New films added to 1891 Fredonia Opera House Screening Room

Submitted Photos “Stray” and “All at Sea” are among the films available to stream through the Fredonia Opera House.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center has launched its latest round of films that can be streamed in the Opera House Screening Room. In addition, an illustrated lecture by JCC Associate Professor Traci Langworthy about two area women involved in the Suffrage Movement is available for free streaming.

The Opera House Screening Room provides movies and other digital programming to its patrons in the wake of the continued COVID restrictions which have prevented 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. The latest new films include: Stray, Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman, All at Sea and Brooklyn Castle. Also available is Langworthy’s lecture, For The Vote: Two Profiles in Woman’s Courage. All programs in this round can be streamed through March 19.

Through the eyes of three stray dogs wandering the streets of Istanbul, Stray explores what it means to live as a being without status or security. As they search for food and shelter, Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal embark on inconspicuous journeys through Turkish society that allow us an unvarnished portrait of human life – and their own canine culture. The disparate lives of Zeytin, Nazar and Kartal intersect when they each form intimate bonds with a group of young Syrians who share the streets with them.

The rise, fall and resurrection of the father of the American Arts and Crafts movement is chronicled in the new documentary Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman. The film offers an unprecedented look at the life and works of Stickley as told through interviews, archival materials, and a close examination of his most iconic works. It traces the development and evolution of his unique style, as well as the creation of his diverse businesses including the Craftsman Magazine, Craftsman Farms and his ground-breaking Manhattan store. It also details the eventual loss of his businesses – and, after several decades, the rebirth and recognition of the movement he inspired.

Submitted Photos “Stray” and “All at Sea” are among the films available to stream through the Fredonia Opera House.

In All at Sea, which has been called akin to “oldies-behaving-badly films like Waking Ned Devine,” retired sailor Wally and his best friend Skipper are residents of a care home in Norway, controlled by Administrator Ms. Reimark. When Skipper dies, Wally vows to honor his promise to bury his comrade at sea. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a coffin, boat or anyone to conduct the service. Unperturbed, Wally gathers together fellow residents May (Lauren Bacall), George and Nina, who all embark on a madcap adventure to carry out the burial before Ms. Reimark puts an end to his daredevil scheme.

Brooklyn Castle tells the stories of five members of the chess team at a below-the-poverty-line, inner city junior high school that has won more national championships than any other in the country. The film follows the challenges these kids face in their personal lives as well as on the chessboard, and is as much about the sting of their losses as it is about the anticipation of their victories. Ironically, the biggest obstacle thrust upon them arises not from other competitors but from recessionary budget cuts to all the extracurricular activities at their school. The film shows how these kids’ dedication to chess magnifies their belief in what is possible for their lives. After all, if they can master the world’s most difficult game, what can’t they do?

Langworthy’s For The Vote: Two Profiles in Woman’s Courage tells of Dunkirk’s Elnora Babcock and Jamestown’s Edith Ainge and the role each played in the long-fought battle for women’s right to vote. It represents a continuation of the Chautauqua County History Lecture Series and can be streamed for free, although donations are accepted.

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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