Tag Archives: Athena Cinema

Athena Cinema’s Accessible for All Film Series Continues

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Photo Courtesy of Ohio University

(Athens) – The Athena Cinema has introduced a new film series focused on providing an accessible theater experience for visitors that features screenings of contemporary independent films.

This week, the Athena Cinema begins its Accessible for All Film Series. Each Saturday in September, the theater will feature a limited one-time-only screening of a contemporary art film. In addition to showcasing independent films, the Athena Cinema will create events that are inclusive for all, including for individuals who find traditional films screenings uncomfortable or inaccessible due to the atmosphere.  

These screenings will support filmgoers with open captions displayed on the screen and maintain a sensory friendly environment. Screenings known as sensory “friendly” or “sensitive” adjust lighting and sound levels to create a comfortable atmosphere for all patrons, including those on the autism spectrum. 

The Athena Cinema Director Alexandra Kamody said by creating more theatrical experiences built around the ideal of an accessible film and theater-going experience, the cinema is showing its support for people of all abilities. 

“The thing we know about open captions is that it is a better experience for many people,” Kamody said. “Not only for those who are deaf, hard of hearing or hearing impaired, but also for individuals who are non-native English speakers, senior citizens and people on the autism spectrum.”

While the Athena offers Captiview captioning devices for closed captions, many individuals have had negative experiences with the devices that are prone to technical problems. Unfortunately, cinemas still can’t depend on film distributors to provide open caption technology for all films and must request specific files for each film in order to be able to offer the open captions technology. 

By planning in advance the programming of films that offer open captions, the theater is able to guarantee an inclusive experience. 

While some films deal directly with issues concerning accessibility, Kamody explains that the programming wasn’t originally planned to reflect on the topic of accessibility. 

“We find a lot of sensory-friendly screenings are planned with children in mind, which is great, but we wanted to offer something different here,” Kamody said. “While booking films, a theme emerged, and we found all the films touched on the topic of accessibility in some way. It was quite beautiful to look at this collection of films and say, ‘What does accessibility mean in a broader sense?’ For some it might be a chance to be heard, for others it might be a chance to be seen.” 

The Athena Cinema’s Accessible for All Film Series includes the following films:

Sept. 18: Swan Song
Legendary actor Udo Kier stars as retired hairdresser Pat Pitsenbarger, who escapes the confines of his small-town Sandusky, Ohio nursing. home after learning of his former client’s dying wish for him to style her final hairdo.

Sept. 25: Ailey
Alvin Ailey was a trailblazing pioneer who found salvation through dance. Ailey traces the full contours of this brilliant and enigmatic man whose search for the truth in movement resulted in enduring choreography that centers on the Black American experience with grace, strength, and unparalleled beauty.

All shows begin at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $5 per screening.  

The Athena Cinema partnered with the OHIO’s Performing Art & Film Series, OHIO’s Student Accessibility Services, Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and the Athens City Commission on Disabilities for this series.

Accessible for All at the Athena Cinema is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. 

The Athena Cinema is an auxiliary unit within Ohio University’s College of Fine Arts. It is a nonprofit cultural institution dedicated to creating a wide array of film-going experiences. For more information about the Athena Cinema visit its website here

Athena Cinema Reopens

Presented By Rathkamp Financial

Photo Courtesy of Ohio University

(ATHENS) – The Athena Cinema in Athens, Ohio will reopen to the public at reduced capacity on July 16 with “Movies You’ve Missed,” a series of films that launched during the pandemic but couldn’t be seen on the big screen until now.  

The 106-year-old-art house cinema, having been shuttered because of the pandemic for the longest time since its 1915 opening, will screen “Minari,” a film launched in 2020 about a Korean American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of its own American dream, as part of the “Movies You’ve Missed” series. It will also screen “Roadrunner: A Film about Anthony Bourdain,” an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at how an anonymous chef became a world-renowned cultural icon, and the acclaimed documentary “Summer of Soul,” a powerful and transporting documentary — part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion.

Tickets to the July 16 screenings of these films can be purchased online here. Due to the reduced number of patrons allowed in the theaters for each screening, the theater encourages advance ticket purchasing through their website.

“We are so excited to open on the 16 and welcome back our patrons,” said Alexandra Kamody, director of the Athena Cinema. “We have missed the movies, the big screen, the patrons, the sound of the projector and popcorn popping…we just can’t wait to get back to showing movies Uptown.”

The reopening comes on the heels of the Athena Cinema’s first-ever crowdfunding campaign, “Lights! Camera! Action! The Campaign to Reopen the Athena Cinema,” which garnered $11,307 more for the cinema’s Athena Cinema Support Fund more than its original goal of $5,000 in the month of June. The overwhelming support from donors helped mitigate the costs associated with safely re-opening the beloved “Jewel of Uptown Athens,” Kamody said. 

“We are so grateful for the support we received through the campaign. Our community really came through for us during the closure, with patrons using our virtual cinema and staying in touch by email and social media,” Kamody said. “The response to the campaign was amazing. It has been really energizing to know the community is behind us.”

Other films being screened for the “Movies You Missed” series include “Promising Young Woman,” opening July 23; “Judas and the Black Messiah,” opening July 30; “Nomadland,” opening Aug. 6; and “The Father,” opening Aug. 13.