Where to see holiday movies in Vancouver this Christmas season!

A scene from Bad Santa, a foul-mouthed holiday classic.

Traditionally, Christmas is a great time to catch up on movie-viewing – whether new films the studios have saved up for Oscar consideration, holiday blockbusters, or titles you might have missed that have made critics’ year-end best-of lists.

It’s also a good time to catch Christmas classics on the big screen. In Vancouver, the city’s arthouse theatres all have varied programs, from Cinematheque’s Essential Cinema to Vancity’s Best of 2016 to Rio Theatre’s – well, as usual, anything goes when it comes to the licensed East Vancouver moviehouse.

The Cinematheque (1131 Howe St.) – For the holiday season, the downtown arthouse is presenting what it calls Essential Cinema! Essential Big Screen! (Dec. 22-30). The series includes four films that run the gamut from fantasy to romantic thriller. Selections include Ingmar Bergman’s 1982 celebration of childhood Fanny and Alexander, Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet, Jean Cocteau’s immortal fantasy Beauty and the Beast, and the pairing of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 movie To Catch a Thief. Visit thecinematheque.ca for screening times and ticket info.

Photo by Moviestore Collection / Rex Features (1619684a).

Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St.) – In its Best of 2016 series (Dec. 19-Jan 1), the downtown theatre is giving movie-lovers a second chance to see some of the best movies of the year on a big screen. See the Hungarian WWII drama Son of Saul, Park Chan-Wook’s magnificent South Korean dazzler The Handmaiden, or the wonderful and compelling Brazilian flick Aquarius, starring a terrific Sonia Braga, before they come to VOD. The program even includes some big American movies, like Sully. Visit viff.org for full listings and ticket info.

Sonia Braga stars in the Brazilian drama Aquarius, screening as part of Vancity Theatre’s Best of 2016 program.

Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway St.) – The East Vancouver theatre dusts off a hodgepodge of holiday favourites ranging from family-friendly classics like It’s a Wonderful Life to the profanity-laden Bad Santa. Other films include Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, Gremlins and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, among others. For a full list and advance tickets visit riotheatre.ca.

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