Grand Opening of American Civil War Museum’s Robins Theater

American Civil War Museum

We recently asked Jeniffer Maloney, director of marketing and public relations at American Civil War Museum, about their new Robins Theater opening this month. She gave us a first look at the facility and film it will show, A People’s Contest.

ACWM’s Robins Theater is set to open on June 17, 2022. Tell us more about it, including how it came about.

The Robins Theater (and original film) were part of the vision for the new American Civil War Museum building which opened in spring of 2019. As a “phase two,” the actual physical space is part of the original museum facility structure. However, the pandemic and subsequent supply chain issues prompted delays in building out the space.

How does the theater fit into the museum experience?

The original film A People’s Contest: America’s Civil War and Emancipation is included as part of the ACWM Tredegar experience and intended to be a compliment to the ACWM flagship exhibit A People’s Contest: Struggles for Nation & Freedom in Civil War America.

The theater is scheduled to show A People’s Contest: America’s Civil War and Emancipation. How did the film come together?

The film, which is just under 13 minutes in length, is a years-long project that reflects scholarship and storytelling in a unique manner. Working with Solid Light, Inc. a team including national scholars, educators, museum professionals, and historians came together to focus on the content and the particular details of the storyboards to create the film’s concept. The director, narrator, composer and editor, various actors and historical content advisors then went to work to bring the vision of the storyboards to life, digitally.

A People's Contest
American Civil War Museum

What can viewers expect from A People’s Contest? What is its underlying message, and how is it delivered?

First person historical quotes, historical photos, and archival materials compliment contemporary filmmaking techniques to create an innovative experience rooted in the stories of the civil war era. With an original script and musical score, the film was developed to inspire an understanding of the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War.

State-of-the-art technology in video and audio components are utilized to support the dramatic visuals of the film, immersing the audience in the Civil War era.

Do you have any other plans lined up for the theater? If so, can you share details?

The Robins Theater space provides a modern, multi-use space for programs, performances, and lectures.

Stay tuned for the release of our ACWM mini-documentary about the making of this film. Viewers will hear from the Solid Light team who created the film and their unique perspectives on what it meant to them to be part of this special project!

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