By Travis Sloat
Phoenix Staff Writer
The success of classic movies at the Roxy Theater on Thursday nights has spawned a more kid-friendly lineup.
Cassandra Gaines, who heads the Classic Movies for Children series, said she would start the showings Saturday, with a movie every Saturday of October.
“I had a lot of requests from people who wanted to bring their kids,” Gaines said. “If it goes well, we’ll show movies through the end of the year, eventually branching into holiday movies.”
Gaines said she picked Saturdays because it reminded her of her childhood movie-going experiences.
“When I was a kid, you always had the matinee to look forward to on Saturdays,” she said. “Once you got your chores and the housework done, that was your treat, you got to go see the matinee movie.”
The movies, which start with “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” include “Little Rascals,” “Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner” and end with “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” will be shown from 1 to 3 p.m. at the historic Roxy Theater. A ticket will cost just $2 for adults or children, and concessions will be available.
Roger Bell, an avid fan of the Thursday night shows, said he was behind the idea 100 percent.
“I think there will be a lot of parents and grandparents who came on Thursday nights who will want to get their kids and grandchildren involved in this,” Bell said. “It’s exciting to see the Roxy being used as a movie theater again, which was its original intention.”
Bell also said seeing a movie in the Roxy is a unique experience.
“When the movies are over on Thursday nights, people clap,” he said. “How many movies have you been to where people applaud at the end? This is the last remaining historic theater in our town, and I’m thrilled that it’s being used in this capacity.”
In addition to the movie screenings, there will be games and trivia both before and after the movies, with prizes for the winners.
Gaines said she hoped the movies would draw not just city residents, but those in rural areas, too.
“I’m putting together a flier to hand out at the Muskogee schools,” she said. “People would be surprised at the amount of people from rural areas that turn out to the little events we do.”
Both Gaines and Bell believe that Muskogee will benefit from the movie showings.
“People will come to town before and after the movie to shop and spend money here,” Gaines said. “I think it will help the city a lot.”
Bell said it was a good thing on many different counts.
“I think it’s a great way to get people in the core part of our town,” he said. “That’s sorely needed. It lets people be a part of the historical theater and share these things with their family.
“And also, for those who say there is nothing to do here, I challenge them to start looking for things like this.”
Reach Travis Sloat at (918) 684-2908 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
WHAT: Children’s Classic Movie Saturdays.
WHERE: The Roxy Theater, 220 W. Okmulgee Ave.
WHEN: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturdays in October.
LINEUP: Saturday, “Chitty Chitty Bang;” Oct. 12, “Little Rascals;” Oct. 19, “Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner;” and Oct. 26, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
COST: $2 for adults and children, concessions available.
INFORMATION: (918) 684-6363.