Athena Cinema holiday series

The 2018 Holiday Movie Series opens November 29 and runs through December 22, at the Athena Cinema, Athens. Photo courtesy of the Athena Cinema.

The Athena Cinema is once again presenting a lineup of classic films for its seventh annual Holiday Film Series. Beginning tonight (Thursday, Nov. 29), the series offers free admission to holiday movies in exchange for food or cash donations benefiting area food pantries.

From Nov. 29 to Dec. 22, the Athena Cinema of Ohio University’s College of Fine Arts will partner with OU’s Department of Real Estate Management, Community Engagement and Economic Development and Athens area food pantries to bring back the traditional movie series. As part of the events, patrons will receive a complimentary snowflake cookie to enjoy during the movie. 

The first movie screening, tonight at 7, is a screening of the 1966 short, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Following last year’s success, according to a news release, the Athena Cinema will kick off the event series on the evening of the Athens Uptown Business Association (AUBA) Uptown for the Holidays event. This year’s AUBA event features wagon rides, visits with Santa, and the Large Mouth Brass Band, as well as the evening film screening at the Athena Cinema.

All other scheduled screenings take place on Saturdays. The second event will feature “Elf” at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 1. On Dec. 8, the theater will show “The Muppet Christmas Carol” at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. On Dec. 15 will be a 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. screening of “The Christmas Story,” with a special evening showing of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. The series wraps up Dec. 22 with a screening of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” at 7 p.m.

“We look forward to this series year-round and are excited to see area families and children come out and celebrate the holidays uptown,” Athena Cinema’s Director Alexandra Kamody said in the release. 

To benefit area families in need, the price of admission to these screenings will be a non-perishable food item or cash donation per ticket. 

“To date, 3,450 Holiday Film Series moviegoers have donated over 5,250 pounds of food and more than $1,580 in cash to this initiative since the seasonal event began in 2011,” Kevin Markielowski, manager of Real Estate Operations at OU, said in the release.

Tickets will be available a week before each screening. Donations may be dropped off during regular Athena lobby hours. At the time of the donation, tickets will be issued. 

Named by Ohio Magazine one of the “Best of 2017” last year, the release said, the purpose of the Holiday Series initiative is to give back to the greater Athens community and families in need during the season. The Cinema also hopes to provide an affordable uptown entertainment option and increase traffic to area businesses. 

Further information, and movie trailers can be found on the Athena Cinema website here: athenacinema.com/holidayseries

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