Your spring guide to Philadelphia area movie screenings

by Will Standish
Posted 5/23/24

From recent hits to bonafide classics and offbeat cult favorites, this spring and summer bring a slew of movie screenings across the Philadelphia area.

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Your spring guide to Philadelphia area movie screenings


The Chestnut Hill Film Group’s Tuesday Night at the Movie season has drawn to a close, but film fans need not fret. With the spring and summer comes a slew of movie screenings across the Philadelphia area. From recent hits to bonafide classics and offbeat cult favorites, there’s something for every taste. This week, we offer a few upcoming highlights:

For the superhero fan

The final installment in director James Gunn’s offbeat sci-fi trilogy, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” brings together all the elements that have made the Guardians series a standout among Marvel Studios’ prolific movie lineup: off-kilter humor, a carefully curated soundtrack, and genuine heart. Centered on the backstory of the ill-tempered, genetically modified raccoon, Rocket (voiced by Philly native Bradley Cooper), “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is a rumination on found families and belonging disguised as madcap sci-fi adventure. “Guardians of the Galaxy” will be playing for free at noon, May 29, at Sunset Social (129 S 30th St.) for filmgoers who want to take in one of the best views in the city with their movie.

For the classic Hollywood buff

You may not think you know “The Seven Year Itch,” but you undoubtedly know its the most famous scene: Marilyn Monroe, a flowing dress, a ventilation shaft. 

Writer and director Billy Wilder stands as one of the greatest filmmakers of classic Hollywood. His scripts crackle with sharp dialogue and his films have a unique knack for pushing cultural bounds and tackling sensitive topics without losing their sense of humor. “The Seven Year Itch” follows middle-aged everyman Richard (Tom Ewell) as he struggles with temptation in the form of his new neighbor (Marilyn Monroe) while his wife and son are out of town for the summer. A roaring send-up of mid-century manhood, “The Seven Year Itch” is a cinematic magic trick that still has viewers asking, “how did they get away with that?”

“The Seven Year Itch” is playing at 7 p.m. on May 29 at the Ambler Theater.

For the cult film connoisseur

By far the most esoteric of the films on this list, “Crime Wave" is a holy grail screening for cult cinema fans. Not to be confused with the Coen Brother/ Sam Raimi film of the same name and the same year (talk about coincidence), “Crime Wave” by Canadian director John Paizs beggars easy description. The film is a series of vignettes from the unfinished screenplays of down-on-his-luck screenwriter Steven Penny (Paizs), all filmed in the style of 40s and 50s crime pictures and educational film reels. A hit at the Toronto International Film Festival upon its release, and subsequently described as “one of the best Canadian comedy films ever made,” “Crime Wave” never received a major release in theaters or home video and has become a sought-after rarity for film fans. 

Crime Wave is playing at 7 p.m. on May 30 at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, with a conversation on the film hosted by Miguel Gomez of Viva Video to follow. 

For more than 50 years, the Chestnut Hill Film Group has celebrated cinema through free screenings of notable films from across the globe. Each week, Film Group members Will Standish and Heather Gray highlight the best films playing across the Philadelphia area. For more information on how to support the Chestnut Hill Film Group and stay up to date on its upcoming fall Tuesday Night at the Movies series, visit