The CAPA summer movie series is one of the great treasures of Columbus. For several months the mighty Ohio Theatre becomes a repertory cinema, playing the best Hollywood has produced for your enjoyment in plush, opulent, air-conditioned comfort — with a plus.
This afternoon Kish and I went to see Jaws, which is the summer movie to end all summer movies. Until you see Jaws again, on the big screen, in all of its colossal splendor, you forget what a marvelous film it is. So believable in its portrayal of small-town provincialism, so well-acted by Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, and Robert Shaw, and so compelling in its set pieces — from the little scene between Captain Brody and his son at the dinner table, to the destroyed kid’s raft that washes ashore after one of the Great White attacks, to the bloody, horrible, screeching end for Quint in the shark’s mighty, threshing mouth.
It was telling that, even forty years after its release, the film still brought a gasp and shriek to the audience when the face of the dead fisherman drops into view in the hole of his ruined vessel. Jaws is being released for a limited engagement, nationwide, next week, and if you get a chance to see it in a full-sized theater you have got to go and hear that familiar shark music again. It really is a masterpiece of American cinema. (If you live in Columbus, you can go catch Jaws at the Ohio Theatre tonight, at a 7:30 performance.)
And speaking of masterpieces, no description of the CAPA summer movie series would be complete without a mention of the “plus” that I was talking about — the “Mighty Morton” theatre organ that rises from the stage floor to entertain the audience with classic organ music and then sinks back down, with the organist still playing and pumping away, as the curtains open and the film credits roll. The organ alone is worth the price of admission — which is only $4 a person in any case.