Hanover provides plethora of film options

by Erik Tanouye | 8/1/99 5:00am

Hanover may be a small town in the New Hampshire hills, but you would not know it from going to the movies here.

With one of the strongest college film societies in the country and a first rate local theater, Dartmouth students have access to a movie selection that is mostly unsurpassed north of New York City.

This is a brief guide to the movie outlets in Hanover:

Dartmouth Film Society -- Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the DFS is one of the oldest active film societies in the country. Each term, the DFS presents a series of about 30 films with a unifying theme, such as "War is Hell!" or "The Independents." These series usually include a mix of recent hits, older classics and foreign films in Spaulding Auditorium.

In addition, the DFS regularly sponsors film specials of recent movies and unreleased films which are otherwise impossible to see in the Upper Valley area.

The DFS is celebrating its anniversary with a gala weekend in October, featuring special guests and presentations with Dartmouth alumni in the film industry.

The Loew -- As part of the Hood Museum of Art, the Loew Auditorium offers two film series every term. On Saturday nights, recent art house fare and foreign gems like "Life is Beautiful" and "Waking Ned Devine" are on tap.

Thursday nights feature film retrospectives and series related to Dartmouth classes, such as this fall's "In Love with Shakespeare," which is presented in collaboration with Professor Peter Saccio's English 24.

The Nugget -- A small but modern facility in downtown Hanover, The Nugget is owned and run by the Hanover Improvement Society, which means that food is cheap and the money all goes back into the town. Despite its size and location, The Nugget is able to get first run movies of note into its four theaters.

Film Festivals -- Telluride at Dartmouth brings six highlights from the world famous Telluride Film Festival to Hanover every September. For those who cannot afford a trip to Colorado, it is the perfect alternative and a great way to see new classics.

For the past two years, the DFS has sponsored highlights from the Boston Jewish Film Festival in the Loew. These hard-to-see gems are a treat for Upper Valley film lovers.

VideoSmith/Videostop -- Hanover's two video rental options cover all the bases. VideoSmith includes a wide selection of foreign and independent films which are not available at many larger chains. Videostop, in the Foodstop building, stocks up on recent hits and is open until midnight.

The Programming Board -- Once a term, the Programming Board offers a free film for undergraduates at the Nugget. They usually show semi-recent hits that did not play in town, such as "The Waterboy" last winter.

Sony Theatres in Lebanon -- If your friends have cars, you can get a ride into the next town to the multiplex. Although the facilities are not top-of-the-line, the selection includes more commercial fare that does not make it into The Nugget.

Other options -- The Claremont Cinema Center is about a half-hour's drive away, but its facilities are better than the Sony Theatres and it shows similar fare. In Woodstock, the Pentangle Town Hall theater shows second-run films in a quaint converted auditorium.

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