Four Can’t Miss Black History Month Events at The Grandin Theatre

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The Grandin Theatre.

In February for Black History Month, The Grandin Theatre Foundation, in partnership with Roanoke Public Libraries Foundation and other organizations, will be offering special programming to celebrate!

Beginning Feb. 1, the community will have access to four separate events that are built around celebrating Black culture in the arts.

Boomerang - 30th Anniversary (Free Admission)

On Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 7:00 p.m. in the main theatre, there will be a showing of 1992′s Boomerang, starring Eddie Murphy. The movie synopsis reads, “A successful executive and womanizer finds his lifestyle choices have turned back on him when his new female boss turns out to be an even bigger deviant than he is.”

This movie is rated R, so parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.

Reviews and articles about this movie applaud the movie’s ability to define what it means to be a Black Rom-Com, as well as how the movie “dared to depict reality.”

Writer Julian Kimble says, “Boomerang was a landmark moment for the expansion of Black cinema during the early 1990s. Its $42 million budget was the largest for any Black film at the time.”

Soul Session’s Renaissance: Our Voice, Our Moments (General Admission: $12 + tax)

On Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m., the theatre will host this open mic event. Soul Sessions is an open space for one to let their soul be free and their voice be heard through open mic poetry.

Soul Sessions Roanoke is excited to invite you to The Grandin Theatre to celebrate our tribute to the Harlem Renaissance as we celebrate Black History Month. Come join us for music, poetry, and dance with Renaissance: Our Voice, Our Moments.

The show will run until 10:00 p.m. and will have live music provided by Roscoe McFadden and his amazing jazz band. We will also have local and regional poets taking the stage. Buy your tickets early for this community event!

In the Heat of the Night (Free Admission)

On Saturday, Feb. 11 at 10:00 a.m., the main theatre will be showing the 1967 drama, In the Heat of the Night.

The movie follows the story of a black police detective in Philadelphia who is mistakenly suspected of a murder while passing through a racially hostile Mississippi town. After he’s cleared of the crime, the local police chief asks the detective to investigate.

The movie stars Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, and Warren Oates.

In the Heat of the Night shows the common racial stereotyping that Black people face while just out for a walk at night. While working to solve the murder, the movie also depicts what can happen when everyone works together.

The Wiz (Free Admission)

On Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7:00 p.m., the main theatre will be showing 1978′s The Wiz.

The movie musical is an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz that tries to capture the essence of the African-American experience. The movie stars Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor.

The cultural significance of The Wiz cannot go unmentioned.

Kent Gash, founding Director of NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ New Studio on Broadway, says, “In The Wiz, black artists, composers, lyricists, director, choreographer, orchestrator and others tell the timeless story of The Wizard of Oz. By doing so in vernacular black speech, rhythms, music and expression, the particularity of the black experience and the authority of the cultural voice in all its specificity transcends to become, universal. The lives of African Americans are explored and uplifted through the familiar story where a young girl with a strong sense of home is transformed by the black community of Oz and, in turn, she transforms them. Dorothy discovers just how beautiful and rich a gift it is to be black. In the 1970s this had not been seen in quite this way before. [More than] 40 years later, it remains a rarity.”

All four shows at The Grandin Theatre will uplift and celebrate what it means to be Black, in the past and into the future.

For information on all events at the theatre, visit The Grandin Theatre website.

The Grandin Theatre Foundation - 91st Anniversary, 1932-2023.