Unemployed? American Cinematheque Feels Your Pain.

It’s possible that 70 years from now historians will praise Paul Blart, Mall Cop as an example of the type of popular entertainment that buoyed America’s spirit during tumultuous economic times.

Fortunately, we’ll all be dead by then. In the meantime, we can enjoy the American Cinematheque’s Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? Great Films of the Great Depression at the Aero Theatre, a film series designed to showcase the “funniest, scariest and most romantic movies of an era a little too close to our own for comfort.”

But the real kicker for this series is that the Cinematheque is offering the screenings for FREE to anybody who brings their January or February EDD benefits check.

The series starts tonight with a Boris Karloff double feature of Frankenstein (1931) and The Mummy (1932) and continues tomorrow night with a double bill of Laurel and Hardy’s Sons of the Desert (1933) and W.C. Fields’ It’s a Gift (1934). On Saturday, we get two Fred Estaire and Ginger Rogers musicals with Roberta (1935) and the nautical-themed Follow the Fleet (1936). And on Sunday, the series concludes with a screening of the Cary Grant and Constance Bennett supernatural comedy Topper (1937) followed by George Cukor’s noncomformist romantic comedy Holiday (1938), starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.

You may want to get to the theater early. Judging from the latest reports, these screenings could end up being standing room only.

Image: W.C. Fields and Charles Sellon in It’s a Gift (1934).