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New films added to Opera House Screening Room

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center recently launched the third round of films that can be streamed in the Opera House Screening Room.

The Opera House Screening Room provides movies and other digital programming to its patrons in the wake of the continued COVID restrictions which prevent the theater from opening. The cost of streaming the films ranges from $4.99 to $12 per household, depending on the film. The revenue generated is shared by the Opera House and the film studios. “Since we are unable to reopen yet, this is one way of providing our patrons with access to programming, and of generating income for the Opera House to help ensure its survival,” says Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis.

Every two weeks, a new batch of films is offered; each batch is launched on Friday. In addition, four new films are included: The Fan Connection, Food Club, Heartworn Highways and M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity. All the films in this round can be streamed through Feb 25.

In the Rust Belt city of Buffalo, NY, frustration is at an all-time high after decades of decline and broken promises. Not seeing a path to renewal for their city in the politicians or corporations who have let them down for decades, the beleaguered yet loyal citizens turn to their professional hockey team for relevance, not just for their city, but for themselves. The Fan Connection is a deeply personal fly-on-the-wall look at the lives of die-hard fans over a hockey season. Ultimately it is a heart-warming story of what it means to be a fan, identifying with a city, and the power of ordinary citizens to affect change.

In Food Club, three lifelong friends take a leap to change the course of their lives. Marie recently found herself abandoned on Christmas Eve by her husband and has been falling apart ever since. Berling has been the eternal “bachelorette” who outwardly denies her age and lives the sweet life, which all seems perfect until we find out about her complicated relationship with her daughter. Vanja is still living in the past and has never been able to move on from her late husband. When the three travel to Italy together to attend a cooking course in Puglia, they each find the opportunity to redefine themselves and acknowledge that the most important thing in life is their friendship and that it’s never too late to live a more fulfilling life.

Heartworn Highways is a documentary produced in the mid-1970s that profiled the then-nascent country music movement that would become known as “outlaw country.” Inspired, in part, by newly-long-haired Willie Nelson’s embrace of hippie attitudes and audiences, a younger generation of artists including Townes Van Zandt, David Alan Coe, Steve Earle and Guy Clark popularized and developed the outlaw sound. It borrowed from rock, folk and bluegrass, with an edge that was missing from mainstream Nashville country. This newly-restored documentary includes rarely-captured performances of the aforementioned musicians as they perfected this then-new style and helped change the course of country music history.

M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity is the story of world famous Dutch graphic artist M.C Escher (1898 – 1972). Equal parts history, psychology, and psychedelia, Robin Lutz’s entertaining, eye – opening portrait gives us the man through his own words and images: diary musings, excerpts from lectures, correspondence and more are voiced by British actor Stephen Fry, while Escher’s woodcuts, lithographs, and other print works appear in both original and playfully altered form.

The Opera House Screening Room is found on the Opera House web site at www.fredopera.org. Links for each film take the patron to third-party studio sites for ticket purchase. Tickets are per household.

Patrons are able to view the films on nearly any mobile device, smart TV, laptop or computer.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. Currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, the theatre is offering a variety of digital program offerings to continue its mission of “present the performing arts for the benefit of our community and region … and providing access to artistic diversity … and high quality programming at an affordable price.”

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