Manship Theatre screens new classics, old favorites this summer _lowres

Photo provided by A24 Films -- Colin Farrell stars in the new film, 'The Lobster.' Manship Theatre will screen the film in July.

Manship Theatre continues to bring great films to Baton Rouge.

Over the summer, the downtown venue will host screenings of two recently-released critical darlings as well as a few crowd-pleasing favorites. Here’s the 411 on those upcoming events.

“BAYOU MAHARAJAH”: The new documentary explores the life and music of New Orleans piano legend James Booker. Dr. John describes Booker as “the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.” The film includes appearances from Irma Thomas, Hugh Laurie and Harry Connick Jr.

More info: Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8.50, plus fees. Call for student/senior/military discounts. Not rated. 1 hr., 30 mins.

“THE LOBSTER”: Perhaps the best film of 2016 to date, director Yorgos Lanthimos’ new black comedy is set in the near future. There, single people are obliged to find a romantic partner within 45 days or they are transformed into the animal of their choice. Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly star.

More info: July 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8.50, plus fees. Call for discounts. Rated R. 1 hr., 58 mins.

CHRISTMAS IN JULY WITH “A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS”: Writer Tim Burton and director Henry Selick’s classic returns to the screen. This one features the voices of Chris Sarandon and Burton’s favorite composer Danny Elfman. The film is about Pumpkin King Jack Skellington who is tired of the same old, same old and longs to spread Christmas joy.

More info: July 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8.50, plus fees. Call for discounts. Rated PG. 1 hr., 26 mins.

“STAR WARS,” “THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK” and “RETURN OF THE JEDI”: The original trilogy that sent Hollywood to space is back. For those unfamiliar (where have you been, living on rock island? Sheesh), the films follow Luke Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) quest for the truth as he fights against the evil Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones).

More info: “Star Wars” Aug. 5, “Empire” Aug. 12, and “Jedi” Aug. 19. All screenings at 7 p.m. The bar will offer a Star Wars happy hour at 6 p.m. before each screening with R2-D2 and music from Baton Rouge Music Studios. Each film is rated PG. Running times vary. Tickets are $9.50, plus fees. Call for discounts.

Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter, @MatthewSigur.