Bickford Film Series

Exhibition on Screen | Black Maria Film Festival | Inside Cinema | Real to Reel

Join us for a variety of curated film series at the Bickford Theatre which will inspire, inform, elevate, enlighten and captivate you – from classic Film Noir to exhibition-based art films to documentaries and more!  

Tickets for these films are General Admission and available by calling the Box Office at 973.971.3706.

Programs subject to change due to availability.

Riddle Films presents a Larry Weinstein film.

Special Film Event:
Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas (2017)

Sunday, December 2, 2018, 3:00PM

Celebrate the start of the holiday season with a distinct musical experience! This poignant, feel-good film about the traditional Christmas songs you love tells the story of Jewish songwriters, including Irving Berlin and Mel Tormé, who wrote the soundtrack to Christmas. See how they moved beyond their parents’ immigrant past, embracing Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and Hollywood, to make pop culture history.

Set in a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day, Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas features musical performances, archival footage, and interviews with contemporary historians, comedians, writers, and connoisseurs of North American popular music. Celebrity appearances include Jackie Mason and Alan Dershowitz.

Afterward, join us for holiday treats, and hear renditions of these seasonal hits from pieces in our Guinness Collection – a treat in itself!

Or, come early for a Guinness Collection demonstration at 2:00PM (just $3 more, and offers admission to the entire Museum).

Museum Members: $10
Adults: $15
Children: $12



Exhibition on Screen

We are pleased to share three films this season from EXHIBITION ON SCREEN (EOS), which has been bringing exhibition-based art films to audiences across the globe since 2011. They work with major museum and galleries to launch films which immerse you in the world’s greatest art, while providing insights from major art critics and historians.  Gain new perspectives on some well known masters!

All films are at 7:30PM and are General Admission.


Museum Members: $12
Non-Members: $15
Students with valid ID: $10

Degas: Passion for Perfection (EOS)
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Journey from the streets of Paris to the heart of a superb exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, whose extensive collection of Degas’ works is the most representative in Britain. With exclusive access to view rare and diverse works, this film tells a fascinating story of Degas’ pursuit for perfection through both experimentation with new techniques and lessons learnt from studying the past masters.

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Young Picasso (EOS)
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), 1904 (b/w photo), French Photographer, (20th century) / Musee de Montmartre, Paris, France / Archives Charmet / Bridgeman Images

Pablo Picasso is one of the greatest artists of all time. Many films have dealt with the later years – the art, the affairs and the wide circle of friends. Look at the early years of Picasso; the upbringing and the learning that led to his extraordinary achievements.

Three cities play a key role: Malaga, Barcelona and Paris. Young Picasso visits each and explores their influence on Picasso, focusing on specific artworks from these early years and how he acquired his craft.  The film takes us back to 1907 when Picasso was only 25 years old.

Working closely with all three Picasso Museums in Malaga, Barcelona and Paris this film explains how he rose to great heights.

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Rembrandt (EOS Encore)
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Rembrandt (1606 –1669) Portrait of a Couple as Isaac and Rebecca, known as ‘The Jewish Bride’ (detail), about 1665. Rijksmuseum, on loan from the City of Amsterdam (A. van der Hoop Bequest) SK-C-216 © Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

For many, Rembrandt is the greatest artist that ever lived and this deeply moving film seeks to explore the truth about the man behind the legend.

Every Rembrandt exhibition is eagerly anticipated but this major show hosted by London’s National Gallery and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum was an event like no other. Given privileged access to both galleries the film documents this landmark exhibition, while interweaving Rembrandt’s life story, with behind-the-scenes preparations at these world famous institutions. It explores many of the exhibition’s key works, through contributions from specially invited guests including curators and leading art historians.

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Black Maria Film Festival

Since 1981, the Black Maria Film Festival, an international juried competition, has been celebrating and preserving the diversity, invention, and vitality of the short film. The Festival is named after Thomas Edison’s original West Orange film studio dubbed the “Black Maria” because of its resemblance to the black-box police paddy wagons of the same name.

Black Maria focuses on short films –  animation, documentary, experimental and narrative – including those, which address issues and struggles within contemporary society such as the environment, race and class, family, and issues of global concern. These exceptional films range from animation, comedy, and drama to the exploration of pure form in film and video and are the heart and soul of the festival.

The Festival advances and exhibits the work of diverse filmmakers from across the US and around the world. These artists often represent an under-served constituency who might not otherwise have the opportunity for live public exhibition nationwide or abroad.

Enjoy a special screening of the 2019 award-winning short films.

All seating is General Admission.

Museum Members: $12
Non-Members: $15
Students with valid ID: $10


2019 Award Winners
Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 7:30PM

Stay tuned for more details once the films have been juried and selected.

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Inside Cinema

Go behind the scenes of classic Film Noir with David Landau, professor in the Fairleigh Dickenson University Film program and an award winning screenwriter, cinematographer, and mystery playwright.  Before each film, the time period, themes, character types and production values that made these films so popular both then and now, will be examined.

All film programs are general admission and begin at 10:00AM.

This film series is made possible by Dillard and Adrienne Kirby.

Museum Members: FREE
Non-Members: $15

Advance Registration required. Please call the Box Office at 973.971.3706.



The Big Sleep Movie Poster courtesy of MGM United Artists.

The Big Sleep Movie Poster courtesy of MGM United Artists.

The Big Sleep (1946)
Wednesday, December 5, 2018, 10:00AM

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he’s seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.  Starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and John Ridgely.



Macao Movie Poster courtesy of RKO Pictures.

Macao Movie Poster courtesy of RKO Pictures.

Macao (1952)
Wednesday, January 2, 2019, 10:00AM

Nick Cochran, an American in exile in Macao, has a chance to restore his name by helping capture an international crime lord. Undercover, can he mislead the bad guys and still pursue the beautiful singer/petty crook, Julie Benson?  Starring  Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell and William Bendix.



The Big Combo Movie Poster courtesy of Allied Artists.

The Big Combo Movie Poster courtesy of Allied Artists.

The Big Combo (1955)
Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 10:00AM

A police lieutenant is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn’t been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown’s girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.  Starring Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Jean Wallace and Brian Donlevy.  Considered by many critics to be one of cinematographer John Alton’s finest achievements.



Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Movie Poster courtesy of Warner Bros.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Movie Poster courtesy of Warner Bros.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 10:00AM

A petty thief posing as an actor is brought to Los Angeles for an unlikely audition and finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation along with his high school dream girl and a detective who’s been training him for his upcoming role. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Michelle Monaghan and Val Kilmer.



House of Games Movie Poster courtesy of Orion Pictures.

House of Games Movie Poster courtesy of Orion Pictures.

House of Games (1987)
Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 10:00AM

A psychiatrist comes to the aid of a compulsive gambler and is led by a smooth-talking swindler into the shadowy but compelling world of stings, scams, and con men.  Written and directed by David Mamet, stars Joe Mantegna and Lindsay Crouse.



Phantom Lady Movie Poster courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Phantom Lady Movie Poster courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Phantom Lady (1944)
Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 10:00AM

Determined to save her boss from death row by finding his only alibi to his wife’s murder, a woman in a peculiar hat who nobody seems to remember, Carol Richman, solicits the help of Inspector Burgess to investigate the whereabouts of the woman and the real killer.  Starring Ella Raines, Thomas Gomez, Alan Curtis and Franchot Tone.



Real to  Reel

A documentary film series designed to provide a unique perspective on the world in which we live.  There will be a discussion before each film by curator, Bruce Frigeri, adjunt professor of Film Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University.  Bruce is the founder of LifeSize Entertainment, a specialty distributor of feature films and documentaries whose releases have been nominated for numerous awards and honors.

Seating is General Admission.  All film programs begin at 7:30PM.

This film series is made possible by Dillard and Adrienne Kirby.

Advance Registration required. Please call the Box Office at 973.971.3706.

Museum Members: FREE
Non-Members: $10



Keep on Keepin' On. Courtesy of the Weinstein Company.

Keep on Keepin’ On. Courtesy of the Weinstein Company.

Keep on Keepin’ On (2014) Postponed to Dec 6
Thursday, November 15, 2018, 7:30PM

Legendary jazz musician Clark Terry (a trumpet player), who taught Quincy Jones and mentored Miles Davis, becomes the mentor of a blind 23-year-old pianist who suffers from crippling stage fright.

Come before the film, to visit the Museum, and experience the exhibition: Trumpets, Weird, and Wonderful: Treasures from the National Music Museum.   Many of the more than 40 instruments have never been on public view before.




Inequality for All Poster courtesy of Roco Films.

Inequality for All (2013)
Thursday, December 20, 2018, 7:30PM

In the wake of the U.S. economic crisis, the widening gap between the rich and the  poor  has  gained  unprecedented  public  awareness.  UC  Berkeley  professor  and  noted  economic  policy  expert  Robert  Reich,  helps  us  understand  how  the  extreme  inequality  we  are  now  facing  has  roots  in  economic  and  policy  changes  that  began  over  30  years  ago.



Chiefs Poster. Courtesy of LifeSize Entertainment.

Chiefs Poster. Courtesy of LifeSize Entertainment.

Chiefs (2002)
Thursday, January 17, 2019, 7:30PM

Challenged by poverty, alcoholism, racism and youth suicide, Wind River Indian Reservation is hardly an environment conducive to success. But despite all of this or perhaps because of it, basketball is played on the reservation and played very well by the students of Wyoming Indian High School who are trying to convert the pride and success they experience on the court and move ahead with the rest of their lives.






I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
Thursday, February 20, 2019, 7:30PM

Legendary writer James Baldwin began Remember This House in the early 1980’s. The novel was to be a revolutionary and very personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his friends; Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. At the time of his own death in 1987, Baldwin had completed only 30 pages of the project.

I Am Not Your Negro is Filmmaker Raoul Peck’s creative interpretation of how Baldwin would have finished this last novel of his career.



Koyannisqatsi - Photo Courtesy of Park Circus Group.

Koyannisqatsi – Photo Courtesy of Park Circus Group.

Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
Thursday, March 21, 2019, 7:30PM

Drawing its title from the Hopi word meaning “life out of balance,” this renowned documentary reveals how humanity has grown apart from nature. Featuring extensive footage of natural landscapes and elemental forces, the film gives way to many scenes of modern civilization and technology, before finally arriving at the suggestion that humans can indeed once again find balance with the natural world. Given its lack of narration and dialogue, the production makes its points solely through imagery and Phillip Glass’ groundbreaking score, with many scenes either slowed down or sped up for dramatic effect.




The Blood of My Brother. Photo courtesy of LifeSize Entertainment.

The Blood of My Brother. Photo courtesy of LifeSize Entertainment.

The Blood of My Brother (2005)
Thursday, April 18, 2019, 7:30PM

In war torn Iraq, nineteen-year-old Ibrahim struggles to become the man for his family when his older brother is accidentally shot and killed by an American patrol. Contrasting family scenes of incredible intimacy with the broader canvas of fighting and death on the streets of Baghdad and Najaf, this film is the closest most viewers will ever come to being in Iraq.