221 University (at Emerson), Palo Alto, (650) 324-3700, www.swixo.com/stanford. $6. This handsomely restored neighborhood palace usually screens pre-1960 Hollywood fare in the best available prints, with excellent projection and a courteous staff.
WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: Preston Sturges' still-timely farce about fake military heroics, Hail the Conquering Hero (1944; 7:30 p.m.), screens with the Marx Brothers' second feature, the stage-bound but still hilarious Animal Crackers (Victor Heerman, 1930; 5:40, 9:20 p.m.). Last night I shot an elephant in my pajamas.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Frank Capra's household comedy You Can't Take It With You (1938; 3:50, 7:30 p.m.) screens with the Marx Brothers going to war in Leo McCarey's Duck Soup (1933; 6:10, 9:50 p.m.).
WEDNESDAY: A work-in-progress screening of The Lost Boys of Sudan (2002), a video by Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk that follows two refugees of the Sudanese civil war from a Kenyan refugee camp through their first year in the United States. Filmmakers in person. $7 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY: The San Francisco Cinematheque presents a landmark of New German Cinema, Alexander Kluge's Strongman Ferdinand (1975), about a director of security's obsession with same. $7 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY: The Opening Night party for "Bay Area Now 3" screens short films by Cade Bursell, Gibbs Chapman, Peaches Christ, Caveh Zahedi, and more. $12 8-11 p.m.
SATURDAY: Daily screenings of "Bay Area Now 3" programs begin with the S.F. dot-com boom doc Boom! The Sound of Eviction (Francine Cavanaugh, A. Mark Liiv, Adams Wood, 2001), screening every Saturday through Jan. 12 at noon.
SUNDAY: "Bay Area Now 3" -- Livermore by Rachel Raney and David Murray (2002), a humorous look at the East Bay community noon.
MONDAY: Venue closed.
TUESDAY: "Bay Area Now 3" -- Artists in Exile: A Story of Modern Dance in San Francisco by Austin Forbord and Shelley Trott (2000) noon.