JAMESTOWN - The Robert H. Jackson Center will host two Jackie Robinson films this month in cooperation with Prendergast Library and the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame through the generous funding of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
"The Jackie Robinson Story" will be screened at 7 p.m. Thursday. This 1950 baseball biopic stars Jackie Robinson himself and traces his career from his college days as a track star at Pasadena College and as UCLA's All-Sports record holder.
After serving in the Army, Robinson played in the Negro Baseball League. In 1946, he was invited to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers farm team in Montreal. The next year, he was promoted to the Brooklyn lineup. He became an outstanding player, and slowly the ban on black players vanished in the big leagues.
"42," a 2013 release, will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23. It tells the story of both Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey, Brooklyn Dodgers general manager who broke Major League Baseball's color line by signing Robinson to the team. It shows the racist responses the men faced from the public, press and players and the courage and restraint they demonstrated in paving the way for other black athletes to follow.
The Jackson Center is located at 305 E. Fourth St., Jamestown. Both films are free and open to the public. For information, call the library at 484-7135.
The films offer a run-up to an appearance in Jamestown by Jackie's daughter, Sharon Robinson, who was born shortly before Jackie began working on the first film and flew to Hollywood with her mother to be with him on the set.
Sharon Robinson will speak at the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet Monday, Feb. 17, at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club, where a hospitality session is planned for 5 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m.
Official ticket distribution sites are Fredonia Food Mart, Temple Street, Fredonia; Calarco's Restaurant, Market Street, Westfield; and Jamestown Cycle Shop, Harrison Street, and the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, Third Street, both in Jamestown. Tickets can also be ordered by calling Chip Johnson at 485-6991. The price per ticket is $50, with a $5 discount for CSHOF members.