Century of Cinema festival in Miamisburg a chance 'to create something special'

·2 min read

Nov. 5—The Plaza Theatre in Miamisburg not only seeks to entertain but educate.

Beginning next month, the historic venue, located at 33 S. Main St., will offer A Century of Cinema, a 12-month series featuring two films on the first and third Wednesdays of every month centered on a particular theme.

On Dec. 1 and 15 at 7 p.m., "Hollywood Bombshells" will be explored showcasing the 1953 musical "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell under the direction of Howard Hawks) and the 1959 comedy "Some Like it Hot" (starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon under the direction of Billy Wilder).

The Plaza Theatre was among 22 arts organizations to receive a 2021 Special Projects Grant courtesy of the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District and Culture Works. The modest grant allowed the organization to help finance this series of classic films, predominately made before 1965.

Organizers say every evening will be comprised of film clips, photos, trivia and interesting stories related to the monthly theme. There will also be opportunities for patrons to win original artwork by renown speed artist Mark Thesken.

"I hope people find the trivia (aspect) intriguing — not just going to see a movie but (learning) the background of a movie," said Doug Sorrell, series creator/moderator and emeritus member of the Plaza board of directors. "Showing classic movies has been successful for the Plaza. On a certain level, I think it allows a lot of people to kind of relive decades in their past."

In January, Sorrell plans a Clint Eastwood tribute, including a spaghetti western yet to be determined. February will examine the legendary Katharine Hepburn, particularly 1938′s "Bringing Up Baby" and 1951′s "The African Queen." Future themes will salute Barbra Streisand, producer Hal Wallis ("Casablanca"), Steve McQueen, Walt Disney, Robert Duvall, the relationship between "The Godfather" and "Star Wars," Ohio Born Stars, and Monsters of the Movies (a look at Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi and 1931′s "Frankenstein").

The Plaza Theatre, originally opened in 1919 and notably reopened in December 2015 following a major restoration, seats 292 and is fully handicap accessible. Admission is $5.

"At the end of day, it's about what can the Plaza do that nobody else does that's entertaining and doesn't cost a ton of money," Sorrell said. "Let's create something special in downtown Miamisburg."

For more information, visit myplazatheatre.com.