As an alternative to standing in line for "The Poltergeist," you might try some of these revival offerings at the American Film Institute Theater: A great silent double-bill, King Vidor's "SHOW PEOPLE" co-starring Marion Davies and John Gilbert, and Josef von Sternberg's "THE LAST COMMAND" co-starring Emil Jannings (in one his most impressive performances), William Powell and Evelyn Brent, Friday at 8:15 and Saturday at 8:30; the delightfully notorious Dr. Seuss-Roy Rowland musical horror comedy-fantasy "THE 5000 FINGERS OF DR. T," an uncharacteristic early '50s lark for producer Stanley Kramer that boomeranged when progressive parents discovered that their kids were scared silly by Hans Conreid's campy villain, a sadistic piano teacher, Friday at 6:30 and Sunday at 5:30; the 1954 version of "A STAR IS BORN" co-starring Judy Garland and James Mason, in one of his finest performances, Saturday at 5:30 and Sunday at 7:30; or Max Ophuls' peerless romantic tragedy, "THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE . . ." with Danielle Darrieux, Charles Boyer and Vittorio De Sica, Monday at 6:30 and Tuesday at 8:30.
The emphasis on summer product may now be the closest things left to a theatrical moviegoing habit. It no longer applies throughout the year, but it endures with peculiar new significance as a seasonal phenomenon, reinforced with dazzling reliability by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Summer releases produced or directed by these two now hold the Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 positions in Variety's list of all-time box-office hits: "STAR WARS," "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK," "JAWS" and "RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK," respectively. "Raiders," set for a massive reissue on July 16, seems poised to drop "GREASE" from the No. 4 spot. "E.T." could have sufficient appeal and staying power to supplant "Star Wars" as the most popular movie of recent years. "Poltergeist" figures to draw a bead on "THE EXORCIST," currently No. 6. It's not farfetched to imagine Spielberg and Lucas monopolizing the Top Ten by the end of the decade. "REVENGE OF THE JEDI," the third installment in the "Star Wars" saga, will spearhead the 1983 summer season, of course, and Spielberg and Lucas will soon reunite to begin preparations for the first "Raiders" sequel, already envisioned for the summer of 1984. There's every reason to expect the summer emphasis to continue indefinitely.
BONNIE SCHWARTZ will be reviving two courses in beginning Super 8mm filmmaking under the auspices of the Smithsonian Resident Associates. A section designed for parent- child collaboration meets four consecutive Sundays from 1 to 3 starting July 11. The children should be ages 6-10, and the tuition fees -- $30 for members and $38 for non- members -- cover the team. In addition, Schwartz will offer "DINOSAUR FLICKS" for children 8-10 for six weeks from 10 to noon beginning July 11. The themes for the students' 8mm productions are meant to be stimulated by tours of the Museum of Natural History's Dinosaur Hall.
LIV ULLMANN is scheduled to host a weekend series devoted to her work at the AFI Theater on Saturday and Sunday, July 17-18. The sessions, running from 9 to 5, will include screenings of "Persona," "The Emigrants" and "Face to Face." Fees are $40 for AFI members, $55 for non-members and $30 for full- time students. Call 828-4055 for further information about this program and other AFI film education ventures.