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Grease is the word: Center for the Arts host movie showing, dance party

Hollie Grimaldi Flores
Special to Prospector

Following the death of Olivia Newton-John, who died in early August following a long, public battle with cancer, the movie that rocketed her to stardom is having a bit of a resurgence.

Grease, the blockbuster film version of the Broadway musical, starred Newton-John, who played opposite John Travolta. Grease became the highest grossing movie of 1978 in the United States and “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” which Newton-John sang in the film, earned her an Oscar nomination

AMC Movie theatres began showing the film at over 130 of their theaters for just $5 admission and donated $1 of every ticket sale toward breast cancer research. CEO Adam Aron posted on Twitter: “To honor the late Olivia Newton-John: many of our U.S. theatres this weekend will show her classic 1978 hit movie Grease, again on the big screen. An inexpensive $5 admission price, and through our charity AMC Cares we will donate $1 per sold ticket to breast cancer research.”

First diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, Newton-John was cancer-free for more than 20 years. She opened The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia, in 2012. She was diagnosed with breast cancer again in 2017, and in September 2018 she announced that she was in treatment for cancer at the bottom of her spine. She died August 8, 2022. The powerhouse singer and actress-turned-activist was 73.

Locally, the independently owned Sierra Theatres hosted a showing of Grease at the Del Oro Theatre in Grass Valley, with $1 of each ticket donated to the Barbara Schmidt Millar Triathlon Fund under the umbrella of the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation. The sold-out event including Grease trivia and a costume contest.

This week, on Friday, September 23, the Center for the Arts is showing the classic film with a twist, in that you can do the twist, as the dance floor will be open! Dressing in period costume, singing along and dancing are encouraged.

The event is free to members of the Center for the Arts and free to anyone dressed in costume.

Center For the Arts Executive Director Amber Jo Manuel said she has a lot of history with Grease, the musical.

“When I was a senior in high school, I directed Grease the musical,” she said. She stated that many of her friends were in that rendition of the play and following the death of Olivia Newton-John, began texting her saying they “totally need a Grease reunion,” to which Manuel said, “Okay, let’s do it.”

“At the center we can show the movie and blast the sound, and people can dance,” Manuel said. “We’ll have the dance floor open with some cabaret tables out. It will be fun to see if we remember any of those dances from high school.”

“Our show is free to our members. If you are a member of the Center for the Arts, this is free. And if you come in costume, this is free,” Manuel said. “We just wanted to get together and have fun.”

The bar will be open. There will be snacks. Admission is $10 for non-members. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the moving starting at 7 p.m.

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire, as well as a podcaster at HollieGrams. You can hear her episodes at http://www.buzzsprout.com/1332253. She can be reached at holliesallwrite@gmail.com


WHO: The Center For the Arts

WHAT: Grease

WHERE: 314 W Main St., Grass Valley

WHEN: Friday, September 23. Doors: 6 p.m., showtime: 7 p.m.

HOW: https://thecenterforthearts.org/ Free to members and those in costume; $10 general admission

Hollie Grimaldi Flores


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