The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will round out its holiday season with three family movies on the big screen of the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater from Wednesday, Dec. 26, through Friday, Dec. 29, at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex, in Charleston. The films will begin at 2 p.m. each day, and are free and open to the public.
The Wednesday, Dec. 26, film is Babes in Toyland (1961, 106 minutes, Not Rated). The film is a happy excursion into the world of Mother Goose in Walt Disney’s first musical production featuring the music of Victor Herbert. All roads lead to magical, merry Toyland as Mary Contrary and Tom Piper prepare for their wedding. But the villainous Barnaby wants Mary for himself, so he kidnaps Tom, setting off a series of comic chases, searches, and double-crosses. The March of the Wooden Soldiers helps put Barnaby in his place, and ensures a “happily ever after” ending for Tom and Mary. It’s a joyful musical fantasy for the entire family starring Ray Bolger, Annette Funicello, Tommy Kirk, Tommy Sands and Ed Winn.
White Christmas (1954, 120 minutes, Not Rated) will be featured on Thursday, Dec. 27. This film is the holiday classic starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen and Dean Jagger. Upon leaving the Army after World War II, Crosby and Kaye team up to become a top song-and-dance act. Kaye plays matchmaker and introduces Crosby to a pair of beautiful sisters who also have a song-and-dance act. They all troop off to a remote Vermont lodge, the Pine Tree Inn, to perform a Christmas show, only to find that Crosby and Kaye’s former commander, General Waverly, is the lodge owner who is in financial straits because there is no snow and consequently very few patrons. A series of romantic mix-ups ensue as the performers try to help the General. The movie features the music of Irving Berlin.
The final film, The Muppet Christmas Carol, (1992, 85 minutes, Rated G) features Academy Award-winner Michael Caine as the stingy miser Ebenezer Scrooge who is about to get his Christmas goose cooked in good fashion by the inimitable Muppets in this fun-filled, musical film. Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and the entire cast of the Muppet universe come together to tell Charles Dickens’ immortal classic A Christmas Carol. The film was directed by Jim Henson’s son, Brian, two years after Jim died.
For more information about the holiday film series, call (304) 558-0162.
Visitors are invited to tour the Cultural Center to see all the exhibits. The Great Hall is decked out in holiday finery with three trees, wreaths, an antique sleigh filled with gifts and a dining room setting complete with a hearth. The wings off the Great Hall have the Real Opportunities Make People Productive (ROMPP) exhibit with art works by West Virginia artists who have disabilities. The Art Gallery features Toys from the Past which displays toys from the West Virginia State Museum collection, some dating back as far as 1840. The Lobby Gallery and the north wing of the Balcony Gallery have The Great Wall of China, by the Homer Laughlin China Company located in Newell, W.Va., as well as samples of Fiesta, Harlequin and other Homer Laughlin fine china selections. The south wing of the Balcony Gallery has the West Virginia’s First Ladies Doll Exhibit, which includes the recent addition of the Gayle Manchin doll created by Joanne Gelin, an elementary art teacher from Huntington. In addition, the Balcony Gallery is spotlighting selections from the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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