The 50th anniversary of “Pink Flamingos” last March prompted cinemas around the country to show John Waters’ films in theaters again – and not just at midnight.
But arguably no theater owner has done more recently to celebrate Waters’ movies with in-person showings than the Charles Theatre in Baltimore.
Last month, the Charles presented six of Waters’ films, including three screenings of “Pink Flamingos,” in a series called “The Filthiest Films Ever Made…and Hairspray!”
Now it’s back with five more, all filmed in Baltimore.
“DEATH TO MAINSTREAM CINEMA: The Later Films of John Waters,” is the title of a follow-up presentation that starts Tuesday and runs through Aug. 25 at the theater, located at 1711 N. Charles St.
“Fans of Outlaw Cinema: We are pleased to announce that, in response to the wild popularity and success of our celebration of John Waters’ early films in July, we will be presenting the rest of his films later this month!” the theater’s website states.
“DEATH TO MAINSTREAM CINEMA explores Waters’ later works, introduces some new faces (while still featuring the familiar Dreamlanders), and gives us the chance to see Baltimore grow along with Waters’ budgets!”
Waters, 76, wrote and directed 16 movies, so this isn’t his entire filmography. This month’s lineup includes: “Cry-Baby,” Aug. 23 at 7 p.m.; “Serial Mom,” Aug. 23 at 9 p.m.; “Pecker,” Aug. 24 at 7 p.m.; “Cecil B. Demented,” Aug. 24 at 9 p.m., and “A Dirty Shame,” Aug. 25 at 7 p.m.
The July series included “Multiple Maniacs,” “Female Trouble,” “Desperate Living,” “Polyester,” “Pink Flamingos,” and “Hairspray” for a total of 11 films in two months.
Waters, known as The Pope of Trash, made a short intro video for the “Filthiest Films” series.
“Who are the filthiest people alive?” he asked about Pink Flamingos. “The characters in the film? Or you, the audience, for enjoying such deviancy?”
On “Hairspray”: “1962. Their hair was perfect, but the world was a mess.”
“Multiple Maniacs”: “A celluloid atrocity.”
He also expressed gratitude to his fans.
“My trash epics are still screening in Baltimore, the town that inspired me, supported my work from the very beginning, the town where I still live and always will,” he said. “Thank you, fans, for letting me get away with it for 50 years. I owe you my filthy life.”
The cost is $10 per person. The theater also shows the vintage public service announcement in which Waters warns patrons not to smoke in the theater: “Don’t you wish you were smoking a cigarette right now?”
The Charles isn’t the only local attraction featuring John Waters in the next month.
On Sept. 21, The Maryland Center for History and Culture will present a virtual program entitled “Talking Charm City Theaters with John Waters, the Baron of Bad Taste.”
In this program, from noon to 1 p.m., Waters will take a “stroll down memory lane” and reminisce with Amy Davis, author of “Flickering Treasures,” and Joe Tropea, the center’s director of audience engagement and curator of films and photographs. The program is free but registration is required. The center’s website is www.mdhistory.org, and the talk is listed under “Program Calendar.”