A day at the movies

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 8, 2004

The Tuesday film series for seniors at the Stripling Performing Arts Centre will continue in 2004 &045; with one very important difference.

Classic films will be shown every Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. rather than monthly as in 2003. The admission donation (not a charge) is paid at the booth out front, just as in the old days. Inside seniors will find free soft drinks and popcorn.

The program is sponsored by the City of Selma through the Performing Arts Centre and the Downtown Selma Association. It was begun last January on a monthly basis, following a suggestion by Mayor James Perkins Jr., according to Kay Jones, property manager/public buildings facilitator for the City of Selma, whose office is located in the centre.

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Jones got emotional as she talked about how much the movie series means to the seniors.

The mayor’s idea, she said, was to provide a regular outing for seniors, that would not only treat them to classic films that they knew and liked, but would also give them a different place to go and a time for socializing.

Because of the increasing popularity of the program the sponsors decided to go weekly in the new year. The first movie in the new series &045; Orson Welles’ classic, &uot;Citizen Kane&uot; &045; on Tuesday attracted about 20. Attendance had grown last year from about 10-15 at startup, according to Shebra Kidd, director of the Downtown Selma Association, to 30-70 by the last movie in 2003, Dec. 30.

Kidd attributed the smaller crowd on Tuesday to the fact that people did not know for sure that the program would continue in 2004, and if so, what the schedule would be.

Kidd wants the public to know that the series has become weekly and hopes that attendance will continue to grow.

Area nursing homes are getting their residents to the event, she said, as well as sitters in the community who stay with seniors.

Anyone may come to the movies, she said, and pay the admission fee, but are asked to be respectful to seniors for whom it is primarily intended.

All are welcome, Kidd said, and no one will have to show proof of age or their AARP card, but the event is not intended for children, according to sponsors.

The schedule for the rest of January is &uot;Arsenic and Old Lace&uot; on Jan. 13; &uot;Mrs. Miniver&uot; on Jan. 20; and &uot;The Glenn Miller Story&uot; on Jan. 27.

The film schedule will be publicized in advance of the month the movies will be shown.

Jones said that the centre welcomes suggestions for which films to choose. During the interview she had a list of film titles that had recently been phoned in. &uot;We want those suggestions,&uot; she said.

She also said that a Sunday matinee series will start on the last Sunday of each month, beginning Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. She hopes that seniors from all over the area &045; Selma, Dallas and surrounding counties &045; will take advantage of this opportunity, as well as others in the community.

The Sunday series will be open to all ages, and families encouraged to attend, she said.

Jones said that further details will be forthcoming.

Kidd said that funding for the program comes from the City of Selma, the Downtown Selma Association, downtown merchants and even individuals. Anyone who would like to contribute to the support of the program should call Shebra Kidd at 874-2111.

For information on the program call the centre between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at