Winter Nights brings vintage cinema to Indianapolis


You are stuck in the middle of the harsh Indiana winter. The biting cold and piercing wind make almost anything  outdoors feel like a choir and nothing at the multiplex is all that interesting. What’s a Hoosier film lover to do? The Indianapolis Museum of Art and its Tobias Theater has the answer.

Created as an indoor continuation of the IMA’s popular Summer Nights film series, Winter Nights is a more focused series of films screened across January and February of each year. The IMA’s recently-renovated Tobias Theater (The Toby) is home to the series. Here, patrons are able to partake in the beer, wine and snacks from the museum’s Nourish Café. The Toby encourages the audience to bring their food and drink right into the theater with them. It is an environment that respects the dignity and intelligence of its audience, something so rarely seen in modern film-watching environments.

In “Charade,” Regina is forced to recover a fortune hidden away by her recently-deceased husband. Little does she know, three crooks are also after the loot. An Oscar-nominated score by Henry Mancini and period-perfect costumes by Hubert du Givenchy make for a dark and curious thriller. Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn and Walter Matthau star in this masterful film directed by Stanley Donen.

The 2012 series has been dedicated to Technicolor films. Technicolor was created in 1928 by two MIT graduates and saw an extensive heyday spanning across a full three decades thereafter. Ranging from 1926’s “The Black Pirate,” a silent adventure film, to 1974’s “The Godfather: Part II,” the 2012 Winter Night series showcases the entire length of Technicolor’s impressive effect on American cinema.

This week’s film is the 1963 thriller,“Charade,” starring Hollywood icons Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. As a part of Technicolor’s final decade, the film features the subtle use of color that came after years of it becoming the standard for new films. At the time, The New York Times criticized its heavy use of violence.

“This light-hearted picture is full of such gruesome violence,” wrote Bosley Crowther at the time.While it undoubtedly hit hard at the time, especially due to the use of Technicolor, most of the film’s violence will hardly make modern audiences bat an eye.

Films screen every Friday night until Feb. 24. Tickets are $5 for IMA members and $7 for non-members. For more information about the 2012 Winter Nights Film Series, please visit