Cinema brings Hollywood to Hattiesburg
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 01:10
University of Southern Mississippi graduate and entrepreneur Ronnie Venable had an idea to bring movies to Hattiesburg. With this dream and determination, he founded Little Dog Cinema, which has made a splash in the Pine Belt.
“It was the right idea and the right circumstances in the right area,” Venable said.
Little Dog Cinema first brought the 1966 version of “Batman” to Front Street, which saw a great turnout. Attendees enjoyed popping into some of the Front Street shops prior to the movie, along with visiting a concession stand selling popcorn and soda to enjoy during the film.
“It was really cool to see the downtown businesses embrace the new idea and pool their resources to make it happen,” USM graduate Amie Nunez said.
Before the movie starts, the company showcases local artists by playing music from Hattiesburg bands while the opening credits roll, showing a variety of digital stills from sponsors and artists plus a few funny pictures. Before the feature film starts, local short films are shown to entertain audience members.
After the success of the first movie screening, Little Dog Cinema returned to Front Street with the classic “Rear Window.” Then it traveled to Keg and Barrel with “The Princess Bride.” Mississippi State Rep. Toby Barker also hired the company for a night to thank his constituents by hosting a movie night at the Hattiesburg Zoo.
Venable said he would like to show a wider variety of films.
“I’ve never once said that I’m strictly family-friendly,” Venable said. “There are some movies that I want to do that are more for an adult crowd.”
Little Dog Cinema’s goal is to have one event per month that is totally put on by the company, so there are numerous opportunities to catch a flick with some friends.
“It was a really cool way to bring the community together,” USM junior broadcast journalism major Kristy Shelley said. “I will definitely be attending some of the other events.”
Little Dog Cinema will have a Halloween themed event on Oct. 27 at Keg and Barrel for $5. Visit the Little Dog Cinema Facebook page to vote and see which Halloween movie wins. Currently, “The Shining” is in the lead, but the official winner will be announced at an event at the Keg on Oct. 14.
Interested in hiring Little Dog Cinema for an event? Contact Venable e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.