Schedule of Events:
6:00–7:00: Open house at the Athena: champagne and cake
700–7:45: Under the Elms Concert at Wilhelm Amphitheater: “Athena Cinema at 100: A Musical Celebration”
8:00: Mary Pickford’s CINDERELLA: Featuring a live performance by acclaimed musician Derek DiCenzo. Admission is 5¢ for children and 10¢ for adults.
On June 3, 2015, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Athena Cinema, the theater will host a free, community open house from 6:00-7:00 p.m. As a nod to Athens’ robust local food options, the event will feature cake from several area bakeries and restaurants including Casa Nueva, Purple Chopstix and Fluff and complimentary champagne.
Guests are then encouraged to walk down Court Street to the Wilhelm Amphitheater in front of Scripps Hall for the OHIO School of Music’s popular “Under the Elms Concert Series” event. The free concert titled, “Athena Cinema at 100: A Musical Celebration” pays homage to movies, vaudeville and the year 1915. (The 2015 concert series has moved to the Amphitheater due to construction on OHIO’s College Green).
Guests return to the Athena Cinema for the 8 pm screening of Cinderella. The rare screening of this silent era gem will feature a live performance by musician Derek DiCenzo. This is a one-time only event and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Posters and t-shirts commemorating this once-in-a-lifetime event and memberships to the Athena Cinema will be available for purchase at the event.
The Athena has undergone some changes over the years, but the heart of the theater has always been the same: playing your favorite films.
Below are some newspaper clippings from our early years, enjoy!
Selected excerpts from a newspaper clipping about the opening of the Athena Cinema, then called the “Majestic”:
Athens new photo-play theatre, the Majestic will open its doors tomorrow (Thursday) evening and offers for your approval, an exceptionally high class bill. The feature of the evening will be Mary Pickford in the sweet story of Cinderella.
It can be said of the Majestic theatre that it will not only be Majestic in name, but also in high class photo-plays presented, in safety, sanitation, comfort, courtesy and service rendered. In regard to safety, every precaution has been taken to protect the public. The building is practically fire-proof … Patrons of the Majestic will no doubt appreciate this fact.
The sanitation of the theatre is almost absolutely perfect. An expensive plant has been purchased which will perfectly heat and cool the auditorium. The management invites your inspection of the building. You will find among the new features in heating and ventilating appliances, twenty mushroom heaters attached to the floor directly under the seats.
The very instant you are seated you will be agreeably surprised that your knees do not touch the seat in front of you, and there is also plenty of elbow room on each side of you. In other words, while looking at the best motion pictures possible; breathing pure air, being protected with “safety first” fire appliances and sitting in a really comfortable opera chair, you are enjoying life.
The management predict that Majestic courtesy and service rendered will be superb; they are quite positive about this.
The home of this new “Majestic” theatre would certainly be a credit to any of the larger cities and all Athens residents can point to their new play house with pride.
The Athena has had a rich, colorful history, experienced by thousands of patrons throughout the years. Share your favorite Athena memory here, and check out some of our favorite submissions below.