Seats still available to movie showing

STEUBENVILLE – There are plenty of seats still available for Tuesday’s free showing of the Academy Award-nominated film “Captain Phillips,” organizers of the Herald-Star, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Speaker Series have announced.

Tom Hanks stars in the title role in the movie, which will be shown beginning at 6 p.m. following a 5 p.m. announcement about the next presentation in the local speaker series.

There is no admission charge to Tuesday’s event, organizers said. Many area residents already have obtained their free tickets, but all remaining seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We realize that the extreme weather conditions that our area has faced during the last week may have made it difficult for some people to get out and secure their free tickets,” said Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. “We want to make the event accessible to as many people as possible.”

Tickets still can be obtained at the main office of the Herald-Star, 401 Herald Square, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Those who attend Tuesday’s event will be among the first to learn the details about the next installment in the speaker series, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. April 3 in the Steubenville High School auditorium. This spring’s presentation will be the third in the series, which began in November 2012 when retired Secret Service Agent Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin visited Steubenville. Their appearance attracted more than 900 residents from around the Tri-State Area to the high school auditorium. Antonio Mendez, the former CIA agent whose involvement in the rescue of six American hostages from the Canadian embassy in Tehran was dramatized in the Academy Award-winning film “Argo,” was joined by his wife, Johnna, in the second presentation last April.

“The first two speakers in our series have been able to provide a personal perspective to historical events,” Gallabrese said. “Our next speaker will do the same, and we’re sure area residents will want to hear the details from the person who actually lived through a harrowing incident.”

Presenting sponsors for speaker series include Eastern Gateway, the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Em-Media and Trinity Health System. Special support is being provided by the Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley, WTRF-TV, Bayberry House Bed and Breakfast, Apollo Pro Cleaning, Piergallini Catering, Newbrough Photo, Thrifty Car Rental and Steubenville City Schools.

Those who attend Tuesday’s announcement and movie showing also will have the opportunity to participate in giveaways for several items, including a VIP package to the April 3 presentation. That package includes admission to the meet-and-greet with the speaker and front row tickets to the presentation.

Other items to be given away include a signed copy of Richard Phillips’ book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS and Dangerous Days at Sea,” which was the inspiration for the movie; a DVD of the film; and tickets including bus transportation to the June 28 Steubenville-Weirton Community Night game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets at PNC Park.

Only those who attend the announcement prior to the showing of the movie will be eligible to participate in the prize drawings.

The movie “Captain Phillips” tells the story of Phillips, the Merchant Mariner who was captain of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama when it was hijacked by Somali pirates in April 2009. Phillips was held captive by the pirates in a small lifeboat before being rescued by Navy SEALS. He was hailed as a hero after surviving his ordeal.

The film has been nominated for several Oscars, including best picture, best supporting actor (Barkhad Abdi), best adapted screenplay, sound mixing, sound editing and film editing.

Tickets for the April 3 presentation will be available during Tuesday’s event.