Latest posts by Nadine Champsi (see all)
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In my New PGH Family Fun series, I highlight new family-friendly opportunities within Pittsburgh. I monitor social media sites and conventional news sources to find the most interesting and unique NEW adventure options for families in Pittsburgh. Then, I write about them here!
Classic movie nights. I can still remember them clearly from my own early childhood. Once a year, my mom would let me stay up late to watch “The Wizard of Oz.” I would cuddle up on the couch with her, munch on popcorn, and marvel at Oz. Glinda, ruby slippers, a Horse of a Different Color, a hot air balloon ascending towards the sky. It was magical. It was special.
Now that I’m a parent, I still appreciate classic movie nights; although, in part, it’s for different reasons. Sharing that piece of my childhood with my kids is deeply rewarding. Plus, as my children discover these stories for themselves, I can see their imaginations just EXPLODE.
IMAGINATION. It must be the best part of being a kid…
I was recently browsing through the Children’s Museum website when, lo and behold, I discovered a new program this summer: Classic Movie Nights. The festivities begin this coming weekend with a screening of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I recently had a chance to interview Emily Simons, Arts and Programs Manager at the Museum, about Classic Movie Nights and here’s what she had to say:
What is Classic Movie Night?
Classic Movie Night is a chance for folks of all ages to visit the Children’s Museum after hours and enjoy iconic family films for a reasonable price. With special additional programming from Pittsburgh Filmmakers and dinner and snacks for sale, each of our three summer movies is a complete, fun, and affordable evening out for the whole family.
What movies will you be showing?
The first movie in the series will be “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” this Saturday. On August 9th, we will be showing Mary Poppins and on September 7th, we will be showing The Dark Crystal. Depending on how this initial summer series goes, we would love to continue screening family films, vintage cartoons, animated features, etc. Please send your suggestions for our next films to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much does Classic Movie Night cost?
You shouldn’t have to break the bank to have quality family time! Tickets are only $2 in advance (https://shop.pittsburghkids.org/e-commerce), $3 at the door and FREE with Museum admission (Just show your wristband on the day of the movie for a free ticket). The Children’s Museum also has $1 admission/person with an EBT card everyday, and with admission you can stay for the movies.
What time does the movie start?
The Museum exhibits close at 5pm. From 5-5:30, guests can purchase dinner, popcorn, and drinks in the Big Red Room Cafe. Also, our friends and collaborators from the Pittsburgh Filmmakers will be in the Theater at this time, giving a hands-on presentation about film: what it is, how it works, and the difference between film and digital media. Everyone will be able to touch real film and take a small piece of it home. Filmmakers will also be screening some short films from their Youth Media program, demonstrating how kids can get involved in the film production process. The feature presentation starts at 5:30pm.
Are children encouraged to be cozy for the event?
We love it when folks make themselves at home here. if that means footie pajamas or slippers, we say, bring it on! We have theater seating for adults and a large carpeted area reserved for the cozy, sleeping bag crew. The Theater (and the entire Museum) is also fully wheelchair accessible.
Why did you decide to start this program?
Movies are such a wonderful, immersive way to experience stories, meet lovable and despicable characters, and learn important lessons. Plus, seeing them on the big screen is a magical and enthralling experience for young children. We specifically chose movies that are iconic, quality, and quirky. Many of us grew up watching these films and now we want to share them with the children in our lives!
I must say, I am consistently impressed by the brilliance of the Children’s Museum and its programming. “Classic Movie Nights” is no exception. The series promises to be fun, educational, and affordable way for families to share some QT. Plus, it represents a very promising collaboration between the Museum and one of the city’s many creative assets, the Pittsburgh Filmmakers. I personally love these sorts of collaborations because it implies something really great: the city’s organizations are finding innovative ways to work together in order to enrich our children’s lives. I’m all for that!