Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council member Judy Horton sells tickets last Saturday to the first movie shown at the historic Roxy Theatre since 1976. Photo by Kellie Singleton.
Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council member Judy Horton sells tickets last Saturday to the first movie shown at the historic Roxy Theatre since 1976. Photo by Kellie Singleton.

Archived Story

More movies planned at Roxy

Published 1:24pm Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The historic Roxy Theatre in downtown Russellville opened its doors on Aug. 15, not to host a typical concert or recital, but to actually show a feature-length movie for the first time since 1976.

Crowds of people filed into the theater that afternoon to see “Elvis on Tour”, which is a musical documentary about the King of Rock and Roll.

Showing a feature-length movie is major milestone that members of the Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council have been working toward for many years, and council member Wanda Myrick said last Saturday’s event was the beginning of what they hoped would be a monthly tradition at the Roxy Theatre.

“Being able to show a movie at the Roxy for the first time in more than 40 years was a very special thing for us and something all of us on the council were excited about,” Myrick said.

“We put the event together quickly so that we could do it in conjunction with the Watermelon Festival, so considering the short notice, we had a good turnout.

“We are already planning and finalizing plans for movies that will be shown at the theater in the next two months, so we are getting excited about that as well.”

Standing in the lobby before the movie began, Myrick said she was able to speak with several people who had special ties to the Roxy who were glad to hear that movies would be shown there once again.

“Once couple told me that their very first date was going to see a movie at the Roxy,” Myrick said.

“Another couple told me they were here for the last movie ever shown here in 1976 and that it was special for them to get to be here for this new milestone.

“Hearing these kinds of comments just reaffirms that all the hard work that went into making the Roxy a place where movies could be shown once again was well worth it.

“As people were leaving, you could just see how much they loved it and how excited they were. It was a rewarding thing for me to see that kind of excitement.”

Another aspect that Myrick said was rewarding was the fact that a whole new generation of people will finally be introduced to seeing movies at the historic theater.

“Since the last movie was shown here in 1976, there is a whole new generation of people who don’t know what it’s like to be able to see a movie right here locally,” she said.

“I have so many wonderful memories from when I was growing up that include my visits to the Roxy Theatre, and I’m glad there are kids and young adults today that will now be able to share those same kinds of memories.”

Council members said that the movie for

Myrick said everyone on the council has worked hard to make this a reality, as well as performers such as The KGB and Ronnie McDowell who have held multiple benefit concerts to raise money for the theater’s ongoing restoration, and local businesses and individuals who have made generous donations.

“This has been a community effort,” she said.

“We appreciate each person who has supported the Roxy over the years, and we are looking forward to all the ways the Roxy can be a continued asset in the community for years to come.”

Myrick said September’s movie has already been set and she believes it will draw a big crowd.

“This September will be the 65th anniversary of the opening of the Roxy, and to honor that anniversary, we will be showing the popular documentary ‘Muscle Shoals’,” she said.

‘Muscle Shoals’ will be shown on Saturday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. Tickets will be $5 at the door.

Myrick said they are also working on plans for October’s movie as well.

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