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Cinema’s film-expert combo catching on

Associated Press / August 22, 2011

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A popular program at a local theater that mixes real-life experts with fictional films is being rolled out nationwide. The independent Coolidge Corner Theatre’s Science on Screen series brings in experts to discuss a scientific angle of the movie being shown. For instance, an archeologist spoke before a screening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.’’ Another time, a Harvard psychiatrist discussed zombie brain function before “Night of the Living Dead’’ was shown. The Coolidge’s Elizabeth Taylor-Mead says it’s a chance for scientists to escape academia and address a popular-culture audience. The series regularly sells out the 440-seat theater, and now eight art-house theaters are getting a Sloan Foundation grant to start their own programs. The theaters are in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Oklahoma, and Washington.