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Celebrate the Return of Dallas Theaters With These April Events

No, Netflix, we are not still watching. The Angelika movie theater at Mockingbird Station is showing special screenings in April.
No, Netflix, we are not still watching. The Angelika movie theater at Mockingbird Station is showing special screenings in April. courtesy Angelika Film Center
Are movie theaters back? Well, maybe.

The pandemic may have given Dallas audiences more time than ever to sit around and rewatch their favorite movies at home, but it’s no secret that everyone’s been itching to get back to the theater for a big-screen experience.

With a wider rollout of the vaccine and a stacked summer of upcoming blockbusters, it looks like packed movie houses might be more than a distant memory from the pre-COVID era.

Chains such as the Plano-based Cinemark and Studio Movie Grill have been holding regular screenings for new releases, and other North Texas theaters may still be able to open if audiences are interested in showing up.

The thing is, they are. Last weekend the John Wick clone Nobody became one of the biggest post-pandemic theatrical releases, and this weekend the monster movie mashup Godzilla vs. Kong aims to be one of the few blockbuster releases of the year’s early months.

As support for theatergoing steadily returns, specialty events continue to be a fun way for Dallas audiences to rack up their ticket stubs. Check out some of the upcoming film screenings this April.

Win Your Oscar Pool by Being the Only One Who Watched the Nominated Shorts
Angelika Dallas, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, No. 230
April 2– 4

Everyone loves making Oscar predictions, but the category hardest to guess is always the nominations for Best Short Film. The Angelika Film Center offers an easy catch-up on the acclaimed short films nominated this year. Two screening sessions, one for the live-action shorts and one for the animated, will screen this weekend.

Christopher Guest Is Always Funny, Even For Dogs: Best in Show
MUTTS Canine Cantina, 2889 Cityplace W Blvd.
April 9

There’s one perk that outdoor screenings offer that indoor movie theaters don’t: You can bring your furry companions. The MUTTS Canine Cantina in Dallas is holding a puppy superlative contest that includes categories such as Best Strut and Best Smile, accompanied by an outdoor showing of the Christopher Guest mockumentary Best in Show. Fans of Schitt’s Creek will definitely want to see this collaboration between Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara.

Celebrate Local Film With Historic Festival: 2021 Annual USA Film Festival
Angelika Dallas
April 21– 25
Film festivals such as Sundance and SXSW have opted for virtual alternatives, but one of Dallas’ most prestigious film institutions is offering an in-theater programming experience. The USA Film Festival has been screening curated films and documentaries since 1971, and in 50 years the fest has welcomed names such as Steven Spielberg, Sidney Lumet, Robert Altman, Alan J. Pakula, Burt Lancaster, Robert Wise and Roger Ebert to Dallas. This year’s lineup hasn’t been unveiled yet, but it’ll surely be a stop for Texas cinephiles.

Catch Up With “A Bunch of A-Holes:” Guardians of the Galaxy
Jasper’s Uptown, 4511 McKinney Ave.
April 22 and 24

How crazy is it that it’s been almost two full years since a new Marvel movie? Disney+’s WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier may have helped us bide our time as we waited for Black Widow in theaters this summer, and now we can look forward to another fix. Dallas restaurant Jasper’s Uptown is bringing back one of the best MCU movies to date, Guardians of the Galaxy, for a socially distanced outdoor screening event that promises a sing-along for the funky ‘70s soundtrack.

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like The Princess Bride Anymore ... Stick With the Classic
Meadows Museum, 5900 Bishop Blvd.
April 24

“Have fun storming the castle!” There are few movies quite as perfect as 1987’s The Princess Bride; if you haven’t seen Rob Reiner’s subversive and hilarious medieval fantasy adventure, you need to fix that ASAP. If you’ve already seen it, rewatch it again and again until you’ve memorized the damn thing. SMU's Meadows Museum is providing an outdoor screening this month, so you’ll be able to enjoy the adventures of Wesley and Buttercup at a socially distanced location.
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Liam Gaughan has been covering film and television since before he had a driver's license, and in addition to the Observer has been published in, Schmoes Know, Taste of Cinema and The Dallas Morning News. He enjoys checking classic films off of his watchlist and working on spec scripts.