PRESS RELEASE: Theaters to Broadcast the Presidential Inauguration on the Big Screen | ACADEMY OF MUSIC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Two prominent local theaters and WGBY Public Television for Western New England invite the public to witness the historic inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama on the big screen surrounded by friends, family and neighbors.

On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2009, beginning at 11 a.m., the Academy of Music in Northampton and Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington will broadcast the live PBS coverage of inauguration free to the public. Together, the venues accommodate 1,500 audience members.

“In keeping with our mission, the Academy wants to provide the opportunity for people to view this historic event as a community,” said Andrew Crystal, president of the Academy of Music Board of Trustees. “This is a moment to be shared.”

Northampton Mayor Mary Clare Higgins will offer remarks prior to the broadcast at the Academy of Music, the nation’s oldest municipally owned theater.

“This year’s election marked an historic moment for our country,” noted Mayor Higgins. “We know that an unprecedented number of Americans will be making their way to Washington D.C. to try to be a part of this milestone. We also know that making such a trip is not an option for many of our neighbors and friends, but the desire to be in community to witness this historic moment is still strong.”

While the Academy of Music enriches greater Northampton’s quality of life by offering first-class performing arts and films, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is the year-round presenter of performing arts and film for the Southern Berkshires. The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center seats nearly 700; the Academy of Music, 800.

Although admission is free, tickets will be required. Tickets to the Academy of Music screening will be available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Monday, Jan. 5, at the Northampton Chamber of Commerce office on Pleasant Street and the Mayor’s Office in City Hall. A limited number of tickets will also be available on the day of the inauguration at the Academy of Music box office, 274 Main Street.

Tickets for the Mahaiwe broadcast will be available at the theater’s box office.