Lights organizes panel talk,
film showing of Mockingbird
designed to mark 50-year
anniversary of literary classic
Helen E. McKinney
(November 2010) Its been 50 years since
the publication of To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.
To mark this milestone, Village Lights Bookstore in downtown Madison,
Ind., is teaming with the Ohio Theatre to present a special screening
of the classic film based on the novel.
The idea to do so belongs to Nathan Montoya and Anne Vestuto,
proprietors of the Village Lights Bookstore, 110 E. Main Street. Montoya
called it an ideal opportunity to promote great literature, classic
film, awareness of perennial issues of bigotry and social injustice,
and, in an immediate sense, to help the Ohio Theatre.
All ticket sales will be through the Ohio Theatre box office and proceeds
from book sales will help offset expenses incurred in producing this
event. The novel sells for $15.99 for a paperback version and $25 for
a hardcover edition, and will also be available during the screening
in the theatre lobby.
Although it was written half a century ago, the writing is superb
and its themes are timeless, Montoya said. The novel addresses
such issues as racial injustice, bigotry and class and gender roles
in the American Deep South of the 1930s.
The plot and characters of the novel are loosely based on the authors
observations of family, neighbors and an event that occurred near Lees
hometown of Monroeville, Ala., in 1936 when she was 10 years old. The
main character, attorney Atticus Finch, was based on her father, Amasa
Coleman Lee, an attorney and editor and publisher of the Monroeville
Lee spent 21/2 years writing To Kill A Mockingbird. She
was so frustrated at one point that she tossed the manuscript out of
her window and into the snow. Her agent wisely had her retrieve it,
and the novel was an instant success upon publication.
To Kill A Mockingbird is a recognized modern classic, having
been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, said Montoya. It is required course reading
in many high schools and colleges across the nation and has been placed
atop the American Library Associations top-10 list of most challenged
A special screening of To Kill A Mockingbird will be held
at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, at the Ohio Theatre. It is directly across
the street from the bookstore at 105 E. Main St. Admission is $5 for
adults, $3 for children 11 and under.
We want to help cultivate a larger audience for our irreplaceable,
historic, Main Street movie theatre, said Montoya. This
is a good beginning for a classical film screening series, he
Five members of the Hanover College faculty and administration will
be part of a panel discussion of the book and film that will take place
before the screening. The panel includes Hanover president Sue DeWine,
Dr. Kathy Barbour, Dr. Skip Dine-Young, Dr. Sarah Vossmeier and Kelly
Joyce. Montoya hopes this will enhance intellectual and cultural
dialogue between Hanover College and the Madison community.
The panel members were chosen through discussions with friends and customers
who are members of the Hanover College faulty and recommended their
colleagues, he said. We are very grateful to panel members and
those who would have liked to have participated but could not,
Additional funding and assistance has been provided by two student organizations
at Hanover College: Kaleidoscope, which promotes cultural diversity
by educating fellow students about current minority issues; and Love
Out Loud, an advocacy group for equal rights focusing on lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender and ally issues.
The film is a much acclaimed film, said Tony Ratcliff, who
owns The Ohio Theatre with his wife, Laura. If this screening is successful,
more classic film screenings may follow, he said. Theres
no shortage of really good films.
Originally from the Cincinnati area, the Ratcliffs purchased the the
theater 14 years ago. My wife and I had been looking at different
areas and this became available, said Tony. They did a fair amount
of remodeling but kept the original history of the 1938 structure as
much as possible.
Ratcliff said he hopes this screening will bring awareness of
the book and movie to a new generation who has not seen it. Its
definitely a movie worth watching for all generations.
Not merely a bookstore, but a local community culture center, Village
Lights plays host to a wide variety of local art happenings, author
readings, poetry recitals, and live music performances throughout the
For more information, contact the Village
Lights Bookstore at (812) 265-1800 or the Ohio Theatre at (812) 273-4821.
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