I’ve said it before—2012 has seen a lot of changes in the heart of our city. But the most talked-about and the most successful has to have been the new Downtown Friday Nights series, featuring live music and movies in the Main Street area. The concert series ended in September, but the fun continues!
Downtown Friday Nights Classic Movies at the Sumter Opera House has some great films coming up this holiday season. November 9 features My Fair Lady, the 1964 adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe stage play. Based upon George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, it follows the adventures of Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) and flower girl Eliza Doolittle (the legendary Audrey Hepburn—who, by the way, took speech lessons herself in the late 1940s after she relocated to England from the Netherlands) as Higgins takes a bet that he can transform her from a Cockney street urchin into (seemingly) a lady of society. Featuring unforgettable musical numbers like “I Could Have Danced All Night,” the multi-Oscar winning romp through high—and low—society has found a place on numerous lists of all-time best movies. And after you’ve seen (and enjoyed) it, I challenge you to make it all the way home without murmuring, “the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain,” just to see how your accent compares with the people you know!
Finishing the 2012 calendar is the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol. As much as I loved George C. Scott in the made-for-TV version of this holiday classic, the 1951 film (originally entitled Scrooge, starring the Scottish actor Alastair Sim, may well be the definitive take on the transformation of the crotchety miser. His disbelief and fear during the ghostly visitations are almost contagious, and his heartfelt joy in his own transformation is a delight (as is the look on Bob Cratchit’s face!).
At $2.50 per person, admission to Classic Movies is an unbeatable deal (refreshments are also available for sale). Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; the films begin at 7 (and you don’t want to miss the vintage cartoon reels at the beginning). Proceeds benefit the Sumter County Library’s children’s programs. For more info, please call (803) 436-2640 or see the online Opera House Events Calendar. The Sumter Opera House is located at 21 N. Main Street.
So why not head downtown to Sumter’s opulent historic theatre and see these films in the glory that they were meant for? The rain in Spain may stay in the plain, but in Sumter, the entertainment falls on Main!