The Top Film Events of the Week is a weekly column that goes live on Mondays and showcases some of best film events currently taking place around the country

The end of the year always brings a lot of big-deal movie events - some of them a natural byproduct of studios saving their best stuff for last, some of them commemorative screenings in conjunction with awards season, and some of them just awesome things that are coordinated to cap an already exciting year. One of the biggest of the big is Butt-Numb-A-Thon, Harry Knowles' 24-hour film festival in Austin, Texas, where the Ain't It Cool News founder coordinates screenings of films old, new and upcoming, enlists special guests for introductions and special events, and tests the stamina of even the most die-hard film fans with a literal day full of movies. Because attendance requires a considerable amount of effort, and especially because it's sold out, however, we're acknowledging it here but not including it as one of our picks of the week. (Check out AICN for details how to apply to attend next year's celebration.)

But before we get to the stuff we think you should see elsewhere in the country, we would like to remind you to please leave comments and send in emails with any suggestions you may have for events, screenings, or other opportunities film fans may have to share with others in their celebration of the medium. Also, when and if you attend any of the events listed below, please let us know about your experiences, and let the organizers know where you found out about it!

Chicago

On December 8, the original 'The Muppet Movie' is screening at 6:00 PM at the Gene Siskel Film Center. The film is part of their ongoing celebration of the life and work of late Muppet creator Jim Henson, but seeing the first of the films on the big screen serves as a great primer for Jason Segel's upcoming 'The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever,' whether it is or not. Make sure you check out the Siskel Film Center website for ticket information and directions.

Dallas

December 10 and 11, Edgar Wright's ode to the glory of buddy cop movies, 'Hot Fuzz,' is playing at midnight at the Inwood Theatre. Thankfully folks have two options for attending the film, but make sure you check out the Inwood Theatre website for ticket information and directions.

Los Angeles

There are lots of in-person appearances this week, starting with one on December 7 by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. In conjunction with Criterion Collection's magnificent release of his film 'Cronos,' del Toro will appear at Amoeba Music starting at 5:00 PM to sign copies of the Blu-ray. Afterward, he will also host a special screening of the film, along with his never-before-seen horror short film, 'Geometria,' will be held at the Los Angeles film school at 8pm. Check out the Amoeba Music website for full details of the event, including directions and ticket information.

On December 10, the Nuart Theatre will play host to what this critic thinks may still be the Coen brothers' finest work – 'Raising Arizona.' It's a part of the theater's ongoing midnight movie series, but check out the Nuart Theatre website for ticket information and directions.

On December 11, meet acclaimed animator Glen Keane at a screening at the Egyptian Theatre of 'The Little Mermaid,' which will be shown at 5:00 PM and feature a question and answer sessions afterward. Make sure you check out the Egyptian Theatre website for full details, ticket information and directions.

Also on December 11, check out a 20th Anniversary screening of John Hughes' 'Home Alone' at the New Beverly Cinema. The screening is being held in conjunction with Alonso Duralde, author of the terrific new book 'Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas,' who also appears elsewhere on this week's picks. But make sure you check out the New Beverly Cinema website for full details, ticket information and directions.


New York

If you can't make it out to Los Angeles on the 11th, cruise over to Brooklyn on December 6 for a FREE screening at the reRun Gastropub Theatre of the bizarre cult holiday film 'Santa Claus,' accompanied by a reading by Alonso Duralde from his book, 'Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas.' Books will be sold at the screening, but make sure you check out the reRun Gastropub Theatre website for full details, ticket information and directions.

For yet another big-screen holiday movie option, check out 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' at midnight on December 10 and 11 at Sunshine Cinema. Make sure you check out the Sunshine Cinema website for full details, ticket information and directions.

San Francisco

If holiday movies aren't your style, On December 11, the Castro Theatre is showing a glorious double feature of 'Cabaret' and 'Xanadu.' Sure, 'Cabaret' is terrific and 'Xanadu' is mostly awful, but Olivia Newton-John and the music of Jeff Lynne makes this a campy, irresistible double feature. Check out the Castro Theatre website for full details, ticket information and directions.

Seattle

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the Egyptian Theatre is playing host to multiple screenings of Tim Burton's 'Edward Scissorhands,' also on December 10 and 11. Please make sure you check out the Egyptian Theatre website for full details, ticket information and directions.