Without A Net | Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

'The Rocketeer' on the big screen in Disney film series

I had the chance to attend a screening of 1991 Disney film "The Rocketeer" at the Arclight Hollywood last night. It's always fun to watch a movie on the big screen with an engaged audience of passionate fans. You can see the trailer here:

The screening was part of a month-long film series being presented by the official Disney fan club, D23. Someone from D23 introduced the film and played movie trivia with the crowd for prizes. He also spoke with a representative from the Disney archives who talked about artifacts from the film, such as the rocket pack itself, which actually shoots fire since it's from the days when a lot less was done with CGI.

They polled the audience to see if anyone who worked on the film was there, and who would turn out to be in the audience but one of the film's co-writers, Danny Bilson. They invited him up front, where he talked about the initial plans for a Rocketeer 2 and 3, but how that was scuttled by poor domestic box office after being killed by "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." (As one of the moderators noted, how history might have differed if "The Rocketeer" had a Bryan Adams song.)

The movie features some recognizable faces, the biggest likely being Jennifer Connelly as the Rocketeer's Betty Page-style girlfriend, along with Timothy Dalton playing the film's dashing villain. Jennifer Connelly has great chemistry with male lead Billy Campbell, which makes sense as they went on to date after the film. Also, for "Lost" fans, you can see Terry O'Quinn, who went on to play Locke on "Lost," as famous aviation businessman Howard Hughes.

The Disney film series continues through the end of the month. A full list of the films screened so far and those yet to come is below.

Arclight Hollywood: Disney science-fiction and fantasy films

Monday, Aug. 2: Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
Monday, Aug. 9: The Rocketeer (1991)
Monday, Aug. 16: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
Monday, Aug. 23: The Black Hole (1979)
Monday, Aug. 30: Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)

Arclight Sherman Oaks: Disney animated classics

Tuesday, Aug. 3: Cinderella (1950)
Tuesday, Aug. 10: Pinocchio (1940)
Tuesday, Aug. 17: Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Tuesday, Aug. 24: The Jungle Book (1967)
Tuesday, Aug. 31: Peter Pan (1953)

ArcLight Pasadena: Disney musicals

Wednesday, Aug. 4: Newsies (1992)
Wednesday, Aug. 11: Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
Wednesday, Aug. 18: Pete's Dragon (1977)
Wednesday, Aug. 25: Mary Poppins (1964)

(Photo: Nathan Rupert/Flickr - Creative Commons)