Anonymous Gift Assists In Movie Experience at Keith-Albee

by Angela Jones, Marshall Artists Series
The Keith-Albee Theater, circa 1973.
The Keith-Albee Theater, circa 1973.

Huntington -  Thanks to an anonymous donor, the Marshall Artists Series will invest in a state-of-the-art projector and cinema surround sound system to expand its program offerings.

The equipment is scheduled for installation at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center next week. Many MAS patrons have indicated that seeing films at the Keith-Albee is special to them, said Penny Watkins, MAS executive director, and an enhanced system will be a new and exciting experience.

“We were thrilled to receive funding for an upgrade to the outdated equipment at the Keith-Albee and are looking forward to a new and improved film experience for our patrons," Watkins said.

“This opens up many new educational opportunities for the Marshall Artists Series and the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center."

Throughout its 84-year history, MAS has been presenting art house and foreign language films as part of its programs.  The inaugural MAS showing in 1936 was a film, “Conquering the Antarctic,” which featured a lecture with Rear Admiral Richard Byrd. 

For many years, foreign language films were shown monthly at the Keith-Albee.  Recently, the Fall and Spring International Films Festivals have showcased multiple films per semester.

These films have been used as a part of Marshall's curriculum by professors, as well as MAS' educational outreach programs around the state. Through the educational outreach program, teachers are serviced with study guides that help students meet the state curriculum requirements.

MAS hopes to expand this type of programming for more educational opportunities.

“We are very fortunate to have the Marshall Artists Series providing professional arts and entertainment in our market,” said Sen. Robert Plymale(D-Wayne), chairman of the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center.

“With this new equipment we can feature new film programming, provide enhanced educational opportunities for our youth all while continuing to serve as an asset to our community.”

This project was made possible in part by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act through the West Virginia Humanities Council.