THE SHOW MUST GO ON The sudden shuttering of Studio Cinema in Belmont won’t stop Belmont World Film from holding its annual Family Film Festival. The four-day event for children ages 3 to 15 will open Friday at theaters in Arlington and Newton.
“Knowing how much work it is to get out of the house with young children, I just really hope the word gets out and no one shows up at the Studio Cinema by mistake,” said Ellen Gitelman, Belmont World Film’s executive director.
The Trapelo Road theater abruptly closed late last month after town officials did not renew its license, citing building and fire code violations, though co-owner James Bramante said he is optimistic it will reopen.
The West Newton Cinema, at 1265 Washington St., also co-owned by Bramante and his brother, proved to be the festival’s savior, offering its largest screen for events on Saturday and Sunday. Arlington’s Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., will host events Friday and the next Monday, which is the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
This year’s festival includes films about the civil rights leader’s legacy, animals and the environment, and several short pieces based on favorite children’s books, as well as feature-length animated and live-action films from countries across the world.
The featured speaker next Sunday will be Alice Van Evera, an 11-year-old from Lexington who has already made her mark as an environmental activist. She and two friends founded a group called Save Tomorrow, which helped spur changes to the town’s rules regarding solar panels on public buildings, and lobbied to protect a wooded area in their neighborhood from development.
Individual tickets are $5 for programs that are 60 minutes or less, and $8 for programs that are more than 60 minutes. Full festival passes are $40, and day passes are $20. Tickets are available in advance online at www.belmontworldfilm.org or at the box offices on the day of the show. For a schedule of events and additional information, go to www.belmontworldfilm.org or call 617-484-3980.
PONDERING RETIREMENT Dorian Mintzer, coauthor of “The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle: 10 Must-Have Conversations for Creating an Amazing New Life Together,” will speak on “Strategies for the Second Half of Life” on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Natick Community-Senior Center, 117 East Central St. Participants at the interactive presentation will be guided toward a greater understanding of options for retirement, and ways that couples can work together for optimal planning. Admission is free, but space is limited; call 508-647-6540 to sign up.
SINGING FOR MLK TODAY In honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Halalisa Singers will present “I Dream a World: Songs of Peace and Justice” Sunday at 3 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society in Newton, 1326 Washington St., West Newton. The program will feature folk and world music celebrating the legacy of the great civil rights leader. Tickets are $15, or $12 for students and seniors, and may be purchased in advance at www.brownpapertickets.com. For more details, go to www.halalisa.org.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER Gallery 93 at the Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester St., is presenting “Feathered Friends,” an exhibition of oil paintings by Chestnut Hill resident B.J. Comerford, through March 27. A reception for the artist will be held Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the gallery, which is open weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For details, call 617-730-2760.
COMEDY NIGHT The Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center, at 333 Nahanton St. in Newton, will feature popular stand-ups Tony V, Dan Naturman, and Dan Crohn during its annual comedy cabaret, taking place Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28, or $25 for JCC members, students, and seniors, and may be purchased online at www.bostonjcc.org/comedy or by calling 617-965-5226.
LIVE IN THE LIBRARY Canadian singer-songwriter James Keelaghan will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Harvard Public Library, 4 Pond Road, in a free concert being sponsored by Harvard Friends of the Arts. Doors open at 7 p.m.; while admission is free, donations will be welcome; advance reservations are recommended due to the limited seating. For more information, call 978-456-4114 or go to www.harvardpubliclibrary.org.
FIDDLING FRIENDS Violinists Brittany Haas and Nic Gareiss are performing two concerts presented by notloB Music next weekend. They will be at
Park Avenue Congregational Church,
50 Paul Revere Road in Arlington, at 8 p.m. Saturday in a benefit for the Old Schwamb Mill, and at 2 p.m. next Sunday at Carriage House Violins, 1039 Chestnut St. in Newton Upper Falls. Tickets are $10-$20, and may be purchased in advance through www.eventbrite.com .
GETTING HEALTHY Tower Hill Botanic Garden launches a series on health and wellness this month, featuring workshops, lectures, tours, and classes on topics including herbal medicine, meditation, winter wellness, yoga, and cooking, at 11 French Drive in Boylston. Fees vary; for a full schedule, call 508-869-6111, or go to www.towerhillbg.org.
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