If science fiction and economic trends can agree on anything, it’s that robots are destined to become our merciless overlords. You can prepare yourself for this horrific inevitability, or even study how you might fight it, with a trip to the Longmont Museum for its new robocentric film series, launching this Saturday with Short Circuit, the whimsical tale of a military robot who learns how to dance and feel things and hang out with Fisher Stevens.
The series is the companion piece to the Robots Rising exhibit, which, despite the ominous name, is not actually about how and when our metal-and-silicon masters will take over the planet.
“It’s a hands-on exhibit where visitors can do a lot of things like driving a rover robot through a disaster scene, control a six-foot-tall animatronic robot or a robot arm from NASA,” explains Joan Harrold, marketing and development manager at the museum. “It’s all about seeing how robots interact with the world and using those pieces themselves.”
Despite the sunny outlook of the main exhibit, the film series isn’t afraid to show the dark side of human-robot relations. The Saturday programming features more kid-friendly fare, but Thursdays bring on the bad boys of robot cinema with a slate of films including classics such as Metropolis, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Blade Runner. All of the films are shown in the museum’s brand-new, state-of-the-art theater, launching what the museum hopes to be an ongoing effort to program relevant and exciting films, among other entertainment.
“This is our first time producing a film series in the new auditorium, and we’ll continue to do more moving forward, including maybe a Halloween movie series in the fall,” Harrold says.
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In the meantime, here's the full slate of robocinema:
Saturday, July 18 - Short Circuit
Thursday, July 23 - Metropolis
Thursday, July 30 - The Day The Earth Stood Still
Thursday, August 6 - Blade Runner
Thursday, August 13 - RoboCop
Saturday, August 15 - Robots
Saturday, August 22 - WALL-E
All Thursday showings are at 7:15 p.m.; all Saturday showings are at 1:30 p.m. See them at the Longmont Museum’s Stewart Auditorium. Tickets for the Robots Rising exhibit are $8 adults, $5 students/seniors, and free for kids 3 and under. Tickets for all films are $5, or $2.50 for museum members, and you can get $1 off if you purchase tickets for the exhibit at the same time. For more information, visit the Longmont Museum website.