Free movies at Playhouse Square later this month

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Foundation today announced its August centennial gift to the community -- Cleveland Foundation Weekend at Cinema at the Square -- which recognizes the key role the foundation has played in saving and sustaining Playhouse Square.

The gift will make available more than 13,000 free tickets to five classic films being shown Thursday, Aug. 21, through Sunday, Aug. 24. This will be the first free weekend in the 17-year history of Playhouse Square's Cinema at the Square event, which is being held at the Connor Palace Aug. 7-24.

Tickets are required for the movie screenings. The public will be able to reserve up to six tickets per household per movie starting at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 8, online or by calling Playhouse Square's ticket office at (216) 241-6000.The schedule for Cleveland Foundation Weekend at Cinema at the Square is:

  • Thursday, Aug. 21 at 7:30 p.m. -- "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark"
  • Friday, Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. -- "The Karate Kid"
  • Saturday, Aug. 23 at 3 p.m. -- "The Sound of Music"
  • Saturday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. -- "Singin' in the Rain"
  • Sunday, Aug. 24 at 2 p.m. -- "The Muppets Take Manhattan"

"As we reflect on our history of impact in our community, we are especially proud of the role we played in helping to save the Playhouse Square theaters," said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation. "Today, it's difficult to imagine our city without Playhouse Square. We hope our gift opens the doors to Greater Cleveland families who have never before enjoyed a show at this grand performing arts center."

Playhouse Square was primarily a movie theater venue in the early years after it was established in 1922. Today, it's the largest performing arts center in the country outside New York.

The Cleveland Foundation has provided nearly $20 million to support this vibrant theater district throughout the past four decades. This investment includes funds to help preserve and consolidate theater properties, renovate the theaters and support innovative community programming.

"Given the Cleveland Foundation's consistent and significant support of Playhouse Square from our very beginning, we are thrilled to be chosen as one of its centennial gift partners," said Art J. Falco, president and CEO of Playhouse Square. "Playhouse Square would not be what it is today without the long-term support of the foundation. Through this gift, we look forward to welcoming thousands of Greater Clevelanders into the Connor Palace to step back in time and enjoy some classic films with their families."

In celebration of the foundation's centennial, Playhouse Square is helping make Cleveland Foundation Weekend at Cinema at the Square special by rolling out the red carpet for movie-goers -- literally. Guests will enter the Connor Palace by walking the red carpet and posing for photos, which will be displayed on the big screen -- the largest non-IMAX screen in Ohio -- during pre-film programming.

In addition, one hour before each film's start time, audiences will be invited to participate in a sing-along of favorite movie songs. Guests will also be encouraged to dress in costumes reflecting characters from each respective movie. Those in costume will be given the opportunity to participate in a pre-movie parade on the theater stage.

Playhouse Square is the 12th nonprofit organization the Cleveland Foundation has partnered with for its centennial gifts to the community. The gifts are meant to highlight organizations the foundation has played a role in establishing or enhancing throughout its 100-year history.


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