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Plays Sept 2-7 • 7:00 pm; Xanadu in Love-O-Vision Sept 5 • 7:00 pm
Multiplatinum singer, actress, and overall goddess Olivia Newton-John left us mortals when she succumbed to breast cancer on August 8 at the age of 72.
In honor of her recent passing, Central Cinema will hold a week of screenings of her irresistible, roller-skating, very-much-created-by-cocaine musical fantasy Xanadu. ONJ stars as Kira, a Greek muse, who inspires a Los Angeles-based artist (Michael Beck) and a former big band leader (Gene Kelly!) to build a roller disco nightclub. Few movies feel more like 1980 and, though the movie was initially a flop, its undeniable charms made it a cult hit that even reverberates through my own family. (Ask my niece-in-law, Kira.)
Central Cinema is known for their Hecklevision screenings, where audience members text their best and worst jibes directly to the big screen, sort of a mix of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Pop-Up Video. (The last Hecklevision I attended was for 2019’s Cats, and it became a battle between pro- and anti-Jellicle parties.) But nobody should be in the business of angering ghosts, especially not ones as fabulous as ONJ, and they will instead hold a very special, one-night-only Love-O-Vision using the same technology.
So if you want to groove along with the killer Electric Light Orchestra songs (me in the audience singing: “All over the wooor-er-er-ld”), give praise to Kelly in his final film appearance, and send ONJ into the afterlife in style, head to the Central District on 9/5 and create some magic.
📸: Central Cinema