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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

‘Ben-Hur’ turns 60 this year; see it on the big screen

We're all into anniversaries, right? Companies such as Hallmark have been making a living on annual birthdays and the like since they were founded. And more and more, the movie industry has followed suit.

In a recent ad for the 2019 Studio Ghibli Fest, it wasn't enough for us to know that this year's event was bringing back some of the great films of Hayao Miyazaki, we had know that some of the films — Miyazaki's 1984 animated film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which screens on May 20-21 — is celebrating its 35th anniversary.

Same for William Wyler's 1959 take on the novel "Ben-Hur." It's important, it seems, not just that we know the film will be part of special screenings on Sunday (at 1 p.m.) and Wednesday (at 1 and 6 p.m.) at the Regal Cinemas theaters at Northtown Mall and Coeur d'Alene's Riverstone Stadium.

No we have to know, for the math-challenged among us, that the film will be celebrating its 60th anniversary.

Anyway, it's time once again to see why Charlton Heston was, for a time, one of Hollywood's biggest stars. And, by the way, if Heston hadn't died in 2008 at age 84, he would be — on Oct. 4 — celebrating his 96th birthday.

Maybe they'll screen "The The Commandments" in his memory.