Updated Fri, Mar 30, 2012 6:53 pm
The Athena Grand theater, located at the Market on State in Athens, has recently announced a new affiliation with NCM Fathom. Its parent company, NCM Media Networks, links via satellite more than 15,000 digital screens in 167 markets across the country.
The Fathom events include a variety of presentations, ranging from last Wednesday's one-time 70th anniversary screening of Casablanca to live concerts, featuring diverse acts such as The Grateful Dead and Rascal Flatts.
Rick Frame, the owner of the Athena Grand, signed a two year contract with NCM, primarily because of their exclusive distribution of the Metropolitan Opera. Frame knew of a group of opera aficionados who would travel from Athens to Columbus for similar events and was inspired to offer those presentations closer to home.
The grand opening of the series will be on Saturday, April 7 with the Met's Manon live at noon. In conjunction with offering the new series, the theater just opened a special events room that will be available during event intermissions for punch, cakes and cookies.
After the Saturday live presentations, the Grand will screen an encore showing of the recorded Opera on Wednesdays. The entire Metropolitan Opera season will also be shown at the theater in the fall. Besides the operas, the Athena Grand will also show NCM-distributed concerts performed by Los Angeles Phiharmonic.
Frame is also looking at the programs of other distribution companies in order to present a wider array of entertainment opportunities. He hopes in the near future to have at least five special selections per week, including NASCAR races, boxing events and other sporting events in 3D.
Of interest to NPR listeners, This American Life Live! Things You Can't Do on the Radio will be shown on May 15. A complete listing of upcoming events can be found at www.athenagrand.com. All performances offered by NCM can be found at www.fathomevents.com.