First opened in 1923, the Strand Theatre at 345 Main St. will celebrate its 90th birthday with a series of classic films from each of the past nine decades beginning Saturday, Aug. 17, through Sept. 22. Each film will have a brief introduction from longtime Strand Theatre Manager Liz McLeod, who also programmed the series. All tickets are the $7.50 matinee price, available at the box office 30 minutes prior to each screening.

The series kicks off with 1923 silent comic classic “Safety Last!” Saturday, Aug. 17, at 3 p.m. The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal; Chaplin was the sweet innocent; Keaton the stoic outsider; but Lloyd — the modern guy striving for success — is us. And with its torrent of perfectly executed gags and astonishing stunts, “Safety Last!” is the perfect introduction to his world. Lloyd plays a small-town bumpkin, trying to make it in the big city, who finds employment as a lowly department store clerk. He comes up with a wild publicity stunt to draw attention to the store, resulting in an incredible feat of derring-do that gives him a head start on the climb to success. In honor of the film’s 90th anniversary, the film being shown at the Strand is a freshly-struck 35mm print, featuring Carl Davis' sparkling score.

“Gold Diggers of 1933” screens Sunday, Aug. 18, at 1 p.m. In this follow-up to “42nd Street,” Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler and Aline MacMahon star as out-of-work Broadway chorines — “gold diggers” — who target Warren William, Dick Powell and Guy Kibbee for both money and romance. Busby Berkeley choreographed the spectacular musical numbers that include the ironic “We’re in the Money” and the anthem to the Depression and returning World War veterans, “Remember My Forgotten Man.” This is a sharp, funny and cynical film, one of the all-time best Pre-Code musicals.

Upcoming in the series are: “Casablanca (1943) Aug. 24, 3 p.m.; “From Here to Eternity” (1953), Aug. 25 at 1 p.m.; “The Birds” (1963), Aug. 31 at 3 p.m.; “Soylent Green” (1973), Sept. 1 at 1 p.m.; “The Big Chill” (1983), Sept. 14 at 3 p.m.; “Philadelphia” (1993), Sept. 15 at 1 p.m.; and “Lost in Translation” (2003), Sept. 22 at 1 p.m.

For information about film ratings and about all Strand Theatre films, concerts and events visit or call 594-0070.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or