The Strand Theatre, 345 Main St., continues its 90th Birthday Film Series with one-show-only screenings of “The Big Chill” Saturday, Sept. 14 at 3 p.m.; and “Philadelphia” Sunday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. Liz McLeod, projectionist, theater manager and film history expert, will give a brief introduction to each film.

“The Big Chill,” Lawrence Kasdan's 1983 big-budget variation on John Sayles's "The Return of the Secaucus Seven," finds a group of old college radicals — who have since gone on to sundry professions and various degrees of materialism — reuniting over the death of a friend. During the weekend that follows, they compare their 1960s ideals with the harsh reality of their lives in the ‘80s and discover that in a cold world, we need our friends to keep us warm.

Both playful and thoughtful, “The Big Chill” represents Kasdan (“Body Heat”) at his most astute. The film’s all-star ensemble cast includes Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Tom Berenger, Jeff Goldblum, Meg Tilly, William Hurt, JoBeth Williams and Mary Kay Place. And yes, that is Kevin Costner in the opening sequence.

At the time of its release in 1993, Jonathan Demme's “Philadelphia” was the first big-budget Hollywood film to tackle the medical, political and social issues of AIDS. Tom Hanks, in his first Academy Award-winning performance, plays Andrew Beckett, a talented lawyer at a stodgy Philadelphia law firm and a gay man who has contracted AIDS. The firm's senior partner, Charles Wheeler (Jason Robards), assigns Andrew a case involving its most important client but soon the lesions associated with AIDS are visible on Andrew’s face, Wheeler abruptly removes him from the case and fires him from the firm.

Andrew wants to take his wrongful termination suit to trial but no lawyer in Philadelphia will risk handling his case. In desperation, he hires Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), a homophobic small-time lawyer willing to take the case for media exposure. As their unlikely friendship develops, their courage overcomes the prejudice and corruption of their powerful adversaries.

The Strand’s 90th Birthday Film Series will conclude Sunday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m. with a screening of 2003’s “Lost in Translation.” All tickets are the $7.50 matinee price, available at the box office 30 minutes prior to each screening. 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