A Shawnee holiday tradition reaches another milestone when Jones Theatres presents its 98th annual free Children's Christmas Show at 10 a.m. Monday, December 23, 2019 at the Hornbeck Theatre, 125 N. Bell, in downtown Shawnee.
On screen will be the 2018 animated holiday favorite “The Grinch”. Rated PG, the film features the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch and Angela Lansbury. The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl's generous holiday spirit. Funny, heartwarming, and visually stunning, it's a universal story about the spirit of Christmas and the indomitable power of optimism.
Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. and the movie starts at 10:00am. The movie is free to all ages up to the theatre's 450-seat capacity. Following the movie, Christmas candy will be distributed as people exit.
Begun in 1921 by Oklahoma pioneer showman Jake Jones Sr., the tradition was continued each year by his son Johnny H. Jones and daughter Ruby H. Jones. The show is presented in their memory by grandson, Ronny Jones.
The movie was first held at the Cozy Theatre in downtown Shawnee, later renamed the Ritz. When the Ritz ceased operation as a movie theater in 1988, the show was moved to the Hornbeck Theatre two blocks away. Jones Sr. wanted every child in the area to have a chance to see a movie over the Christmas holidays.
Jones Theatres will begin its 106th year in Shawnee in 2020. The family business operates the Cinema Centre 8 at 3031 N. Harrison, Movies Six at Shawnee Mall and the Hornbeck and Penthouse Twin Theatre in downtown Shawnee in a joint venture with international cinema chain American Multi Cinemas.