A Tribute to Mal Vincent – Festival of Summer Classics

A series of classic films in July & August hosted by friends of Mal Vincent on Monday evenings

As you know, Mal Vincent passed away last November at the age of 83. As you also know, Mal was irreplaceable, whether as the Virginian-Pilot’s film critic for more than half a century (his annual Oscar picks were always an event), as a guest on countless local radio broadcasts, or just as a friend sharing one of his latest Hollywood exploits over the phone. It was Mal’s wish that his yearly festival of classic films at the Naro would continue, and so we have assembled a group of local celebrities and cinephiles to step in as hosts for some of Mal’s favorite films from past festivals, as well as for some he had planned to share in the future. No one can fill his shoes, but we’ll do our best to do justice to his memory and to the movies he adored.

All films show Monday evenings at 7:00pm except The Great Escape which will begin at 6:30 on Aug 1. All movies will have a matinee on the next day (Tuesday) at an afternoon time to be announced the previous week.

2022 Summer Classics Film Calendar

All films in the series show Monday evenings at 7:00 pm (when hosts start their introductions), with the exception of The Great Escape on August 1st which will start at 6:30. and a Tuesday matinee to be announced the week before. Guest hosts will only be present at the Monday night presentations. Tickets go on sale about 45 mins before scheduled time. You can exchange a Naro Ticket Book ticket anytime Friday thru late Monday afternoon for a “guaranteed seat ticket”.  Naro Discount Ticket Book (available online, at the theater, Birdland Music, or mail order at 757-625-6276 or 625-6275) is valid for any of the films, but does not guarantee you a seat if you show up at the last minute, so arriving early is advised.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Monday, August 29th at 7pm and Tuesday, August 30th matinee at 2pm
Hosted by Danny Epperson and Page Laws (both at Monday screening only)

(Following written by Mal Vincent) Exquisite, elegant Audrey Hepburn shines as Holly Golightly in one of the most requested films. (The only other Hepburn film shown in Mal’s festival has been her greatest dramatic role, in The Nun’s Story). Based on the Truman Capote novella, the film features the memorable Henry Mancini score and the Oscar-winning song “Moon River.” The cast includes George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam and a regrettably stereotyped outing by Mickey Rooney. (forgiveness is required) Blake Edwards directed. Mal confirms that Miss Hepburn in person was just as enchanting as on screen. He has requested that his obituary would include the fact that he once held hands with Audrey Hepburn.  (1961, 115 minutes)

Co-host Danny EppersonDanny Epperson is an Emmy award-winning producer, director, writer, editor, actor, and television host. His most recent hosting duties were with WHRO Public Media’s “Cinema 15” classic film series. At WHRO, Danny also produced “This Week in Mal’s World,” an award-winning podcast featuring legendary film critic, Mal Vincent. Danny also produced the daily talk radio program, “HearSay with Cathy Lewis” on WHRV-FM.


Page Laws, Ph.D. is Professor of English and Dean Emerita at Norfolk State University. She was a film colleague and close companion of Mal.




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Born Yesterday

Monday, August 22nd at 7pm and Tuesday, August 23rd matinee at 2:30.
Hosted by Jim Newsom (Monday screening only)

Brassy blonde moll Billie Dawn hits Washington, D.C., with her unscrupulous millionaire sugar daddy, Harry Brock, and his sleazy lawyer, Jim Devery, who has been pressuring Harry to marry Billie by pointing out that a wife cannot be forced to testify against her husband. In an effort to make Billie more socially acceptable, Harry hires journalist Paul Verrall to smarten her up — and sparks soon fly between the pair. Starring Judy Holliday, William Holden, & Broderick Crawford. (1950, 103 minutes)

Jim Newsom is a long-time journalist, songwriter, and performing musician. He has frequently  been heard on local public radio and television working as an on-air host for many pledge drives over the years.

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Monday, August 15th at 7pm and Tuesday, August 16th at 1pm
Hosted by Chris Palestrant (Monday screening only)

Lorelei Lee is a beautiful showgirl engaged to be married to the wealthy Gus Esmond much to the disapproval of Gus’ rich father, Esmond Sr., who thinks that Lorelei is just after his money. When Lorelei goes on a cruise accompanied only by her best friend, Dorothy Shaw, Esmond Sr. hires Ernie Malone, a private detective, to follow her and report any questionable behavior that would disqualify her from the marriage. Starring Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, & Charles Coburn. (1953, 91 minutes)

Chris Palestrant is Professor of Music at Elizabeth City State University and a celebrated composer and lecturer. He is host of the Outer Banks’ annual Bryan Film Series.

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Sunset Boulevard

Monday, August 8th at 7pm and Tuesday, August 9th matinee at 1:00 pm.
Hosted by Dan Duke (Monday screening only)

(Following written by Mal Vincent) The ultimate inside-Hollywood drama with Norma Desmond (the former silent screen star played by Gloria Swanson) ready for her close-up. “I AM big,” she tells us. “It’s the pictures that got small.” Directed by Billy Wilder,the film is the ultimate classic about fame, the loss of fame and the loneliness that results. It features Academy Award-nominated performances from Gloria Swanson, William Holden, and Nancy Olson.  (1950, 110 minutes)

Dan Duke was the entertainment editor of The Virginian-Pilot for 10 years, up until 2021, where he had a close working relationship with Mal – editing his prolific newspaper writing.

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The Great Escape (Summer Classics)

Monday, August 1st at 6:30pm and Tuesday, August 2nd matinee at 1:30pm.
Hosted by Joe Flannigan (Monday screening only)

Imprisoned during World War II in a German POW camp, a group of Allied soldiers are intent on breaking out, not only to escape, but also to draw Nazi forces away from battle to search for fugitives. Among the prisoners determined to escape are American Captain Virgil Hilts (Steve McQueen) and British Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett (Richard Attenborough). Outwitting their captors by digging a tunnel out of the prison grounds, the soldiers find the stakes much higher when escape becomes a reality. Starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, & Richard Attenborough (1963, 172 minutes)

Joe Flanagan has worked as a reporter and news anchor at WVEC 13 for over 30 years, including as long-time host of the popular Joe’s Jobs series.

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Dr. Strangelove

Monday, July 25th at 7pm and Tuesday, July 26th matinee, time to be announced.
Hosted by Mike Gooding (Monday screening only) 

Stanley Kubrick’s ground-breaking film explores what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button — and it played the situation for laughs. U.S. Air Force General Jack Ripper goes completely insane, and sends his bomber wing to destroy the U.S.S.R. He thinks that the communists are conspiring to pollute the “precious bodily fluids” of the American people. Starring the greatest actors of their day: Peter Sellers, George Scott, & Sterling Hayden. (1964, 95 minutes)

Mike Gooding has worked at WVEC 13 News Now for more than 35 years and serves as senior military and political reporter. He has covered wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo.


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East Side West Side

Monday, July 18th at 7pm and Tuesday, July 19th matinee at 1:45.
Hosted by Page Laws (Monday screening only.)

(Following written by Mal Vincent) When Ava Gardner as the other woman faces off  against Barbara Stanwyck as the wife, sparks fly in a cat fight supreme. According to this film, the only thing that can save a troubled marriage is a trip to Virginia (or, perhaps, to get Ava out of town). Based on the novel by Marcia Davenport, was revived in New York recently as an example of films about that city. The amazing all-star cast also includes James Mason, Cyd Charisse, Van Helfin, Gale Sondergaard and believe it or not, Nancy Reagan. It’s directed by Mervyn LeRoy. One of Ava’s earlier films, she never looked more alluring-or more a threat to a marriage.  (1949, 108 minutes)

Page Laws, Ph.D. is Professor of English and Dean Emerita at Norfolk State University. She was a film colleague and close companion of Mal.

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