LOWER EAST SIDE — You have a golden ticket this Labor Day weekend to catch one of Gene Wilder’s most celebrated performances on the big screen.
The Metrograph theater at 7 Ludlow St. is showing 1971 classic "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" Saturday through Monday, as part of a series showcasing films based on the books of author Roald Dahl.
The film was actually scheduled to play prior to Wilder’s passing on Aug. 29 due to Alzheimer’s-related complications. As a result, the screenings have now become an accidental tribute to the late star, said a theater rep.
“The way we see it, it is an honor to him — it’s not something we just threw together, but by coincidence it is something that is very much a tribute to him and a tribute to the film as well,” said Metrograph spokesman Michael Lieberman.
“We love the film and we would have shown it regardless of the news, but with the news in mind it does make it bittersweet."
Ticket sales for the film has spiked since Wilder’s death, said Lieberman, leading the cinema to schedule additional screenings — routine practice for the theater when screenings start selling out, he added, to ensure the audience’s needs are met.
The screenings will bring an end to the cinema’s Roald Dahl series, which paid tribute to the author known for dark, surreal children’s books such as “Matilda” and “James and the Giant Peach.”
Tickets range from $12 to $15 and are available for Saturday at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 11 a.m., or Monday at 5:15 p.m.
To purchase tickets, click here.