Community invited to free movie screenings

The popular free movie series at the Historic USO Building continues with star-studded Westerns on Wednesday evenings beginning at 7 p.m. on June 19 and July 3.

Wednesday, June 19, brings Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Trigger, striking an ideal balance of story, nostalgia and “Happy Trails” in a double feature of Republic Pictures’ long running 1940s “saddle-soapers” that should please any red-blooded lover of the genre.

On July 3, Jimmy Stewart in his famous “aw, shucks!” persona plays an accidental sheriff who dislikes guns, while Marlene Dietrich looks him up and down, admires what she sees and sings about “what the boys in the back room will have.” George Marshall directed this energetic 1939 box office hit that also offers Brian Donlevy and Una Merkel among other very recognizable character actors.

Free movies on alternating “flex” Wednesday nights have become a mainstay at the Historic USO Building. Each series focuses on a theme. A Disney series will follow the Westerns later this summer, and a third series, the five-part Leonard B. Stern Classic Silents Series, will run every other Tuesday – July 9 and 23, August 6 and 20, and Sept. 3 – to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Cali-fornia’s long relationship with movie-making and the industry’s benefits to our state.

Resident movie authority and Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert program coordinator Nick Rogers, a dedicated proponent of “the magic of seeing movies with other people and sharing them as a communal experience,” will introduce each film and lead discussions afterwards.

Admission is free, although donations are appreciated. Popcorn, soda and now hot dogs will be available for sale. The motion picture license prohibits advertising the names of the movies, but the public can call 760-375-8456 or stop by 230 W. Ridgecrest Blvd. for schedules that identify the films.

Story First Published: 2013-06-19