Keene State College’s own Putnam Theatre is taking the whole month of February to showcase movies celebrating Black History Month.
The president of the KSC film society and programmer of the Putnam Natalie Rees said, “This is the first time we’ve ever done this and I’m really excited about the prospects. I think that it will bring in a lot of people to hopefully encourage an open dialogue and foster a sense of community.”
This weekend, the Putnam kicked off the series with “Moonlight,” a Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated film, which is one of the many renowned films they will be showing throughout the month, such as “Pariah,” “Killer of Sheep,” “Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One,” “The Black Power Mixtape” and “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise.”
The movies selected, according to Rees, were chosen to bring in more than just film studies students and to get more students to come to the Putnam.
In addition to the independent films on the lineup, there are also a few mainstream movies that have won or been nominated for awards.
Chief Officer of Diversity and Multiculturalism Dottie Morris said, “They did a good job picking movies that are entertaining, but also provoke thought.”
“When you look at the lineup of films, both feature length films, dramas and documentaries, I think it’s a good mix.”
The Putnam has been trying to make it easy for students to come see the films. Student tickets are only $2 and general admission is only $5.
As Morris said, “How can you pass up such a reasonable price to see a movie?” With big names like “Straight Outta Compton” and “Selma,” the deals are better than the nearly $10 you pay for tickets at other movie theaters.
The Putnam also is showing free documentaries every Thursday night for students and community members to enjoy, like “Do the Right Thing” and “Tongues United.”
There are posters all around campus with the movies and the times they are showing. Most movies are at night, but the Putnam is offering matinees on Saturdays and Sundays.
Keene residents and authors Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace, who were at the first night of the series, said, “The lineup is a really strong mix of iconic movies, some classics and academy award winning feature length films. We saw the lineup and it was really great and we plan on being here for many of the films”.
Most movies are playing several nights and the series is until the end of February, so there are plenty of opportunities to catch a film if you wanted to.
Hopefully, the movies help to foster a larger conversation about Black History Month and what it means to KSC students.
At the end of the day, the Putnam is capturing exactly what Black History Month is about, the celebration of history and heritage of a group of people.
Rees said she was concerned that many students who are not film majors don’t really know where the theatre is.
The best directions anyone could give all night was to the left of the heart statue outside of the Redfern and underneath the stairs before the pond.
Alyssa Salerno can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org