12 Holiday Film Screenings Around the Valley

You can see Die Hard at FilmBar.
You can see Die Hard at FilmBar.
Melissa Fossum
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It may seem like we’ve been celebrating Christmas for months already, but the season is just kicking into high gear. From traditional fare to newer classics, family films to holiday horror, puppets, live concerts, and even sci-fi, here are 12 holiday screenings and events (listed in alphabetical order) guaranteed to get everylord a-leaping and every lady dancing. Check listings for showtimes and other locations your favorite film might be playing.

Black Christmas

Friday, December 6

The first holiday slasher film (we think) tells the tale of sorority girls stalked by a serial killer on their Christmas break. Jason Blum, the current uber-producer of horror films, produced the 2019 remake of this 1974 cult-classic.

The Bolshoi Ballet presents The Nutcracker

Phoenix Art Museum
Saturday, December 21, and Sunday, December 29

Sugarplum fairies, mice, and scary dancing nutcrackers abound in the Bolshoi Ballet's stunning performance of this holiday stalwart, filmed live at the Bolshoi Theatre in Russia.

Die Hard

Sunday, December 21, to Wednesday, December 25

It looks like Disney is moving forward with the bookings of 20th Century Fox's film library, as evidenced by FilmBar’s screening of this subversive Christmas classic. NYPD cop John McClane fights Euro-terrorists with his wits and without his shoes when they take over the Nakatomi Plaza during his wife's Christmas work party.

Will Ferrell is Buddy the Elf.EXPAND
Will Ferrell is Buddy the Elf.
New Line Cinema


Various Harkins Theaters locations

Tuesday, December 10

Will Ferrell is at his endearing best playing Buddy, an overly eager and exceedingly tall elf who ventures far from the North Pole looking for his real father in the big city in this modern Christmas classic.

Eyes Wide Shut

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Chandler
Tuesday, December 10

A 20th-anniversary screening of Stanley Kubrick’s last film that starred then-married Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, which Alamo Drafthouse Cinema's Creative Manager Lauren Knight says is “about the true meaning of Christmas: secret sex cults run by the aristocracy.” This will also screen at the chain’s Tempe location on Monday, December 23.


Friday, December 13

Getting the midnight munchies proves dangerous in this 1984 gory gem. Cute little Gizmo gives way to bloodthirsty little monsters that run amok and turn a white Christmas blood red. Rated PG at the time, Gremlins’ dark themes was one of the things that led to the creation of the PG-13 rating. Bear that in mind before you subject the kiddos to Phoebe Cates’s “Santa Claus in the chimney” story.


Silver Saver Cinemas
Friday, December 13

The Arizona premiere of a film that Cult Classics host Victor Moreno describes as “a veritable festival of frights when the legacy of the legendary Hanukiller (Sid Haig in his final film role) re-emerges to hunt down a group of young people over eight deadly nights!”

Phoenix Symphony Hall will be filled with holiday cheer.
Phoenix Symphony Hall will be filled with holiday cheer.
City of Phoenix

Home Alone in Concert

Symphony Hall
Friday, December 6, to Sunday, December 8

The box-office smash of 1990 introduced the world to pint-sized star Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, who's accidentally left behind by his family just before Christmas. He learns to fend for himself while battling a pair of buffoonish burglars with catchphrases and booby traps. The Phoenix Symphony plays the score, written by maestro John Williams, live while the film plays on the big screen.

The great Bill Nighy rounds out the incredibly nerdy cast of Love Actually.
The great Bill Nighy rounds out the incredibly nerdy cast of Love Actually.
Alamo Drafthouse

Love Actually

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Chandler
Friday, December 6

The lives and loves of many a Londoner intertwine, mix, and mingle in this all-star pic highlighted by Bill Nighy as an aging rock star singing the pseudo-classic “Christmas is All Around.”

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Phoenix Center for the Arts
Sunday, December 1

Presented by Phoenix Film Collective, the oft-told Dickensian morality tale of three ghosts visiting Ebenezer Scrooge gets the Muppets treatment in this felt-filled adaptation. Puppet Pie’s Stacey Gordon will give a presentation before the screening.

The Polar Express

Various Harkins Theatres location
Sunday, December 14

Take a trip to the North Pole via the uncanny valley in Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s beloved book about a boy that doubts the existence of Santa.

Silent Night, Deadly Night

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Tempe
Tuesday, December 24

Celebrate this infamous Santa slasher with a new restoration just in time for its 35th anniversary.


Silver Saver Cinemas
Sunday, December 14

Spaceballs isn’t a Christmas flick, but it’s just the thing to get you in the mood for what’s sure to be the biggest hit of the holiday season: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Presented by Cult Classics, come early for a preshow celebration of “Life Day,” the holiday made infamous by the Star Wars Holiday Special.

White Christmas Sing-Along

Flix Brewhouse, Chandler
Tuesday, December 3

The song “White Christmas” was the smash hit of the 1942 film Holiday Inn. It not only won an Oscar for Best Original Song but got its own film. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney sing and dance their way through this oldie-but-goodie that will make you exclaim “they don’t make ‘em like they used ta.”

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