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Rural Movie Theaters

Jul 31, 2018

Movie theaters are more than a place to watch the latest blockbuster. They're a place of first dates. A place to get out of the rain. A place where communities can share an experience. But what happens to a small town if they lose that theater? On this episode, we explore what's causing rural movie theaters to close and learn about the efforts to keep them alive. 

Scott Patrick Green / Amazon Content Services LLC

The August primaries are quickly approaching. Soon heads will be spinning in a last-minute frenzy of deciding which candidates deserve a vote. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have recommendations for the best movies of the weekend. Better take one in before your mind grows overcrowded with election thoughts!

Steve Walker

"Hot Summer Nights," R

Pablo Tupin-Noriega / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: Park University to introduce esports as varsity program.

The King / Oscilloscope

According to the "Farmer's Almanac," we're in the throes of the so-called "dog days of summer." Basically, summer is here and it's hot. But how to stay cool? If you're tired of finding relief at an overcrowded pool, we suggest the coolness of your local movie theater. Luckily, the Up To Date Film Critics are here to help you out with their suggesions for the latest and greatest in indie, foreign and documentary films showing this weekend. 

Steve Walker

"The King," R

Sundance Selects

It's a First Fridays weekend in Kansas City, which means there is no shortage of art-centric activities to fill up the next few days. But if the thought of people packed into a very hot and humid Crossroads Arts District makes you wince, we have another idea for how to get your fill of artsy content. The Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have selected the best in cinematic offerings playing on the city's art-house movie screens.

The Orchard

Animated superhero sequel "Incredibles 2" has stormed box offices, raking in the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time for an animated film. But if you're not in the mood for a theater packed with kids (and young adults trying to reconnect to their childhood), Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics assure us there are still plenty of things to see on area screens this weekend.

Steve Walker

"American Animals," R

A blonde woman is pictured against a neutral wall. The image shows her from the shoulders up.
Rockhaven Films

Father's Day is on Sunday. What are you and dear ol' dad getting up to this weekend? If you don't feel like rushing out to a department store to get him yet another tie (we're pretty sure he already has too many), an afternoon at the movies could be just the thing — tickets and popcorn on you, of course! He should probably get to pick the flick, too, but there's no shame in nudging him toward a movie that's bound to be good, at least according to Up To Date's Film Critics. 

Steve Walker

Ruth Bader Ginsburg works at a cluttered desk.
Magnolia Pictures

Social media is abuzz with news of this weekend's royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. If, like a lot of us, you're sick of hearing minute details about floral arrangements and napkin rings, you may be looking for a distraction. Lucky for you, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics have just the solution: Go see a movie. Here are their top picks, available at local theaters this weekend.

Bob Butler

​"Let the Sunshine In," not rated

Magnolia Pictures

Graduation season is upon us, which means long trips, awkward family gatherings and unbearable ceremonies. Looking for a break from the tedium? You're in luck. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics can't change your weird relatives, but they can recommend which movies to catch around town this weekend. Here are their picks to help you make small talk at the next commencement dinner.

Cynthia Haines

"Itzhak," not rated

Greenwich Entertainment

Warmer weather in Kansas City means it's time to start prepping some small-talk fodder for this spring's weekend barbecues. That means it's time to head to the movies! Up To Date's indie, documentary, and foreign Film Critics have picked out their favorites for you, and we're betting they'll inspire lots of grill-side chats.

Cynthia Haines

"Itzhak," not rated

Samuel Maoz / Sony Pictures

Spring has sprung! Sure, that means you can spend more time outside, but did you forget about the havoc wreaked by allergies? What about the blinding brightness of the sun? Have you ever met a bee you liked? We probably haven't convinced you not to welcome the warm weather with open arms, but Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are making a valiant effort to keep you inside for at least a few hours with this weekend's movie recommendations.

Cynthia Haines

"Foxtrot," R

Thomas Reidelsheimer / Magnolia Pictures

With sunshine showing up Friday and possible snow appearing on Sunday, it feels like spring is teasing us. Throw in April Fool's Day at the end of the weekend and it may feel like everyone and everything is out to trick you. There is something you can trust, though, and that's Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics' weekend flick picks. 

Steve Walker

"Loveless," R

Oscillioscope

With March coming to a close, Up To Date's Film Critics returned to get us caught up on the flicks showing around town. But first, we met the writer and director of "Into the Night: Portraits of Life and Death," which chronicles how nine individuals, including a Prairie Village surgeon, reconcile themselves with their own mortality.

Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight Pictures

This year's Oscar nominees were announced on Tuesday and social media has been buzzing with opinions and predictions. To help you catch up on the contenders you might have missed, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics recommend a few movies to see this weekend.

Steve Walker

The Road Movie, Not rated

Focus Films

The holidays are officially over and now, well, it's just a gray winter stretching ahead of us. Exhausted from the week back at the old grind? Tired of always being cold? Our Film Critics have some ideas for how you can relax — and stay warm — this weekend. 

Cynthia Haines 

Darkest Hour, PG-13

Cohen Media Group

It's the last weekend of the holiday season and maybe you're looking to do that anti-New Year thing — you know, just kick back and relax. Well, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have some avenues of escape you can travel for a few hours. 

Steve Walker

Faces Places, PG 

Focus Features

If Friday the 13th has you feeling down on your luck, Up To Date's  indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are here to set you back on the path to good fortune. From a royally heartwarming tale of unlikely friendship to an in-depth documentary about one of the largest public libraries in the United States, checking out any of these recommendations are sure to undo bad mojo accumulated from walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, or even opening your umbrella indoors.

Steve Walker

Music Box Films

KCUR prides itself on the breadth of our coverage, but Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are really pushing the envelope with this weekend's recommendations. From the slow creep of Nazism in the 1930s to the partition of India to a shoemaker whose name is regularly dropped by fashion editors, movies stars, and rappers alike, this batch of movies is all over the map. We'll leave it up to you to find a through line.

Cynthia Haines

13 Minutes, R

A24 Films

Everyone needs a break now and then from the quotidian, which is why this week's recommendations from Up To Date's independent, foreign and documentary film critics are chock-full of characters attempting extraordinary things. Whether or not you follow in their footsteps is up to you, but their stories are sure to stretch your perspective and shift your paradigm.

Cynthia Haines

Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story, Not rated

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Labor Day weekend is upon us! If you're still searching for something to do during your extended weekend, why not try an off-beat movie or two? Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics have a list of recommendations sure to keep you entertained and relaxed. After all, that's what the holiday is all about, right?

Steve Walker

Patti Cake$, R

Neon

August is almost over and, as students across metro Kansas City head back to school, free time has become a luxury once again. If you're searching for an escape that's truly worth a trip to the theater, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics' latest set of movie recommendations is a sure bet. You'll be glad you did.

Steve Walker

The Unknown Girl, Not Rated

Music Box Films

If preparations for Monday's total solar eclipse kept you from planning for the perfect weekend, don't fret! Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have you covered. While the movies they recommend might not be as dramatic as watching the moon blot out the sun for minutes at a time, they're still worth watching.

Steve Walker

Paramount Pictures

If the "fire and fury" of this week's political tension has you seeking relief, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have suggestions for the perfect movie to keep your mind off earthly crises. Well, except for the first item on the list which, coincidentally, is about Earth's environmental problems (it's still worth watching though!)

Steve Walker

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, PG

Roadside Attractions

Some people believe they were born in the wrong era. If you just can't seem to find your place in the age of Big Data, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a set of recommendations to take you back to your spiritual time span. Whether you're pining for the Victorian 1850s or the bullish 1990s, take a break this weekend from push notifications and iPads, and enjoy the simplicity of bygone days.

Steve Walker

Landline, R

A24

Did you know July is National Anti-Boredom Month? (No, we're not kidding.) If you're looking back in remorse at an uneventful last four weeks, it's time to get off the couch and get into your local theater! Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics are back to recommend the least-boring flicks playing now. Finish off the month in style with a movie that's sure to keep you entertained.

Cynthia Haines

Score: A Film Music Documentary, Not rated

Wilson Webb / TriStar Pictures, Inc.

In between your barbeque duties and watching fireworks light up the night sky, wouldn't it be nice to cool off with a hot flick? Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have some recommendations for what to watch between your Fourth of July festivities. Give one or more of them a crack — it's sure to be a blast!

Cynthia Haines 

The Exception, R

KC Roller Warriors

On movie screens everywhere, the latest superhero sensation wields a sword, a shield and a magical golden lasso. The only thing missing from Wonder Woman’s arsenal might just be a pair of roller skates. Wait—what? Commentator Victor Wishna explains, in this latest edition of “A Fan’s Notes.”

Norma Productions

June has arrived, liberating children from schools all over Kansas City and vexing adults with the impossible task of keeping them entertained. If you're looking for a mental escape from this annual phenomenon, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics suggest sheltering your mind in the safety of a good movie.

Steve Walker

The Wedding Plan, PG

Music Box Films

What do America's first celebrity chef, a poetry biopic and a heavyweight boxing drama have in common? Hint: They are your weekend plans, courtesy of Up To Date's independent, foreign and documentary film critics. With an extra day off from work comes more time to lay low and take in a film — or four! It'll be well worth your while.

Steve Walker

A Quiet Passion, PG-13