Special treat: Free movie, books

A special treat is in store for fans of the book Little Women next month.

Step inside the Capitol Theatre Center on Sunday, Dec. 5, and go back to the 19th century to meet a family of women enduring hardship on the home front while the patriarch serves in the Civil War.

The free event begins at 1:15 p.m. with themed activities based on the four main characters of the 2019 PG-rated film “Little Women.” The film will be shown at 2 p.m. Set in Massachusetts, the story is about sisters Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth March as they grow up and struggle to improve their flaws.

The special treat includes:

  • Once inside the theater at 159 S. Main St. in Chambersburg, attendees will create grab-and-go items from the worlds of writing, art, music and acting to reflect the interests of the women. They also receive a copy of “So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix” by Bethany Morrow. Then they get a coupon for a free book at one of the branches of the Franklin County (Pa.) Library System.
  • The choices for the second book are “Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Modern Graphic Retelling of Little Women” by Rey Terciero; or they can choose a hardcover 150th-anniversary edition of the original “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. 
  • Free drinks and popcorn are part of the day’s offerings, to which mask wearing is recommended.

Sponsored by FirstEnergy, the event is being presented by the library system, Ghost Writer and the theater.

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A bridge building activity

Kirsten Hubbard, founder and CEO of Ghost Writer, considers Novel Reels to be a bridge-building activity.

“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted existing inequities within our communities, inequities such as access to educational resources and technology,” Hubbard said. “Novel Reels addresses these challenges by creating a unifying community celebration around literacy, building home libraries, and, most importantly, introducing – or reintroducing – residents to equalizing resources available at local libraries. Those include preschool-readiness programs; educational opportunities; technology access and support; job and business supports; and much more.

“What we love most about Novel Reels is that it truly is for everyone. With more than 700 seats available at The Capitol, we can welcome the entire community. It is a wonderful celebration of literature and entertainment as unifiers.”

Alice Elia, senior director of development and human resources for the library system, sees many benefits to hosting Novel Reels.

“These events are free to the community and encourage an appreciation of film and books,” Elia said. “In addition, these events allow us to bring an awareness of the Franklin County Public Library System to the broader community.”

The last Novel Reels special treat event  – in August 2021 – had a superhero theme and included the showing of “Aquaman.”

Elia said the holiday season is a perfect time to watch “Little Women,” which offers several positive messages.

“We appreciate that Little Women has a theme of empowering women and encouraging youth to explore art, music and writing,” she said.

Novel Reels is a quarterly offering. Funding comes from The Stabler Foundation, The Foundation for Enhancing Communities’ Franklin County Fund and corporate sponsors. For more information, email Elia at aelia@fclspa.org or go to www.fclspa.org. You also can follow the event page on Facebook (https://fb.me/e/2HVvXJ87s) or go to ghostwriterquill.com.