50th Anniversary Screening Set for Kubrick’s Masterpiece ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the film release of Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey.”  The visionary work changed the way the world thought about science, science fiction, artificial intelligence, and our origins and destiny in the universe.  In recognition of this cinematic achievement, the Wheeling Film Society will host a free screening of the film at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre.

A conversation about the film takes place at noon Tuesday, April 24, at the Ohio County Public Library as part of the Lunch with Books program.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Considered one of the greatest films ever made, “2001” pushed the limits of narrative and special effects and is a riveting meditation on space, humanity and the mysteries of the universe. In the film, Dr. David Bowman and other astronauts are sent on a mysterious mission that is disrupted when the ship’s computer system, HAL, begins to act strangely, resulting in a consuming conflict between man and machine.

The Wheeling Film Society exists to provide the opportunity to see cinema classics as they were intended, on the big screen. Kubrick’s mind-blowing epic fits the bill perfectly. With its Homeric allusions and spectacular special effects, it begs to be seen on the big screen. Likewise, the film’s message lends itself to engaging conversation. As technology continues to play an increasingly prevalent role in everyday life and we struggle with its moral implications, “2001: A Space Odyssey” is even more relevant today.

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Oglebay Institute, Wheeling Jesuit University and the Ohio County Public partnered to form the Wheeling Film Society. WFS events bring movie buffs together to watch and discuss classic films.

A special addition to this year’s Wheeling Film Society lineup is the option to have dinner in Towngate’s social room prior to the film screenings.

Dinners will be served promptly at 6:30 p.m. before each Wheeling Film Society screening. The cost for dinner is $15 and includes all food, soft drinks, coffee, tea, water and a box of popcorn to enjoy during the film. Beer and wine are available for purchase.

Reservations for dinner must be made by 5 p.m. Wednesday prior to the screening at oionline.com or by calling 304-242-7700. You don’t need to make reservations for the film.

Govinda’s Indian Restaurant provides the food for the April 20 dinner and a movie and has created a special 2001-themed menu for the event. Menu features: Hal’s Strawberry Halavah, made with semolina, strawberries, butter and sugar; Bowman’s Palak Panir, cooked spinach with soft-textured pressed cheese; Dr. Ralph’s Rice; Daisy Bell Mango Shake made with mango, yogurt and H20; Kubrick’s Kachories, a deep fried stuffed savory pastry; and Clarke’s Gulabjamin’s, milk fudge balls in scented syrup.

As a single screen cinema, Towngate shows a variety of films on select weekends throughout the year including classic movies, independent films, thought-provoking documentaries and film shorts by local and regional filmmakers.

For more information on Towngate Theatre, visit oionline.com or call 304-242-7700.