Now Showing


The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

Young student Liu is urged to rise against the Manchu oppression in China, but the revolution has disastrous consequences. Escaping the massacre, Liu seeks shelter in the Shaolin Temple where the monks train him in their famous martial arts skills. R / 119 min.  

09/17   @   7:00pm



Forest of Bliss

This controversial sensory film is an unsparing, yet redemptive, account of the inevitable griefs, religious passions, and frequent happiness that punctuate daily life in Benares, India’s most holy city. NR / 90 min.

Presented with introduction and followed by Q&A with ISU Professor Livia K. Stone.

The Fall 2018 Ethnographic Film Series explores politics, folktales, challenges, and tolerance through film. Discussions organized by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology will follow several of the films. The series is co-sponsored by Latin American Latino/a Studies and MECCPAC—a Dean of Students Diversity Initiative.

The series is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology Liv Stone at 438-5850. 

09/18   @   7:00pm


Wild & Scenic Film Festival

The Normal Theater and Prairie Rivers Network are excited to bring one of the largest environmental film festivals to Illinois. Now in its second year, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival focuses on 11 films which speak to the environmental concerns and celebrations of our planet. Join us and get energized to work to protect clean water, wildlife habitat, and our rich natural landscapes!
 A Letter to Congress: Wallace Stegner’s 1960 letter to Congress about the importance of wilderness is the framework for a new message, one in which our unified voice can help prevent the transfer of our most valuable heritage— our public lands— to private and corporate interests.

A Ghost in the Making:Everyone has heard about bee declines, but with so much attention focused on domesticated honeybees, someone has to speak up for the 4,000 species of native bees in North America. Natural history photographer Clay Bolt is on a multi-year quest to tell the stories of our native bees, and one elusive species the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee has become his white whale.

 During the Drought:A Kansas Farmer, Michael Thompson, regenerates his soils with no-till, cover-crops and Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) grazing — giving his farm resilience during the severe 2011 and 2012 droughts.

 Lost in Light:Lost in Light is a short film on how light pollution affects the view of the night skies. Shot mostly in California, this piece shows how the night sky view gets progressively better as you move away from the lights.

 Irreparable Harm:The Tlingit people have called the vibrant coastline of Southeast Alaska home for over 10,000 years and continue to practice a way of life intimately tied to the ocean and the largest remaining temperate rainforest on earth. Now, contamination from industrial mining is threatening the safety of the wild food sources that make Alaska so unique. Irreparable Harm gives powerful voices to the Alaska Native communities and conservation groups standing up to protect the cultural and ecological values that make this magnificent marine ecosystem an irreplaceable treasure.

 Great Lakes, Bad Lines:Two Michigan-born adventurers journey fossil-free for 500 miles across Michigans Upper Peninsula along the route of Enbridge Oils Line 5, a 63-year-old pipeline that threatens our inland waters and Great Lakes. Through the lens of adventure, personal stories, and natural beauty, this film highlights the ecosystems and livelihoods that are at risk and inspires all to take action within their own lives.

 Wildlife and The Wall:Filmmaker Ben Masters (Unbranded) goes into the heart of the Big Bend, the last true wilderness in the state of Texas, to consider what effects building a border wall might have on wildlife dispersals, migratory corridors, and access to the Rio Grande, the only water source in a harsh desert environment.

 Biomimicry:Biomimicry, the practice of looking deeply into nature for solutions to engineering, design and other challenges, has inspired a film about its ground-breaking vision for creating a long-term, sustainable world. This film covers how mimicking nature solves some of our most pressing problems, from reducing carbon emissions to saving water.

 Wild Olympics:Follow paddlers Adam and Susan Elliott as they kayak, fish, packraft, and explore the wild rivers of the Olympic Peninsula. The peninsula’s wild rivers provide clean water, world-class recreation, and unmatched opportunities for inspiration and solitude. They bring jobs and economic benefits to local communities and provide critical habitat for salmon, steelhead, and a variety of other fish and wildlife. Wild and Scenic designation–the strongest protection a river can receive–ensures that the free-flowing character, water quality, and outstanding values of these rivers are protected for generations to come.

 (unofficial) HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL PARKS:National Parks are hard.

 (Films suitable for all ages — Recommended 11+)

09/19   @   7:00pm



Return of the Hero

Starring Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin and award winner Mélanie Laurent, RETURN OF THE HERO is the hilarious and charming confrontation between two imposters. She's straighforward, serious, and honest. He's a coward, crafty, and unscrupulous. She detests him. He despises her. But by making him a hero of an operetta, she has become, despite herself, responsible for a fraud that will quickly overtake her. NR / 90 min. 

09/20   @   7:00pm               09/23   @   5:00pm



Love, Gilda

In her own words, comedienne Gilda Radner reflects on her life and career. Weaving together her recently discovered audiotapes, interviews with friends (Chevy Chase, Lorne Michaels, Laraine Newman, Paul Shaffer and Martin Short), rare home movies and diaries read by modern-day comedians inspired by Gilda (Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Cecily Strong), LOVE, GILDA opens up a unique window into the honest and whimsical world of a beloved performer whose greatest role was sharing her story. NR / 86 min.

09/23   @   12:00pm

09/29, 09/30   @   4:00pm

09/2109/22, 09/28, 09/29, & 09/30   @   7:00pm



Skate Kitchen

Camille, an introverted teenage skateboarder (newcomer Rachelle Vinberg) from Long Island, meets and befriends an all-girl, New York City-based skateboarding crew called Skate Kitchen. She falls in with the in-crowd, has a falling-out with her mother, and falls for a mysterious skateboarder guy (Jaden Smith), but a relationship with him proves to be trickier to navigate than a kickflip.

Writer/director Crystal Moselle immersed herself in the lives of the skater girls and worked closely with them, resulting in the film's authenticity, which combines poetic, atmospheric filmmaking and hypnotic skating sequences. SKATE KITCHEN precisely captures the experience of women in male-dominated spaces and tells a story of a girl who learns the importance of camaraderie and self-discovery. R / 106 min. 

09/23   @   2:30pm



Thunder Road

A special advance screening, part of Art House Theater Day 2018.

 In this new drama / dark comedy, a police officer comes to grips with the death of his mom when giving a heartfelt eulogy at her funeral. NR (Mature) / 92 min.

 Following the film there will be an exclusive pre-recorded Q & A with filmmaker Jim Cummings, made specifically for Art House Theater Day audiences.

 On September 23rd the Normal Theater joins art house theaters all across North America in celebrating independent film-making with Art House Theater Day. All films are $5.

09/23   @   7:30pm