SUMMER SPLASH II: Orange County : Our Hottest picks for a Jam-Packed Summer : MOVIES

Orange County wades into its second hundred years facing a summer that’s filled with a wider range of arts and entertainment activities than ever.

The Calendar staff of the Times Orange County Edition selects highlights among the hundreds of choices offered at the county’s theaters, art museums, outdoor amphitheaters, concert halls, comedy clubs, movie theaters and elsewhere to stave off any summer doldrums that might dare to take roost.

While your friendly neighborhood theater dishes up the summer blockbusters, from “Dick Tracy” to a whole slate of sequels, the two coastal cinemas operated by Los Angeles-based Landmark Theatres will continue to offer local movie lovers a chance to step out of the mainstream.

* “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!” by the irrepressible Spanish director Pedro Almodovar opened Friday at the Port Theatre in Corona del Mar, while the successful run of the Academy Award-winner “Cinema Paradiso” moved from the Port to the Balboa Cinema in Newport Beach. Almodovar’s latest film made headlines when it was slapped with an X rating; the distributor elected to release it unrated.


Bookings for later in the season have yet to be finalized, but cineastes can probably look for the county premieres of the following:

* “Mama, There’s a Man in Your Bed,” a French fairy tale about a cleaning woman who tips the boss of a yogurt company to the intrigues against him. The writer and director is Coline Serreau, who also created the original French version of “Three Men and a Baby.”

* “Jesus of Montreal,” in which a Montreal actor puts on a revisionist play on the death and resurrection of Christ and sees his life begin to parallel his art. Director Denys Arcand made a splash in 1986 with “The Decline of the American Empire.”

* “May Fools,” director Louis Malle’s latest, is a social comedy set in the south of France that tells the tale of a family brought together by the death of a grandfather, against the background of the May 1968 general strike.

A list of summer arts and entertainment activities for children will appear in Wednesday’s Calendar.