ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Daily Journal, in conjunction with local area businesses, will be bringing movies back to Rockingham beginning Saturday.
The Richmond County Daily Journal Classic Film Series will be presented at the Richmond Community Theatre, located downtown Rockingham at Harrington Square. The historic theater, long a performing arts center with a history of award-winning performances, will be transformed for the four Saturdays in March as the paper, along with its sponsor partners, invite movie goers to come out and discover the historic theater.
“Free classic films are just one way we hope to get involved in our community,” Regional Publisher Brian Bloom said. “I was blessed to make the acquaintance of the theater’s board and we talked about how we could drive new audiences to the building. The free movies grew from that conversation.”
“It’s a great idea and we hope it’s a huge success,” Richmond Community Theatre Director Merrie Dawkins said of the series. “For many of us, it’s a way to get reacquainted with some of the best actors and the best movies of all time. Others we hope will come to experience these classic films for the first time.”
The four-movie series begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7 with the Academy Award-winning classic “Casablanca,” starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Set in North Africa during World War II, the film gained critical acclaim and has been a fan favorite for generations. A different classic will be shown at the same time, 7:30 p.m., each Saturday through March 28.
“Over the years the papers that I have been associated with have brought movies to their communities,” Bloom said. “We’ve shown them on screens made of sewn-together bed sheets and semi-tractor trailers. With Rockingham no longer having a local movie theater, we believed this could be a great evening for people to enjoy classic cinema and, with the help from the theater and our advertising partners, we can do that.”
John Hutchinson’s Great Falls Wealth Management is sponsoring “Casablanca” Saturday night. Other movies and their sponsors include “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” sponsored by First Bank, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” brought to you by Swink Quality Oil & Gas and “Old Yeller,” sponsored by Bill Webb and Webb Law Firm.
Bloom urges movie goers to come early and enjoy the offerings of Rockingham’s downtown merchants.
“Our hope is that people will have very fond memories of the films,” explained Dawkins. “Plus, those that haven’t been here before can experience our theater for the first time.”
All of the movies are free and concessions will be made available by the Richmond County Theatre. A good will offering may be taken. Any proceeds will go to the operation of the theater.
“It’s our hope that this can grow and compliment the theater when it doesn’t have live productions,” Bloom said. “Our thought is that the more people discover, dine and shop in our community the stronger it will become. These movies are just our introduction to the best Rockingham has to offer.”
Reach Robert Leininger at [email protected]