Although the Colonial Theatre opened in the spring of 1912, the theater is in centennial celebration mode all year. Its free sampling of 100 years of movies continues in October with the era of circa 1994. The series of free showings will go for two more months; November will feature movies made around 2003, and December's films will be from 2011, thus completing "the century re-lived" on the downtown cinema’s screens.

The free films for Monday, Oct. 15 are “Pulp Fiction” (1994) at 7 p.m. and “Forrest Gump” (1994) at 7:15 p.m. A pioneer of plot shuffling and twisty chronology, the in-your-face thriller “Pulp Fiction” rates as a true original. Dark humor, bad bad guys, charming bad guys, cursing, ranting, violence and whackos helped put director Quentin Tarantino on the map. The rogue's gallery of actors includes John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Christopher Walken, Ving Rhames, Amanda Plummer, Tim Roth and Harvey Keitel.

Even macho guys get misty over “Forrest Gump,” a sentimental story of hope and perseverance that twines in mid-century American history seen through the unlikely eyes of its simple hero portrayed by the triumphant Tom Hanks. The basic good-heartedness makes this one remarkably touching, reminding us that "life is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you're gonna get."

The free films for Monday, Oct. 22 are “The Player” (1992) at 7 p.m. and “The Wedding Banquet” (1993) at 7:15 p.m. Those who love movies about movies will enjoy “The Player,” a scathing satire of cutthroat Hollywood, perfectly directed by genius Robert Altman. Elements to appreciate include the excellent eight-minute-opening uncut shot, a bevy of wonderful all-star cameos and Tim Robbins' marvelous, memorable portrayal of a ne'er-do-well producer.

“The Wedding Banquet,” directed by Ang Lee, is a gently told Taiwanese tale of family dynamics with a touching twist. It is a charade marriage of convenience for both parties, a gay groom hoping to make aging parents happy and his green card-seeking bride. Funny and warmhearted, this picture brings unconditional love "out of the closet" in the bittersweet finale.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or