Area students received a history lesson from the silver screen at the Reg Lenna Civic Center on Friday morning.
Students and teachers representing Jamestown High School and the Randolph Central School district witnessed a morning showing of Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."
Approximately 400 students filed in for the 8:30 a.m. screening, which lasted for slightly more than two hours. According to Mike Tuccio, a social studies teacher at JHS, his students were looking forward to watching the film.
Students file out of the Reg Lenna Civic Center after a special morning screening of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” on Friday. Pictured at left is Lynn Warner, box office manager at the Reg Lenna.
P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti
"It's a great opportunity for our U.S. history classes and our (government and economics) classes," he said. "We don't get to do this kind of thing very often. It's a great film about a topic that they're studying, and we're here at 8:30 in the morning (to see it). How can you beat it?"
As indicated by the title, "Lincoln" is a biographical film about Abraham Lincoln. It is set during the final four months of Lincoln's life, and depicts the ending of the U.S. Civil War and the ratification process of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which called for the abolition of slavery.
The special screening was organized by a collaborative effort between Len Barry, program coordinator for the Arts Council of Chautauqua County, and Lynn Warner, box office manager at the Reg Lenna. According to Barry, holding special film screenings for students is something of which the Arts Council likes to take advantage.
"We were looking at (the schedule) for this weekend, and we thought it would be a good opportunity to get a school group here and give them the content," said Barry. "If (a film) ties in with history or a book (the students) have read, we like to use it. So when we're in the midst of a school year, we look at the schedule coming up to see if there's a tie-in we can do with the schools. We (contact) the history teachers (to garner interest) and then put the press release out to other schools. We didn't think we'd have a big turnout (because) it's tough to get a field trip going for schools other than Jamestown but we thought we'd give it a try. We made sure we could cover the cost, and we just went from there."
According to Barry, a similar event took place during the previous school year, when students from Falconer, Jamestown and Sherman visited the Reg Lenna for a showing of "The Hunger Games." Barry said that student screenings are something that he would consider again.
"We'd like to continue to do this," he said. "We don't have the next set of movies (planned) yet, but we're keeping our eyes open."
The Reg Lenna held an evening showing of "Lincoln" on Friday, and will host another showing today at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for members of Jamestown Community College's faculty student association with identification and $5 for high school and school age students who can display a school ID card.