Local movie houses to undergo renovations, get big screens

CHAMPAIGN — An official of Carmike Cinemas said he hopes a replacement theater for the Beverly 18 multiplex in Champaign can be open by next spring.

The Columbus, Ga.-based theater chain plans to replace the Beverly with a new multiplex, the Carmike 13, that would feature a screen that's three stories tall.

Seniors' project on Westville High to be shown

WESTVILLE — The public is invited to a showing of the video, "Celebrating 100 Years of Westville High School" at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the high school gym, 918 N. State St.

The video was the eight-month project of two graduating seniors, Lacey Reuther and Doug Smith. They interviewed more than 50 Westville High alumni for the video.

Ebertfest 2012 draws to a close

CHAMPAIGN — When she taught an introductory film course at Danville Area Community College, Martha Kay started and ended each semester by showing "Citizen Kane." She estimated she saw the movie 40 times.

On Sunday, the closing day of the 14th annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival, Kay saw "Kane" again on the Virginia Theatre's big screen, with audio commentary by Roger Ebert.

Perennial Ebertfest attendee has written book on the critic

CHAMPAIGN — Todd Rendleman grew up in the small town of Anna in southern Illinois, loving movies. As a kid, he would check out only one movie at a time at a video store. He'd watch it on a Friday night and then watch it carefully again the next day.

He thought it sacrilegious that his friends would check out a stack of videos and view one after the other without discussing each movie.

Writer of 'Higher Ground' brings real struggles to screen

CHAMPAIGN — Ebertfest emcee Chaz Ebert thinks most movies about religion satirize or make fun of faith and the faithful. Not so with "Higher Ground," actress Vera Farmiga's finely wrought debut as a director.

'A Separation' a unanimous favorite

CHAMPAIGN — As president of the respected Sony Pictures Classics, Michael Barker attends the Academy Awards ceremony every year. He's noticed that the category of best foreign film is highly competitive and the nominees are wary of each other.

Ebert takes stage for tribute to friend

CHAMPAIGN — Leading Australia director Paul Cox admitted he used to be self-obsessed. He was married to one woman, for only a year. He fathered his three children by three different women.

Then, several years ago, he was diagnosed with liver cancer. He was told he had only six months to live. His only hope was a liver transplant. But he had a rare blood type. And not much hope.

'Kinyarwanda' a film 'that happens over and over,' writer-director says

CHAMPAIGN — "Kiryarwanda," a film about the Rwanda genocide, is not just about that subject, writer-director Alrick Brown said after it was screened at the 14th annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival on Thursday.

14th Annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival 2012

Photos from the 14th Annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival at the Virginia Theater in Champaign, April , 2012.  

Reception kicks off Ebertfest

URBANA — Roger Ebert may have lost his speaking voice, but he certainly hasn't lost his sense of humor.

After Champaign Mayor Don Gerard on Wednesday gave the movie critic the key to the city, Ebert said through his wife, Chaz, "When you get a key to the city, where is the lock?"