Calendar: April 5-11, 2024

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.


MILESTONES | Happy Birthday to You!

4/2: Pamela Powell (cohost and reviewer, “Reel Talk with Chuck and Pam,” Champaign-Chicago, IL/Racine, WI)
4/10: Kristen Johns (videographer, “Champaign Underground” YouTube channel, Champaign-Urbana, IL


FIELD REPORT DU HQ | From Wherever It May Be Said

This Report had been shaping up to be yet another all-horror film bonanza but, given the topic of our Almanac reprint that you’ll see below, we’re going to concentrate on timely Decatur news that, tra la, all happens to be about producers taking their next steps with horror-themed projects. To start, actor Bishop Stevens has been busking about Facebook to crew up for his return to the Soy Capital later this month to finish the filming of his Derrick Todd Lee biopic, THE BATON ROUGE SERIAL KILLER. Location work is set to resume Sunday, April 21, and last for 10 days with a weekend break, per his comments, so those interested in helping should reach out to him via his personal account or the official page of the film, while those who want to learn more details and see a proof-of-concept trailer can visit this Indiegogo campaign.

Speaking of, the 39-minute (!) proof-of-concept for Acrostar ProductionsNIGHT OF THE DEAD SORORITY BABES, shot at the beginning of 2024 in a Vrbo-owned lake house in Decatur, has been posted on YouTube and their own Indiegogo fundraiser is set to close at the end of this Sunday, April 7. Producer Ann Myrna and co-director S. J. Herman will be returning to downstate Illinois in a week’s time to commence work on the real deal, to be directed by lead actress Angel Nichole Bradford as she did for the SORORITY BABES short, and are looking for female day players on Wednesday, April 17, to appear in this “campy horror” exercise; write AcrostarProductionsVP [at] gmail [dot] com for specifics on the roles or other questions regarding their production needs.

To end, even though one hopes this is finally the beginning, a cryptic picture of the pumpkin-headed co-star of the long-in-coming fantasy-horror flick TRICK AND TREATS from Heroic Age Studios in Mt. Zion appeared earlier this week on Facebook with the equally cryptic caption, “Are you ready?” Considering the meat and potatoes (and copious mayhem, we’ll presume) of the picture were filmed at the Heroic Age soundstage and in the Decatur area way back in 2018, there must be plenty of pent-up anticipation for it; written and directed by Eric Hector, TRICK was made by all these folks who’ve been patiently awaiting word on its fate. Intended to be the flagship title of a brand called Frightful 5000 Films, TREAT features appearances by Malcolm McDowell and Gary Busey.


CONFIDENTIAL ALMANAC | Dates in Film Culture History

25 Years AgoMonday, April 5, 1999: An invitation-only audience fills the Avon Theater in downtown Decatur, Illinois, for its first movie presentation in several years, the biographical epic ELIZABETH starring Cate Blanchett, to complete a lively week of pomp and circumstance, as reported in the Herald & Review. Gregarious businessman Skip Huston, who has been involved recently in both the “Flashback” fundraising efforts at the nearby Lincoln Square Theatre and the popular “Haunted Decatur” seasonal tours, is working with partners to develop the refurbished space into a venue that can handle live events, such as the Christian and blues-rock music concerts that led up to tonight’s show, and screenings of repertory and art films. Among Huston’s staff is his wife Susan Blake, daughter Melissa Huston, and projectionist Chris Barnett, while his allies on the programming side include Troy Taylor, a writer and publisher of crime and paranormal histories, and Gary Strong, the local puppeteer whose self-made marionette “Spunky the Squirrel” is set to star in an Avon “kids club.” Upcoming weekend shows will feature the science-fiction classic FORBIDDEN PLANET and current movies making the rounds such as A SIMPLE PLAN, GODS AND MONSTERS, and WAKING NED DEVINE. {R}


LOCAL FILMS & EVENTS | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ University YMCA, UIUC, Urbana, IL
“Friday Forum” feat. Prof. Jay Rosenstein about Native American sports mascots and IN WHOSE HONOR?* (4/5, 12 p.m.)


NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
EPIC TALES (animation), FAMILY STAR (in Telugu with English sub), THE FIRST OMEN, MONKEY MAN, SOMEONE LIKE YOU, VIVA LA VIDA (in Mandarin with English sub), WICKED LITTLE LETTERS, DUNE: PART TWO, GHOSTBUSTERS: FROZEN EMPIRE, GODZILLA X KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE, LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL, KUNG FU PANDA 4 (animation), TILLU SQUARE (in Telugu with English Sub) (4/5 on), AMC “Screen Unseen” (mystery movie) (4/8, 7 p.m., sold out), BADE MIYAN CHOTE MIYAN (in Hindi with English sub) (4/10, 1/15, 3:45, & 7:15 p.m.), MAIDAAN (in Hindi with English sub) (4/15 p.m.), CIVIL WAR, STING (4/11 on)

@ Phoenix Savoy 16 + IMAX, Savoy, IL
THE FIRST OMEN, MONKEY MAN, SOMEONE LIKE YOU, ARTHUR THE KING, DUNE: PART TWO, GHOSTBUSTERS: FROZEN EMPIRE, GODZILLA X KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE, IMAGINARY, IMMACULATE, KUNG FU PANDA 4 (animation) (4/5 on), GONE WITH THE WIND 85th anniversary (4/7, 1 & 7 p.m.; 4/8, 4/10, 7 p.m.), THE GODFATHER (4/7, 3 & 7 p.m.; 4/10, 7 p.m.), SUGA | Agust D Tour – “D-Day the Movie” (concert film) (4/10, 7 p.m., IMAX), CIVIL WAR (4/11 on)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Spring 2024 Weekend Films” feat. FERRARI, Pine Lounge, 1st floor (4/5-4/6, 7 p.m.; free w/i-card)

@ Redbox (streaming), Champaign-Urbana, IL
Follow the link to view the hottest new releases! (4/2 on) Online rentals

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
No movies this week!

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!


NOW PLAYING | The Cities Beyond

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL

@ The Fischer Theatre, Danville, IL
SIXTEEN CANDLES (4/5, 7 p.m.), KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON (4/6, 2 p.m.), THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE (4/8, 7 p.m.), Danville Public Library, etc., presents “A Novel Idea…” feat. NANCY DREW (2007) (4/11, 7 p.m.)

@ The Harvest Moon Twin Drive-in, Gibson City, IL
“Drive-in Decades: The 50’s” feat. GODZILLA X KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE, BEGINNING OF THE END (Screen 1), SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, SOME LIKE IT HOT (Screen 2) (4/5-4/6)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL
ENNIO (documentary) (4/5, 4/7), THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (4/5), THE UNTOUCHABLES, THE THING (1982) (4/6), FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (4/7), FOOD, INC. 2 w/discussion (4/9, 7 p.m.), Department of English at Illinois State University, etc., presents “SRPR Lucia Getsi Poetry Reading” feat. John Keene, Marissa Davis (4/10, 7 p.m.), “Way Beyond Samba” series w/discussion feat. BACARU (4/11, 7 p.m.)

@ The Onarga Theatre, Onarga, IL
Closed for the week.

@ The Princess Theatre, Leroy, IL
KUNG FU PANDA 4 (animation) (4/5-4/7)

BACK OPEN! @ The Route 66 Drive-in Theater, Springfield, IL
GHOSTBUSTERS (1984), BOB MARLEY: ONE LOVE (Screen 1), KUNG FU PANDA 4 (animation), NIGHT SWIM (Screen 2) (4/5-4/6)



@ The Gene Siskel Film Center, SAIC, etc., Chicago, IL
Chicago Filmmakers presents the 34th Onion City Experimental Film Festival (through 4/14)

@ UW Cinematheque, etc., Madison, WI
UW-Madison Dept. of Communication Arts presents the 26th annual Wisconsin Film Festival (through 4/11)

For detailed and curated listings of Chicago-area film presentations and related events, please visit the fine folks at Cine-File and subscribe to their definitive “Cine-List” weekly blast.


COMING SOON | Area-wide Events

Champaign Movie Makers* mixer
@ The Esquire Lounge, Champaign, IL, 7 p.m.

24th Roger Ebert’s Film Festival* (25th anniversary edition)
@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL

2nd annual Foxtail Film Festival*
@ Normal Theater, etc., Normal, IL

UIUC Student Film Festival*
@ Spurlock Museum for World Cultures, UIUC, Urbana, IL, 7 p.m.

10th anniversary Dark History & Horror Con
@ Orpheum Champaign (The Orpheum Theater), Champaign, IL

23rd Route 66 Film Festival*
@ Hoogland Center for the Arts, Springfield, IL


COMMUNITY & CAMPUS SERIES | Champaign-Urbana area

Chambana Film Festival – Spring 2024 screening series
@ Phoenix Savoy 16 + IMAX, Savoy, IL, 4 p.m.

Illini Radio Group presents “Rewind 92.5 Movie Series”/“Mix 94.5 Throwback Thursdays”*
@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL, 7 p.m.
4/25: PITCH PERFECT*; 5/23: FAME (1980); 6/27: HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE*; 7/11: GREASE “sing-a-long” edition

Illinois Public Media presents “The Arthouse Experience Film Series”
@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL, 7 p.m.

Illini Union Board presents “Spring 2024 Weekend Films”
@ Pine Lounge, 1st floor, Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL, 7 p.m. Fri. & Sat, free w/i-card
4/12-4/13: THE BOYS IN THE BOAT; 4/19-4/20: WONKA; 4/26-4/27: THE BOOK OF CLARENCE; 5/3-5/4: THE IRON CLAW

The News-Gazette Film Series
@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL, 1 & 7 p.m.

Roger Ebert Center for Film Studies events
@ Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, UIUC, Urbana, IL, 7 p.m. (unless noted otherwise)
4/16-4/17: Roger Ebert Symposium, “Representations and Their Critics”


Compiled by Jason Pankoke.


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