Top off the holiday season with a visit to the West Virginia State Museum.
And three days of children’s activities and family movies that will air Dec. 26-28 on the big screen of the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater at the Culture Center, State Capitol, in Charleston. Each day will feature a different film that will be shown twice, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Children’s winter craft projects also will take place each day in the Great Hall from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. All events are free, and the public is invited to attend.
On Thursday, Dec. 26, see The Smurfs 2 (2013, 105 minutes, Rated PG). This is the sequel to the Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation’s hybrid live action family hit comedy, The Smurfs. The evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) creates a couple of mischievous Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties that he hopes will let him capture the all-powerful, magical Smurf-essence. But he soon discovers that only a real Smurf can give him what he wants, and only a secret spell that Smurfette (Katy Perry) knows can turn the Naughties into real Smurfs. Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette and brings her to Paris, and it’s up to Papa (Jonathan Winters in his last role), Clumsy, Grouchy, Vanity and their human friends Patrick and Grace Winslow to rescue her.
On Friday, Dec. 27, visitors can see Monsters University (2013, 103 minutes, Rated G). This Walt Disney/Pixar Animated Studio’s prequel movie whisks you back in time to when Monsters, Inc., employees Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman) were two promising young students at Monsters University. Long before they were lurking in closets for a living, Mike and Sulley were just two scaring majors at Monsters University, dreaming of the day they would make children shriek in terror. When their heated competition to be the most fearsome in their class gets out of hand, they find themselves ejected from the prestigious Scare Program, and they are forced to seek the aid of other oddball friends in order to get their education back on track.
Planes (2013, 92 minutes, Rated PG) will be screened on Saturday, Dec. 28. Cars gets a high-flying spinoff with this Disney Toon Studios film about a humble crop duster who dreams of becoming a great air racer. Dusty spends most of his days flying low, but his eyes are always turned up toward the clouds. His modest engine and intense fear of heights make a career in racing a long shot at best. Things begin to look up for Dusty when a veteran aviator helps him qualify for a race against the reigning circuit champ. Now if Dusty can just learn to let go of his fears, his checkered-flag dreams may finally come true. The film features the voices of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John Cleese, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, and more.
Visitors also can tour the West Virginia State Museum and view the many exhibits on display in the Culture Center. In the Balcony Gallery, Water, Wood, Metal, Stone and Oil: A State of Art, an exhibit featuring art from the state museum’s historical and contemporary art collections in a variety of media, is on display.
The North Wing exhibit area off the Great Hall has a display of photographs from the West Virginia State Archives with a focus on trains. J.J. Young Jr. bequeathed 6,328 images of trains in Wheeling and Charleston from the late 1940s though 2001 to the West Virginia State Archives. Fifty-one of those images are on display through the end of January.
In addition, the Great Hall is filled with holiday decorations, including wreaths, poinsettias, and seven trees with ornaments made by school children. A Victorian parlor setting is in the Lobby Gallery.
The Culture Center, including the State Museum and State Archives, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Sunday. The State Museum is also closed on Monday. The building will close at noon on Christmas Eve and reopen on Thursday, Dec. 26, at 9 a.m.
For more information, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner for the division, at 304-558-0220.
For more information about the WV Division of Culture and History’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org.