A night at the movies: benefit event for local museum


COURTESY PHOTOS Above: The movie poster for "A Christmas Story" Below: Two of the murals that will be replaced with funds raised at A Night at the Movies. Hubert Humphrey in front of the great seal of South Dakota and Gladys Pyle in front of the U.S. Senate.

The Dakotaland Museum Board of Directors are excited to bring you an evening of entertainment for all ages.

Enjoy a classic Christmas movie in style at the Huron Luxury Cinemas on Thursday, Dec. 22, beginning at 5 p.m.

A Night at the Movies will include a 20-minute newsreel of life and times in Huron in the 1950s, followed by the holiday favorite “A Christmas Story.” The film, directed by Bob Clark, stars Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, and Peter Billingsley and is a seasonal classic. It is often ranked as one of the best Christmas films.

As a special treat, Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be dropping in to provide an opportunity to have a professional photograph taken with Santa in his sleigh.

Board members will be selling tickets for a half & half raffle, plus there will be door prizes, trivia questions, and more.

People’s Transit will provide a charter bus for A Night at the Movies, with pick up locations at the Huron Area Senior Center, Stoney Brook Suites, and Avantara Assisted Living. Please call the Senior Center to reserve a seat.

“A Christmas Story” was released on Nov. 18, 1983, to positive reviews from critics. Filmed partly in Canada, it earned two Canadian Genie Awards in 1984. In 2012, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being «culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Set in December 1940, the film is presented in a series of vignettes, with narration provided by the adult Ralphie Parker reminiscing on one particular holiday.

Christmas is approaching and 9-year-old Ralphie wants only one thing: a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. When he mentions it at the dinner table, his mother’s immediate reaction is that he’ll shoot his eye out. He then decides on a perfect theme for his teacher, but her reaction is like his mother’s.

Even the Santa Claus at Higbee’s department store rejects his request with the same warning.

When the big day arrives, he gets lots of presents, including a lovely one from his aunt that his mother just adores. But what about the BB gun?

A sequel was just released in November 2022 and is streaming on HBO Max. Set in the 1970s, it depicts an adult Ralphie catching up with his old friends. Watch the original with us on the big screen before you catch the sequel at home.

A Night at the Movies is a fundraiser to replace the Dakotaland Museum’s “Seeds of Democracy” murals. The original set of eight murals were painted by Paul Guivens of Fort Collins, Colo., in 2004. They depicted the Huron roots and political careers of Vice President Hubert Humphrey and U.S. Senator Gladys Pyle.

Over the years, the sun, storms, and harsh weather conditions have caused the murals to disintegrate. When the state scheduled work to make repairs to the brick building, the plywood murals had to come down.

The museum has plans to replace at least four of the 6’ by 6’ panels with new murals by using photographs of the original artwork but made with polymetal to withstand being outside.

Tickets for A Night at the Movies are $10.00 in advance or $12.00 at the door, if available as seating is limited. Tickets may be purchased from any board member; at the Huron Chamber of Commerce at 1725 Dakota Ave. S.; at the customer service desk at Coborn’s; or at the Centennial Stone Church Center at 48 Fourth St.

Modern Woodmen is providing matching funds up to $1,000.

To reserve your ticket, please call Louise Van Poll, Executive Director of Museums, at 605-352-2528.