Visalia Fox Theatre will show sex trafficking documentary, classic movies as 2022 starts

·3 min read
The Visalia Fox Theatre glows in the fog in downtown Visalia.
The Visalia Fox Theatre glows in the fog in downtown Visalia.

In its heyday, the Visalia Fox Theatre not only showed movies and had entertainment, it included newsreels, a source of current affairs, information, and entertainment for millions of moviegoers.

Two upcoming events at the Fox are entertainment and deliver the news — a documentary about sex trafficking right here in the United States and a new Fox award presentation for local volunteers who do so much behind the scenes.

'It’s Happening Right Here'

The documentary about sex trafficking, “It’s Happening Right Here,” will be shown at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22. The 75-minute documentary created by Emmy Award-winning director Nick Nanton is free and sponsored by Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.). This nonprofit group works with law enforcement to free children enslaved in sex trafficking.

The video, some of it filmed in San Diego, tells about sex trafficking and how to recognize children at risk and help parents protect them.

Human trafficking — most of it revolving around forced labor in agriculture and manufacturing and not sex trafficking — is a $150 billion industry and is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world.

U.S. sex trafficking is much more subtle than snatching children and pushing them into a van. Predators lure children online and through social media, asking for inappropriate pictures to post on the dark web.

Attending the event will be members of the Redwood High School Students Against Trafficking, a group created by sophomore class president Izek Nelson when he learned about O.U.R.

Literature and information will also be available. Information: www.ourrescue.org.

The genie carving at the Visalia Fox Theatre
The genie carving at the Visalia Fox Theatre

Golden Icon Awards

Max Lupercio, president of Friends of the Fox, has long wanted to honor everyday people who have done so much for the community. The Fox will kick off its Golden Icon Awards at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29.

The honorees are a secret, but they include people like Arthur “Shaz” Shazade, who taught biology at Mt. Whitney High School for 49 years (the longest-tenured teacher there) and was head baseball coach from 1971-76.

“I always wanted to do something like this,” Lupercio said. “The Fox is right downtown; it’s a cultural icon, and I wanted it to recognize people not usually in the limelight.”

Tickets are $10, and all proceeds will create scholarships for high school seniors.

Sponsorships are also being sought, which will go toward the scholarships. Sponsorship packages at various levels are available by calling the Fox, 559 625-1369.

The Fox plans to make this an annual event.

Coming up

  • Feb. 3 — An Evening with Father Frank Pavone, presented by Tulare-Kings Right to Life

  • Feb. 12 — The Sequoia Symphony performs music by Duke Ellington and spotlights the State Street Ballet from Santa Barbara in segments from Copland’s “Appalachian Spring.”

  • Classic film series continues with “Jumanji” starring Robin Williams on Jan. 27, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” starring Johnny Depp and a young Leonardo DiCaprio on Feb. 12, and “Ray,” a biography of Ray Charles starring Jamie Fox on Feb. 24.

See what else is happening at the Fox at www.foxvisalia.org and join their email list for advance notices.

Visalia Fox Theatre, 300 W. Main St. 559 625-1369 www.foxvisalia.org

This article originally appeared on Visalia Times-Delta: Visalia Fox Theatre tackles current events, classic movies in 2022

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