Tuesday, January 10, 2023



Fabulous Fables & Magical Myths

Sunday, January 8, through Sunday, March 5. All films start at 2PM.
WHERE: AMC-Dine-In Theaters, Essex Green Shopping Center, 495 Prospect Avenue, West Orange

From cinema’s very beginnings, with pioneering silent film directors like Georges Méliès and Fritz Lang, to golden age talkie dreamscapes from Disney and Oz’s MGM, right on through to the fantastic visions of modern era sci-fi and superhero movies, the “legendary tale” has been the fabric of filmmaking.

In 2023, under the auspices of the West Orange Arts Council, the West Orange Classic Film Festival returns to the heart of cinema’s roots, highlighting those fabled stories of yore to surprise, delight, and awe as only the movies can!

In addition to films filled with larger-than-life heroics, imaginative worlds, and wonderous magic, the festival boasts a host of guest-speakers including the returns of popular prior speakers as well as several notable new ones, plus the big-screen NJ premiere of a stunning 4k restoration.

Returning speakers include authors and film historians such as Stephen Whitty, Paul Castiglia, Gerard Amsellem, and John Chasse. Joining the festival for the first time are noted rock historian, music journalist, and author Dave Zimmer; and Ed Randall, the heralded baseball historian, sports broadcaster, and author; plus, Abbott & Costello historians and restorationists Bob Furmanek, Ron Palumbo, and Jack Theakston.

Zimmer will speak about Yellow Submarine, the influential 1968 animated feature film based on the music of the Beatles, while Randall will delve into the magic of “America’s favorite pastime” at a screening of Field of Dreams.

On January 15, the festival hosts a trio of new speakers to talk about a very special screening: the New Jersey premiere of the restored Jack and the Beanstalk starring the state’s favorite sons, Abbott & Costello.

On hand to discuss the film and its restoration are Bob Furmanek and Ron Palumbo, co-authors of the book, Abbott & Costello in Hollywood; and Jack Theakston, a leading member of Furmanek’s “3-D Archives” restoration team that returned the film to its original Super CineColor splendor. The trailer for this very special restoration can be viewed at

Sponsors for the 2023 event include the West Orange Recreation Department with support from the West Orange Chronicle.

The full list of films, including dates, speakers, and ticket purchasing links can be found below:

Jan. 8 The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) with guest speaker Stephen Whitty

Jan. 15 Abbott and Costello’s Jack and the Beanstalk (1952) with 
guest speakers Bob Furmanek, Ron Palumbo, and Jack Theakston

Jan. 22 Yellow Submarine (1968) with guest speaker Dave Zimmer

Jan. 29 Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast (1946) with guest speaker Gerard Amsellem

Feb. 5 The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) with guest speaker Paul Castiglia

Feb. 19 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) with guest speaker John Chasse

Feb. 26 The Princess Bride (1987) with guest speaker Stephen Whitty

Mar. 5 Field of Dreams (1989) with guest speaker Ed Randall

West Orange Arts Council

Area artists and community leaders remain the core of this all-volunteer organization that operates the West Orange Arts Center gallery and gift shoppe at 551 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ. The West Orange Arts Council's mission is to cultivate, inspire, and support the arts in West Orange and its vicinity.
For more info visit, or email

West Orange Classic Film Festival:  For more info email

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This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.