Film Society Offers Free Screening of Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’ at Towngate

“Rear Window,” Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic 1954 suspenseful thriller starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly, will be shown on the big screen Friday, April 12, at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre in Wheeling.

The screening is part of the Wheeling Film Society’s seventh season of showing and discussing classic Hollywood films. Oglebay Institute, Wheeling Jesuit University and the Ohio County Public partnered to form the Wheeling Film Society.

“Rear Window” will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Moviegoers have the option to have dinner in the The Gallery at Towngate prior to the screening. A conversation about the film, led by John Whitehead, takes place at noon on Tuesday, April 16, at the Ohio County Public Library.

The film screening and discussion are free. There is a fee for those choosing the dinner option.

Considered by many filmgoers, critics and scholars to be one of Hitchcock’s finest and one of the greatest films ever made, “Rear Window” received four Academy Award nominations and was ranked No. 42 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years … 100 Movies list. In 1997, it was added to the United States National Film Registry in the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

“Rear Window” finds photojournalist L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart) wheelchair-bound with a broken leg and confined to his tiny, sweltering courtyard apartment. To pass the time between visits from his nurse (Thelma Ritter) and his fashion model girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly), the binocular-wielding Jeffries stares through the rear window of his apartment at the goings-on in the other apartments around his courtyard.

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As he watches his neighbors, he assigns them such roles and character names as “Miss Torso” (Georgine Darcy), a professional dancer with a healthy social life or “Miss Lonelyhearts” (Judith Evelyn), a middle-aged woman who entertains nonexistent gentlemen callers. Of particular interest is a seemingly mild-mannered traveling salesman Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), who is saddled with a nagging wife. One afternoon, Thorwald pulls down his window shade and his wife’s incessant shouting comes to a sudden halt. Out of boredom, Jeffries casually concocts a scenario in which Thorwald has murdered his wife and disposed of the body in gruesome fashion. Trouble is, Jeffries’ musings just might happen to be the truth.


With advance reservations, moviegoers can enjoy a buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. in The Gallery at Towngate. After dinner, guests head upstairs for the free movie at 7:30 p.m. The cost for dinner is $20 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. Dinner guests can also reserve their seat for the film prior to the screening.

Ye Olde Alpha provides the food for the April 12 dinner and a movie. Menu includes: London broil, grilled monkfish with lobster sauce, roasted brussels sprouts, parsley potatoes, iceberg wedge with crumbled blue cheese and bacon, mixed green salad, bread and honey butter.

Reservations for the dinner must be made by 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, and can be made at or by calling 304-242-7700.

Guests can also view latest exhibit in The Gallery at Towngate, featuring the work of photographer Gary Zearott and developed as part of Wheeling’s citywide 250 Celebration. Zearott specializes in aerial, panoramic and arts photography, capturing the architectural and natural beauty of Wheeling and the Upper Ohio Valley.