Join us this February for The Royal Cinema’s newest screening series, BLACK GOLD. Celebrating the best and campiest of black cinema and its heroes from then ‘til now, Black Gold’s inaugural film is BLACK BELT JONES and is co-presented by KUNG-FU FRIDAYS.
Directed by Robert Clouse and starring Jim Kelly, both fresh off of Enter the Dragon, 1974’s Black Belt Jones gives its black heroes center stage. Kelly stars at the titular Jones and is tasked with saving local legend Pop Byrd’s karate school from the predatory business interests of the city’s quickly encroaching mafia and drug-dealing associates. Joined by Byrd’s students and daughter (played by a show-stealing, ball-busting Gloria Hendry), Jones kicks ass and is not here for any white nonsense.
A perfect blend of martial arts and blaxploitation, the film offers Jones and Hendry as the archetypal, community-minded heroes we’ve come to know from the surge of blaxploitation cinema which followed. While critically maligned at the time in the shadow of Enter the Dragon’s success, Black Belt Jones clearly stands on its own - it's all-black and all-kitsch, baby. Come for Jim Kelly, stay for the indeterminately extended car wash fight scene.
7:30 PM: PRE-SHOW
8:00: FILM STARTS