When grown-ups talk about their childhood summers, however fondly they speak of baseball games or camping or trips to amusement parks, no nostalgia of this sort usually seems able to compete with their memories of moviegoing. Not much beats hanging out in a movie theater during the hot months, getting brain-numbing doses of cartoons and monsters and heroes struggling to prevail over villains and all that good stuff, supplemented liberally by edibles of little or no nutritional value.
These are, of course, memories of a time when moviegoing was an inexpensive pastime, which it is no longer, even for kids. Unless, of course, you're talking about Harkins Theatres' Summer Movie Fun 1999.
The chain presents its annual youth-film fest, in which kids can get weekly flicks, screened Monday through Friday at 9:45 a.m., at various Harkins locations, through Friday, August 13. The Rugrats Movie continues through Friday, June 11; Quest for Camelot opens Monday, June 14, and continues through Friday, June 18.
It's a smokin' deal--admission to all 10 movies in the series is a measly $5, with the purchase of a season-ticket booklet. A snack bar combo special consisting of popcorn and a drink is available for $2; and $2 is also the single-admission price. All are welcome, but adults must have a kid with them to be admitted. Participating theaters include Arizona Mills 24, Priest and Baseline in Tempe; Bell Tower 8, 51st Avenue and Bell in Glendale; Arcadia 8, 40th Street and Thomas; Bell Towne Center 8, Seventh Street and Bell; Christown 11, 19th Avenue and Bethany Home; Desert Sky 6, 75th Avenue and Thomas; Fiesta 5, 1520 South Longmore in Mesa; Paradise Valley 7, Cactus and Tatum in Paradise Valley; and Superstition Springs 25, 6950 East Superstition Springs Boulevard in Mesa. Not all of these theaters show all of these films each day; it's best to call ahead or pick up a complete schedule at any Harkins theater.
Later movies in the series, all of which are rated G or PG, include such gems as Carroll Ballard's Fly Away Home (July 19-23) and Caroline Thompson's excellent, underrated adaptation of Black Beauty (July 26-30), along with fluff like Air Bud: Golden Receiver and Richie Rich, but, as anyone who went to the movies as a kid can tell you, what the movie is almost doesn't matter.
--M. V. Moorhead
For more information, call the Harkins Summer Movie Fun Hotline at 480-517-2700.