As the weather cools down -- finally! -- people aren't as swift to run inside to the comforts of A/C. Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar is celebrating this pleasant change of season by extending its movies on the patio.
Over the summer, the restaurant screened such classics as "Dr. Strangelove" and "The Maltese Falcon" as well as more recent films like "Midnight in Paris" and "Little Miss Sunshine."
Many movie lovers braved the summer heat, but Valentien co-owner Jennifer Sanderson said they also asked for the series to continue in the cooler months.
"We were happy to oblige, and have heaters at the ready for the nights when it actually gets chilly in Bakersfield."
For the fall film lineup, Sanderson said they kept the season in mind, with movies filled with images of pumpkins, turning leaves, full moons, ghosts and family gatherings. The last film of the series -- the ensemble comedy "Love, Actually"-- will "transition nicely into the winter holidays."
The screenings are free to attend and begin at sundown. Sanderson shared some of the food pairings she and co-owner Jeramy Brown selected for the lineup.
"October Sky" (tonight): Sanderson describes the screening as "a perfect start to October, sitting under the stars, watching a film about the stars." The 1999 film, featuring a young Jake Gyllenhaal as a coal miner's son who starts building rockets, will be paired with a pumpkin creme brulee.
"The Royal Tenenbaums" (Oct. 13): "With a family like this, you'll want to drink." So Wes Anderson's 2001 tale of the dysfunctional Tenenbaum clan will be paired with beer and wine by the glass, which will be half off for moviegoers.
"Annie Hall" (Oct. 20): Celebrate "the East Coast in all of its autumn glory" and the "hilarious lobster dinner scene" in the classic 1977 Woody Allen film with lobster risotto.
"The Haunting" (Oct. 27): The 1963 psychological horror film will be paired with stuffed squash, eye of newt (brussels sprouts) and blood red sauce (wine). The dish is vegan, which Sanderson said might be a nice respite from those "who have seen one too many gory films about flesh anything" this month. For scaredy-cats, she points out that "the movie isn't gory. Just really, really, spooky."
"Pieces of April" (Nov. 3): The holiday will still be a few weeks away, but you can enjoy the "flavors of Thanksgiving," albeit slightly less traditional. "We don't do turkey, but on special will be our chicken with pumpkin puree, our duck with pecan and cranberry quinoa and our ravioli of squash and sweet potato," Sanderson said. She described the 2003 dramedy starring Katie Holmes as "a great movie about Thanksgiving, family, and food !"
"The Station Agent" (Nov. 10): This 2003 film about an antisocial man (Peter Dinklage) who begrudgingly becomes involved in the lives of his neighbors was a good pick, Sanderson said. "I think it is about creating family where you can find it. In my opinion, that is very important this time of year." With a "great scene of Cuban food," the film will be paired with Valentien's take on pork.
"Best in Show" (Nov. 17): Sanderson admits this 2000 Christopher Guest film, which will be paired with soup du jour, "might actually be the least seasonal of our picks." She defends it, saying "it's hilarious and we all need a little comedy with the impending holidays upon us. Plus, Jeramy and I both like soup."
"Love, Actually" (Nov. 24): "With Thanksgiving behind us, we turn our eyes towards Christmas with this delightful film about relationships," Sanderson said. The 1999 romantic comedy starring Liam Neeson, Colin Firth and Keira Knightley will be paired with an indulgent chocolate peppermint mousse.