Home » The Virginia launches Classic Movie Night series

The Virginia launches Classic Movie Night series

SOMERSET, Ky. — Ask local film enthusiast John Alexander, and he’ll tell you there are few scenes more powerful than Atticus Finch’s exit from the courtroom in the film adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill A Mockingbird.

And few films are better suited to kick off the much-anticipated Classic Movie Night series at downtown Somerset’s historic live performance venue, The Virginia.

“In curating a list of movies for The Virginia, I wanted to have films that not only mean a lot to as many people as possible,” Alexander said, “but I also wanted to show movies that have historical significance. With February being Black History Month, I felt that To Kill A Mockingbird would be the perfect movie to begin this classic film series.”

Alexander will serve as the emcee for the monthly event, featuring classic motion pictures from decades past in a building once a beloved movie cinema. Each showing will begin with a short message and history of the film from Alexander. The first two movies scheduled are Mockingbird (7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16) and The Quiet Man (7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23).

Built-in 1922, The Virginia Cinema closed in 1994 after an ice storm crippled the building’s roof. The building sat dormant for more than a quarter of a century before the City of Somerset assumed ownership and renovated it as a live performance venue. It reopened to the public in June 2022.

While The Virginia is now primarily home to live music, live theater and venue rentals, Somerset Mayor Alan Keck said he always endeavored to honor the building’s history by showing classic movies, an activity in high demand from residents who have championed its revival.

Making The Virginia a place for everyone has also always been a part of the vision for this building, Keck said, and starting Classic Movie Night with a movie like To Kill A Mockingbird will serve as a powerful symbol for how far we’ve come as a community and society in bringing people together.

Alexander said while music and live theater are The Virginia’s new legacy, the return of the projector light once a month is a special moment for so many in the community who remember its past.

Tickets to the first three movies (180-seat capacity events) are now available on The Virginia’s website, thevirginiaky.com. If the showing is not sold out, tickets will be sold at the door, but only credit cards and digital payment will be accepted. Watch The Virginia’s website and social media channels (@thevirginiaky) for announcements of future movie night titles.

Click here for more Kentucky business news.