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‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Will Revive Movies at Virginia February 16 | news

It’s the story of a small southern town that conjures up images of another time, echoes of the past.

And while that might describe Somerset and the Virginia Theater saga, it also captures the essence of the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1960 novel by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird – directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Gregory Peck and a young Robert Duvall in his film debut – will be the first film to be at the Virginia Theater in a new look for the upcoming Classic Movie Night series on Thursday February 16th.

Local personality John Alexander has been chosen to host the monthly event, which will feature classic motion pictures from decades past.

It will be the first time a film has been shown at the historic East Mt. Vernon Street building since Virginia Cinema closed in 1994 (apart from a screening of “Casablanca” on a bare back wall during a block party in June 2018, those of the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce).

Since its renovation and reopening last summer, the Virginia Theater has primarily hosted music events as well as Flashback Theater Co.’s “Miracle on 34th Street” as a live performance venue. But the Classic Film Night series helps bring Virginia back to its cinematic roots.

Each screening begins with a short message and the story of the film by Alexander. The first two films planned are “To Kill a Mockingbird” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 16 and “The Quiet Man” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 23.

To Kill a Mockingbird tells a story of a quest for justice amidst racism in the 1930s Deep South – the story of attorney Atticus Finch’s defense of African American Tom Robinson, accused of raping a white girl, and the Finch’s children Scout and Jem growing up and meeting reclusive neighbor Boo Radley.

“When compiling a list of films for The Virginia, I wanted films that not only meant a lot to as many people as possible,” Alexander said, “but I also wanted to show films that had historical significance. Since February is Black History Month, I thought To Kill A Mockingbird would be the perfect film to start this classic film series.”

Although the Virginia is no longer purely a cinema and is more focused on live events, Somerset Mayor Alan Keck said he has always tried to honor the building’s history by showing classic films, something many look forward to over the years efforts hoped to revitalize Virginia were being made.

“I’m thrilled to be bringing movies back to Virginia and love that John has committed to hosting these events as he’s been one of the most committed advocates of bringing The Virginia back to life over the years,” Keck said in November Beamer and screen were installed. “I look forward to seeing some of the classics in this space like the generations before us and closing this building from one century to the next.

“It has been a privilege to see our community embrace The Virginia and the opportunities it offers downtown,” he added, “and I remain grateful to everyone who helped make this dream a reality. “

In keeping with the first film shown, much of the discussion about what to do with the Virginia revolved around the deplorable history of her balcony. Black theatergoers had to sit there during segregation days. Today, the Virginia’s upstairs space has been transformed into a contemporary seating area and lounge, open to all who enter.

“While The Virginia is now a place for everyone, people of all walks of life, there was a time when that wasn’t the case,” Keck said. “But we overcame, and this building lives on as a place where we can come together, break bread, share spirits, have community and be proud of who we are and where we are going as a community.”

Tickets for the first three films, with a 180-seat capacity, are available now from The Virginia’s website, thevirginiaky.com. General admission for lower level seating is $5. If the performance is not sold out, tickets are sold at the door but only credit cards and digital payments are accepted.

Those interested can visit Virginia’s website and social media channels (@thevirginiaky) for announcements of future movie night titles.

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