Beginning Saturday, Oct. 30, the Bijou Theatre in Lincoln City will be offering an opportunity to see truly classic American films from one of the greatest directors, support important local relief efforts and pay homage to a cinema lover who lost his life to the COVID-19 virus.

This four-week Saturday morning film series, “Pieter Vijfvinkel’s Billy Wilder Film Festival,” will raise funds for two local organizations serving people in need: the Echo Mountain Fire Fund, assisting victims of last year’s Otis fire; and Angels Anonymous, providing assistance to those in need of basic services in Lincoln County. 

Admission to each of the four classic films is by donation.  

The films will be shown at 11 a.m. on successive Saturdays. They will reflect the broad range of Wilder’s remarkable body of work and the versatility of his talent as a writer and director. They include the comedy “Some Like it Hot,” starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, on Oct. 30; five-time Oscar winner “The Apartment,” starring Jack Lemmon, Fred MacMurray and Shirley MacLaine, on Nov. 6; the classic film noir “Sunset Boulevard,” with William Holden, Gloria Swanson and Erich Von Stroheim, on Nov. 13, and the final film, “Sabrina,” starring Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn, on Nov. 20. More information will be listed on the Bijou’s website at www.cinemalovers.com.

Just prior to the Oct. 30 screening of “Some Like it Hot,” the Bijou will unveil a memorial plaque in the theater’s lobby, dedicated to a man who loved movies, small independent theaters and the communal experience of watching a film in a room with other people. Though he would have loved the Bijou, Pieter Vijfvinkel never watched a film there and never sampled their renowned popcorn because, despite his long-standing plans, he never quite made it to the Oregon coast. Before he could make that visit, Vijfvinkel contracted COVID and died in late 2020. On Oct. 30, he would have turned 65.

A tall, lanky Dutchman, Vijfvinkel made his home in London for several decades but would travel whenever he could get away from his successful business as a much in-demand builder and painting contractor. He had many enthusiasms: he took long daily walks along the wooded paths and rose gardens of London’s Downhill Park. He was a world traveler, an avid reader of contemporary fiction and he gave his unwavering support to London’s Arsenal football team. He was a frequent movie patron and a student of the cinema, especially old cinema. He nurtured an encyclopedic knowledge of classic films, especially classic American films from the studio era and especially, the films of Billy Wilder.

Assigned seats will be given, either at the door or by emailing bijoutheatre541@gmail.com. For more information, contact the Bijou at that email address or by phone at 541-992-5399.

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