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University and Athena Cinema to host special family movies for charity

Movies begin Nov. 24

Enjoying classic movies together is a cherished holiday tradition for many families. Now a new program is making it possible for them to enjoy some of their favorites on the big screen and at the same time assist other families in the community who may be struggling during the holiday season.

Starting Nov. 24 and running through Dec. 22, Ohio University, through its Athena Cinema of the College of Fine Arts, is partnering with Athens food pantries to help stamp out food insecurity.

The Athena Cinema will be showing afternoon screenings of popular family films every Saturday at 3 p.m. The first event on Nov. 24 is a screening of the film "E.T." Other titles will include "Elf" on Dec. 1, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on Dec.8, "The Polar Express" on Dec. 15 and "A Christmas Story" on Dec. 22.

The screenings are one-time only events and there will be a limited number of tickets available.

"Movies are a great way to bring families together during the holiday season," said Donna Goss, Ohio University's director of real estate management, community engagement and economic development. "The University is delighted to sponsor this initiative that offers family-friendly entertainment while supporting our local emergency food assistance network."

To benefit area families in need, the price of admission to these screenings will be a minimum donation of one canned food per ticket. The food items will be donated to Athens city food pantries and other hunger relief programs.

Tickets will be available one week before each scheduled screening. Donations may be dropped off during regular Athena lobby hours. At the time of the donation, ticket redemption will be given. The Athena Cinema lobby is open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit www.athenacinema.com.

The purpose of this initiative is to give back to families in need, provide an affordable uptown entertainment option and increase traffic to area businesses.