NEWS & EVENTS

Black History Month & Tennis Celebration.png

Rodeo Cinema Celebrates Black History Month with Free Showing of Arthur Ashe Documentary for First Serve OKC Youth

 

Stockyards City, OK (Feb. 15th, 2022) – Rodeo Cinema, Oklahoma City's exclusive nonprofit repertory cinema, today announced the free admission showing of Citizen Ashe for OKC's First Serve students. The inspirational documentary recalls the life of tennis legend and human rights activist Arthur Ashe.

 

The film is part of Rodeo Cinema's curated collection of movies featured throughout February to commemorate the rich cultural heritage, triumphs, and adversities that are an indelible part of America's history to honor Black History Month. Rodeo Cinema provides free admission shows to promote awareness of lesser-known historical figures and movies. Directors Rex Miller and Sam Pollard explore the enduring legacy of tennis great and humanitarian Arthur Ashe through meaningful and poignant stories tracing the career of the tennis champion and pioneer who smashed through history, becoming the first African American man to win Wimbledon.

 

"I had previously worked with First Serve and realized bringing the students in was a beautiful opportunity that connected our missions," says Rodeo Cinema's Executive Director, Kara Luther-Chapman. "We wanted to showcase often-overlooked influential figures in black history. Arthur Ashe was a pioneer that broke ground for black tennis players and athlete activists, a conversation still relevant today."

 

First Serve OKC was founded in 2014 to provide opportunities to under-resourced students through the discipline of tennis. After realizing the sport lacked representation and equality in Oklahoma, founder Mark Allen initiated change. Mr. Allen set forth raising $7 million to build indoor courts at the OKC Tennis Center so that the program could operate year-round and provide a meaningful pathway for all of Oklahoma City's youth development through tennis. In addition, First Serve OKC's Vice President was a colleague and acquaintance of the late tennis legend and activist Arthur Ashe.

 

"Arthur and I were on the Head Advisory Council for tennis professionals. Arthur was extremely intelligent, and a person totally focused on improving tennis and his culture," says Phil Lancaster, Vice President of First Serve OKC. "His character was impeccable and someone who took his calling to help others a true-life mission. I am excited we can share his story and legacy with our students."

 

First Serve OKC students will experience the inspirational Citizen Ashe on the big screen in collaboration with Rodeo Cinema, including a complimentary concession snack on February 21st at 7:00 pm. In addition, Rodeo Cinema will provide a free admission showing of Citizen Ashe at 5:00 pm on February 21st, fully open to the public free of charge. Seating is limited, and guests are encouraged to secure free tickets in advance. For more information on complimentary tickets, visit www.rodeocinema.org. For more information on First Serve OKC's programs, please visit firstserveokc.org.

 

Rodeo Cinema is Oklahoma City's exclusive nonprofit repertory cinema specializing in showing classic and premier art films, cult-classic hits, and events. The mission of Rodeo Cinema is to promote, engage, and enrich community consciousness through film. Rodeo Cinema operates with additional support from the Oklahoma Arts Council and Board of Directors. Rodeo Cinema is in the historic Stockyard district theatre at 2221 Exchange Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73108. Rodeo Cinema on Film Row is located at 701 W Sheridan Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, inside the Paramount Building. For information on upcoming events or tickets, please visit www.rodeocinema.org.