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Austin movie screens have increased by a total of 16 this week with the opening of Act III's new Gateway Theatre on Hwy. 183. Already, we are seeing some changes in the standard exhibition patterns in the north end of town. The town's dominant theatre chain is now taking some of its arthouse and independent fare, which has traditionally played at the Village Theatre, and is placing it in the Arbor, which is just across the road from the Gateway. So far, there's still plenty of product to go around but the changeover is causing more than a few unexpected mental shifts. Ironically, this outpouring of additional screens is a marked contrast to the dire battle being waged in the UT community to save the on-campus Texas Union Theatre, which in a surprise, unilateral, upper-echelons decision has been slated for closure at the end of the semester. A two-hour rally on the campus mall this week attracted an impressive number of theatre supporters and lent momentum to the newly formed University Film Society's mission to keep the film program and theatre in operation. In addition to impassioned speeches and petition-signing, lots of useful information was disbursed regarding the who's and where's of submitting letters of protest -- everyone from president of the University, Dr. Peter T. Flawn, on down to Texas Union director Andy Smith and the The Daily Texan editorial pages. For more info, contact Tammy Arnstein or Juliet Dervin at 471-6657...

Musicals: A Pure Cinema, the newest Austin Film Society (AFS) series, kicks off this week with screenings every Thursday at 7:30pm at the Dobie Theatre, with repeat screenings the following Saturday at noon. The opening film this Thursday, Oct. 23 (and Sat. Oct. 25) is Vincente Minnelli's insider's tale The Band Wagon. Next Thurs., Oct. 30 (and Sat. Nov. 1) is Otto Preminger's Carmen Jones with the luminous Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte. Admission is $5 ($3.50 for AFS members)...

The AFS Avant Garde series continues on Tues., Oct. 28, 7pm, in the Union Theatre with Stan Brakhage's seminal film Dog Star Man. If you don't know Dog Star Man, you don't know Brakhage...

Also showing in the Union Theatre this week (Oct.29 & Oct. 30, 7pm) is a rare screening of Jean-Pierre Melville's screen version of Jean Cocteau's play Les Enfants Terribles...

Bill Daniel's Funhouse Cinema series of underground film and video continues on Monday, Oct. 27 with an oddity titled Mars Invades Puerto Rico, a feature-length, low-budget, sci-fi cult film from 1965. Showtimes are 8 & 10:30pm at the Ritz Lounge...

The Cinemaker Co-op presents Attack of the 50-Foot Reel, a Halloween Super-8 festival featuring edited-in-camera, one-reel films. Showtime is Thurs., Oct. 30, 9:30pm, at the Alamo Drafthouse. (Also look for the Alamo's midnight screenings of the camp classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls the weekend of Oct. 23-25.)...

The monthly meeting of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) is Monday, Oct. 27, 8pm, at the Electric Lounge. Several films will be screened, including New York documentary filmmaker Alison Denny's Total, a humorous look at babies through history, and Benita Raphan's Absence Stronger Than Presence about Edwin Land, the inventor of the Polaroid.

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