set in the opulent splendor

of New Brunswick’s State Theater — a former RKO movie palace —

begins with happy hour in the lobby, followed by a fun classic feature

film on the big screen, then sends its couples to any one of 17

participating

New Brunswick restaurants and night spots for a prixe fixe meal,

special

discount, or complimentary dessert, all through the magic of a $6

ticket stub.

Representing the dinner component of the "Dinner and a Movie"

series are Delta’s, the Frog and the Peach, Caebel’s Steak and Fresh

Fish, Green Grotto, Harvest Moon Brewery and Cafe, La Fontana

Ristorante,

Makeda Ethiopian Restaurant, Marita’s Cantina, North Star Cafe, Nova

Terra, The Old Bay Restaurant, The Round Grill, Sapporo Sushi and

Steak House, Soho on George, Stage Left Restaurant, Szechwan Gourmet,

and Tumulty’s Pub. Call or drop by for the brochure that lists

addresses

and phone numbers for all these eateries.

"Dinner and a Movie" opens Thursday, July 26, with "The

Big Easy," and features Cajun hors d’oeuvres and Hurricanes from

the Old Bay Restaurant. The New Orleans thriller, starring Dennis

Quaid and Ellen Barkin, begins at 6:30 p.m. Directed by Jim McBride

and released in 1987, this New Orleans mystery-romance features Dennis

Quaid and Ellen Barkin as sexy adversaries in a police scandal. Quaid

plays a seductive detective investigating a series of mob-related

murders, while Barkin plays an assistant district attorney looking

into allegations of an entire cop force on the take, including Quaid.

The series continues with a stellar restored print of the Beatles’

1964 hit "A Hard Day’s Night," directed by Richard Lester,

on Thursday, August 2. "Like Water for Chocolate," the popular

Mexican feature soaked in cooking and food, is featured on Thursday,

August 9. Directed by Alfonso Arau and based on the popular novel

written by his wife, Laura Esquivel, the film tells its imaginative

story of enduring love with magic realism, tradition, and drama,

amidst

tables groaning with piquant dishes you can almost smell.

The final food-oriented offering in the series is "Big Night"

on Thursday, August 16. This gem of a film, a hit on the 1996 festival

circuit, brought renewed acclaim for Stanley Tucci, its co-writer,

co-producer, co-director (with Campbell Scott), and star. It tells

the beautiful and touching story of two Italian brothers (Tucci and

Tony Shalhoub) fresh off the boat and trying to make it in the

restaurant

business in America. It co-stars Isabella Rossellini and Minnie Driver

and enough fine food to make you happy that dinner is included.

Dinner and a Movie , New Brunswick City Market, State

Theater, Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, 732-545-4849. $6 at the

door. Thursday, July 26, August 2, 9, and 16, at 5:30 p.m.

Another movie-goers destination this summer is

Doylestown’s

County Theater, the chic new Bucks County venue that specializes in

"film society" type films, classic foreign and art films,

and the occasional odd-ball or extraordinary Hollywood offerings.

In this latter category is the Hollywood Summer Nights series, running

through Labor Day, offering the kind of classics that gave movies

a good name. Coming in the fall is a County Theater Alfred Hitchcock

festival with screenings, lecture, and discussion by film historian

and Hitchcock specialist Warren Dey.

County Theater , 20 East State Street, Doylestown,

Pennsylvania,

215-345-6789. Screenings are at 4:15 and 9:15 p.m. $4 and $7.50.

Laura, the 1944 film directed by Otto Preminger and

starring

Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, and Vincent Price. July 18, 19, 22, and

23.

Bringing Up Baby , the classic 1938 comedy directed by

Howard Hawks and starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. July 25,

26, 29, and 30.

Wuthering Heights , the 1939 adaptation of Emily Bronte’s

romantic novel directed by William Wyler and starring Merle Oberon

and Laurence Olivier. August 1, 2, 5, and 6.

A Streetcar Named Desire , 1951 production of the Tennessee

Williams play directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando and

Vivien Leigh. August 12, 13 and 15.

Sabrina , the 1954 romantic comedy directed by Bill Wilder

and starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, and William Holden.

August 15, 16, 19, and 20.

When Worlds Collide , the 1951 sci-fi feature about a

scientist

who tries to convince a doubting world that another planet is rushing

towards earth. Directed by Rudolph Mate, it won an Oscar for special

effects. August 22, 26 and 27.

Doctor Zhivago , David Lean’s 1965 Russian epic based on

the Boris Pasternak novel and starring Julie Christie, Omar Sharif,

and Alec Guinness. August 29, 30, September 2, 3.


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