Run Forrest Run – CALS Ron Robinson screens FORREST GUMP tonight

Forrest Gump PosterNo word on whether there will be boxes of chocolates available at the concessions stand, but the CALS Ron Robinson Theater will be showing Oscar winner FORREST GUMP tonight.

The story follows the life of low I.Q. Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) and his meeting with the love of his life Jenny. The film chronicles his Zelig-like experiences with some of the most important people and events in America from the late 1950s through the 1970s including a meeting with Elvis Presley, JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, fighting in Vietnam, etc. The problem is, he doesn’t realize the significance of his actions. Forrest comes to embody a generation.

Others in the cast include Sally Field, Robin Wright, Gary Sinese, and Mykelti Williamson.  The movie was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won six including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hanks), Best Director (Robert Zemeckis), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Eric Roth).

The showing starts at 6:30pm. The cost is $5.00.

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Tonight at CALS Ron Robinson Theater – John Travolta in THE BOY IN THE PLASTIC BUBBLE

Image result for boy in the plastic bubbleAfter becoming the breakout of “Welcome Back, Kotter,” John Travolta’s first starring role was in the made-for-TV movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.  Tonight the CALS Ron Robinson Theater offers the chance to see this movie on the big screen.

It starred Travolta as a teen with immune deficiencies who has spent his life in a germ-free enclosed “bubble.” But after falling in love with the girl next door, he wants to get out of the bubble and experience life on the outside.

In addition to Travolta, the movie starred Glynnis O’Connor (who seemed to appear in every 1970s made-for-TV movie) as the girl next door, Robert Reed (in one of his first post-Mike Brady roles – but still playing a dad), and Diana Hyland. During the filming of the movie, Travolta and Hyland started dating. She was 18 years older than he and played his mom in the movie.

Others in the movie included Buzz Aldrin (as himself), Ralph Bellamy, Karen Morrow, Howard Platt, and John Megna (who had played Dill in the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird.)

The showing starts at 6:30pm. The cost is $5.00.

Spoken Word Performance finalists tonight in collaboration between CALS and ASO

Image may contain: textThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) have announced a collaboration in a spoken word performance event focused on themes of joy, unity and hope. Spoken word writers and artists from our local community submitted their original works on these themes last month, and will now perform their dramatic pieces in a preliminary event at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 11, 2019.

Tonight from 7pm to 9pm, adult and youth finalists will perform for a panel of judges and a live audience at the Ron Robinson Theater at Library Square in downtown Little Rock. At this event, performers will be selected to join the ASO on stage at Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9: Ode to Joy, February 23 & 24.

This event is open to the public: invite your friends to share an hour of joy as we hear the work of our local spoken-word artists!

For more information contact Tameka Lee at (501) 918-2048.

18 Cultural Events from 2018 – 60th Anniversary of Women’s Emergency Committee

Image result for the giants wore white glovesOn Sunday, September 16, 2018, the Clinton School of Public Service in conjunction with the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies screened the documentary “The Giants Wore White Gloves” at the Ron Robinson Theater.

The film tells the story of the Women’s Emergency Committee. It was shown on the 60th anniversary of the first meeting of that group.

“The Giants Wore White Gloves” tells the story of the women of Little Rock and their accomplishments during the Little Rock Desegregation Crisis.

The 1958 school year began with a vote to close four high schools in the city of Little Rock and once again avoid integration. A group of middle-class white women, faced with the prospect of no schools as well as the further loss of their city’s good name, turned militant. They quickly put together the Women’s Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools (WEC). Largely inexperienced in politics, these women became articulate, confident promoters of public schools and helped others understand that those schools must remain open.

Years later, these women are honored for their work in changing the course of civil rights history. With integrity, they withstood the challenges of the battle, and accomplished their goal of reopening the city high schools.

A few WEC members were in the audience for the film screening. Many children and grandchildren of WEC members were also in attendance as was filmmaker Sandy Hubbard.

Earlier in the day, a full-page ad ran in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette listing the membership of the WEC.  In 1998, the paper carried the first public listing of the names of WEC members. It was, in fact, the first time all the names had been compiled in one place.

18 Cultural Events from 2018 – CALS renames Ark. Studies Institute for Bobby Roberts

As the chronological countdown of 18 cultural events from 2018 starts —

In January it was announced that the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) had renamed the Arkansas Studies Institute (ASI) the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History and Art in honor of the former CALS executive director who served in the position for more than twenty years before retiring in 2016.

“Bobby established a new normal at CALS by creating new concepts of what the public library could offer the community and by constructing unique spaces to make the library more appealing and accessible to all sorts of groups with varied interests in learning, enrichment, and entertainment,” said Nate Coulter, CALS executive director. “The library’s primary purpose has always been to provide access to information, but Bobby transformed and expanded what it means to be a library by placing a particular emphasis on Arkansas history and culture.”

Since the early 1990s, CALS has undergone several changes and expansions, now consisting of fourteen library locations in Little Rock, Perryville, and throughout Pulaski County. The Main Library moved from its original location at 7th and Louisiana to its current home in the River Market District, which helped trigger the revitalization of downtown Little Rock. That Main Library is now the centerpiece of a campus that includes the Ron Robinson Theater, the Cox Creative Center, and the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History and Art (formerly ASI).

Roberts’s efforts in building striking library structures, in ecologically sustainable construction, and in adaptive reuse have been recognized by local, state, national, and international organizations. That includes the newly named Roberts Library. Opened in 2009, as the Arkansas Studies Institute, the structure houses the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, CALS’s Arkansas history department, and five galleries that feature art depicting the state or created by artists living in or from Arkansas.

“This complex of buildings certainly wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for Bobby Roberts. It is truly fitting for this edifice to be named in his honor,” said David Stricklin, director of the Butler Center.

Roberts’s special interests in Arkansas history and art and CALS’s long-held practice of collecting materials for the benefit of patrons interested in those topics helped inspire the conception of the ASI, which also houses the UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture. The university’s Arkansas-related documents and photographs were moved to the facility and are available for public use under an arrangement Roberts developed with former UA Little Rock Chancellor Joel Anderson. The building is also home to the Arkansas Humanities Council’s headquarters and classrooms and offices for the Clinton School of Public Service.

Later in the year, CALS rebranded its downtown campus of buildings as Library Square, unveiled a new website, and started a strategic planning process.

This afternoon – Arkansas Cinema Society presents free sneak preview of RGB biopic ON THE BASIS OF SEX

Before she was a Supreme Court Justice (and an action figure), Ruth Bader Ginsburg made history as a crusading young attorney.  This chapter of her life is the subject of the new movie ON THE BASIS OF SEX.

This afternoon (Dec 29) at 5pm, the Arkansas Cinema Society presents a free sneak preview of the film.  Doors to the Ron Robinson Theater open at 4:30.

Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer play gender-rights crusader Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband Marty in this early-career courtroom drama. Others in the cast include Justin Theroux, Jack Reynor, Cailee Spaeny, Sam Waterston, and Kathy Bates.  The movie was directed by Mimi Leder from a screenplay by Daniel Stiepleman.

Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion. It will feature UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law Dean Theresa Beiner; Professor Beth Levi, JD, of the Bowen School; Justice Annabelle Imber Tuck, retired member of the Arkansas Supreme Court; Judge Ellen Brantley, retired Pulaski County Circuit Court judge; and attorney Tijuana Byrd, who is president of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas board.  The panel will be moderated by Alison Williams, who serves as Chief of Staff to Governor Asa Hutchinson and is a member of the Arkansas Cinema Society Board.

GREMLINS is final entry in CALS “Not-Quite-Holiday” Film Fest

A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town. This is all a part of GREMLINS as it brings to a close the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) ”Not-Quite-Holiday” Film Fest.

(A scarier film of the same title would be a movie about the 1970s era AMC cars coming to life.)

Starring Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates, this 1984 film also features Hoyt Axton, Keye Luke, Polly Holliday and the voice of Howie Mandel. And because it was a 1980s teen movie, it features one of the Coreys — the Feldman variety.

GREMLINS starts at 6:30 pm at the Ron Robinson Theater, 100 Rock Street in Library Square.  Admission is $5. Tickets are available at ronrobinsontheater.org.

As part of the holiday film series, concessions at Ron Robinson Theater include an expanded hot drinks menu and gourmet candied popcorn options.

The Not-Quite-Holiday Film Fest is sponsored in part by The Point 94.1 and The Ride 106.7.