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Athena Cinema to host Holiday Film Series

The Athena Cinema will be showing a Holiday Film Series over the month of December featuring Christmas favorites, waving the price of a ticket for a canned good or cash donation to a local food pantry. 

The series will feature holiday film classics for audiences of all ages, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on Dec. 5, Elf on Dec 7, The Polar Express and Gremlins on Dec 14, and It’s a Wonderful Life on Dec 19.

This is the eighth year of the series, Alexandra Kamody, the director of the Athena Cinema said.

“We wanted to offer a low-cost entertainment option to families during the holidays,” Kamody said. “And students — anybody who was around and interested. We wanted to have a fundraiser in support of the local food pantries with the canned food drive.”

There was also a desire to bring people into the uptown Athens area during the holiday season, Kamody said. The showings attract people to the area for dining and Christmas shopping, in addition to the movie.

“We wanted to bring traffic to uptown Athens in the holiday season and make you know, make sure that the restaurants and shops up here were supported as well and that people are shopping locally,” Kamody said.

Although in years past they just requested canned food donations, they are now taking cash donations as well, both for patrons and the pantries they are being donated to.

“We also now take cash donations because some folks don’t have a canned good and they'd have to go to the store and buy a can,” Kamody said. “So, now you do cash or canned food donations. I think the food pantries like that because they actually have, for my understanding, deals where they can buy food discounts, they can get more per dollar donated than if you purchase the can at the store.”

A goal of the movie series is to involve the community, with the Rudolph showing being on the same night as Uptown for the Holidays, allowing for families with children to do all the activities and still be home around 8 p.m. The showing is open to Christmas movie-lovers of all ages, though.

There are also offerings for a more mature audience. 

“We're doing Gremlins for the first time which will be fun,” Kamody said. “And It’s a Wonderful Life, kind of another not-for-the-littles necessarily, but a great nostalgic classic to bring the family to.”

Many students are looking forward to the event.

Mina Morgan, a freshman majoring in nursing, said it is an event that she would be interested in going to. 

“I think it's very generous and a good idea to get people to donate,” Morgan said.

Hannah Keller, a freshman studying accounting and business analytics, said she and her friends were planning on going to a Christmas movie and that she is definitely interested in donating to a good cause. 

There is no recommended contribution, Kamody said, because they want the event to be open to those who have a lot.

“We definitely want it to be inclusive to low-income folks and those who might not have a lot,” Kamody said.

Kamody also says that she has seen a lot of people going above and beyond on their donations.

“We see a lot of people come in and donate who might not even be coming to the series,” Kamody said. 


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