(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Both a magic and comedy club and a popular film screening series are making a comeback this spring.
Kellar’s: Modern Magic and Comedy Club at 1402 State St. has laid dormant for months. With comedy and magic shows returning on Feb. 2, entertainment again takes the stage at the local venue. Kellar’s also is planning to host a weekly movie series with the Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania.
Movie Magic will be held at Kellar’s. It will marry the goals of both Kellar’s and the film society.
“Since the COVID pandemic, our very successful dinner and a movie series at Bourbon Barrel went away when we lost the venue. People have been coming up to us anytime we’re out in the city and asking us when we’re going to come back,” said John Lyons, the director of programming for the film society. “We’ve been trying to find a partner, and thankfully Kellar’s and Bobby Borgia (owner of Kellar’s) had everything we need.”
Each night of Movie Magic will see doors open at 5 p.m. For about an hour, patrons at the bar will be entertained with illusions and sleight of hand tricks.
At 6 p.m. a buffet dinner will be served. (For the first film in the series, Teresa’s Deli and Catering will provide the meal.) And Kellar’s has purchased a popcorn machine so people can enjoy the iconic movie theater snack while they enjoy the film.
At 7 p.m. Lyons and film society Executive Director Erika Berlin will give a brief introduction and then the movie will begin.
“We’ll see how the audience is and how the environment is and then go from there,” Lyons said. “When we had our film series at the Erie Art Museum several years ago, we would have open discussions after the movie. If people are into that, we could do that. Or if people want to go home for the night, we could do that too. We’ll see how much social interaction people want.”
Admission is $18 and can be paid at the door or online. All seating is first come, first served. The admission includes food. Drinks will be in addition to admission.
Lyons said he personally picked the film lineup for the series.
“I was trying to anticipate what the Oscar nominees would look like,” Lyons said of his film selection. “Some of the films are nominees, and then you have some that weren’t nominees but I thought they were notable. It’s kind of like a Best of 2022.”
The lineup also includes one night of all of the Oscar nominated live-action short films.
The film lineup is: “Elvis” on Feb. 8, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” on Feb. 15, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” on Feb. 22, “She Said” on March 1, Oscar-nominated short films on March 8, “Tár” on March 15, “The Banshees of Inisherin” on March 22, “The Menu” on March 29, “Top Gun: Maverick” on April 5, “Nope” on April 12, “The Fabelmans” on April 19, and “Avatar: The Way of Water” on April 26.
“The menu is really fun. ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ was nominated for the most Oscars, so that’s probably the one that most people are going to be drawn to, but really they all stand out in their own way,” Lyons said. “It will be good to see stuff with the community in a fun atmosphere on the big screen again, the way movies should be seen.”