Classic Films (For Free) Return to Towngate Sept. 15

“Singin’ in the Rain” at Towngate Sept. 15

(New Dinner Option Available Prior to the Film!)

The Wheeling Film Society opens its new season of free classic film screenings with “Singin’ in the Rain,” one of the most beloved and influential musicals in Hollywood history.  It will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 15 at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre.  A conversation about the film takes place at noon Tuesday, September 19 at the Ohio County Public Library.

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.

“Singin’ in the Rain” turns 65 this year, but it is nowhere near “retirement.”  Gene Kelly began making this film a mere six months after finishing “An American in Paris.” The reverberations of those landmark years in Kelly’s career were still vibrating in Damien Chazelle’s 2016 Oscar winner, “La La Land.”

“Singin’ in the Rain” would be noteworthy of discussion simply for its iconic routines, including the long surrealist “Broadway Ballet,” Donald O’Connor’s chiropractor-defying “Make ‘em Laugh,” and the title sequence, featuring a man and his (mostly useless) umbrella.  An added dimension of this film is its wonderful glimpse into Hollywood’s own past, a celebration of silent, talking, and SINGING pictures.

Dinner and a Movie!

With advance reservations, moviegoers can enjoy a buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. in Towngate’s social room. After dinner, guests head upstairs for the free movie at 7:30 p.m.   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.

Popular Wheeling eatery Ye Olde Alpha provides the food for the September 15 “dinner and a movie.”  The menu includes a Greek feast of lemon chicken and Greek pork shanks along with green beans, Greek rice and Greek salad.

Reservations for the dinner must be made by 5 p.m. the Wednesday prior to the screening.  Reserve online or call 304-242-7700.

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.  All screenings and discussions are free and open to the public.

2017-18 Wheeling Film Society Screenings & Discussions:

“Singin’ in the Rain”
Starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, this 1952 American musical-comedy is considered one of the greatest and most successful musicals ever filmed.

Screening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 15, 2017  (Conversation about the film takes place at noon September 19 at the Ohio County Public Library)

“Annie Hall”
Woody Allen’s 1977 film invented a new genre, the “dramedy, while receiving multiple Oscar awards. Diane Keaton, in a role written specifically for her, won Best Actress for a woman finding herself during the era of women’s rights.

Screening at 7:30 p.m.  Friday, November 10 (Conversation about the film takes place at noon November 14 at the Ohio County Public Library.)

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 masterpiece stars Jimmy Stewart as a nice guy driven mad by longing for a lost woman.

Screening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 9, 2018 (Conversation about the film takes place at noon March 13 at the Ohio County Public Library.)

“2001: A Space Odyssey”
Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 mind-blowing epic pushed the limits of narrative and special effects toward a meditation on technology and humanity. It deals with the themes of existentialism, human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence and extraterrestrial life.

Screening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, 2018 (Conversation about the film takes place at noon April 24 at the Ohio County Public Library.)

About Towngate

A church-turned-theater, Towngate is located in Wheeling’s historic Centre Market District and is part of the nonprofit Oglebay Institute. Towngate offers entertainment almost every weekend.

“Most people think of community theater when they hear the name Towngate,” said OI director of performing arts Tim Thompson. “Yes, our theater season is a huge part of who we are, but we offer many other programs as well.”

In addition to main stage theater productions, Towngate also offers poetry and spoken word performances and children’s theater.  Towngate also features comedy and improv shows. Local and regional musicians perform concerts on the Towngate stage, and a variety of acting classes are offered year-round for all ages.

As a single screen cinema, Towngate shows a variety of films on select weekends throughout the year.

Thompson said film selections include classic films in conjunction with the WFS as well as independent films, thought-provoking documentaries and film shorts by local and regional filmmakers.

“Our movie selections encourage thought and conversation,” he explained. “Our regulars know we only show quality films. Sometimes, they show up for screenings without knowing the title of the film. They trust us that much.”

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