Wilmington couple shows it really is ‘A Wonderful Life’

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In a time of uncertainty, there’s one thing you can count on. The evening of Dec. 21, Sammy Flowers and his wife, Shannon, will be exactly where you’d expect to find them. They’ll be in the audience in Thalian Hall for this year’s showing of, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Like many people in town, over the years, they’ve made this event part of their holiday tradition. As far as they’re concerned, why would anyone want to be anywhere else? Sammy will tell you, “You can feel it. The Christmas spirit is in here that night. It’s really exciting.”

Still, some people might wonder: Why go to downtown Wilmington to watch the classic Jimmy Stewart film when you can just view it from the comfort of your couch?

Sammy and Shannon Flowers. (Courtesy: Thalian Hall)
Sammy and Shannon Flowers. (Courtesy: Thalian Hall)

“That’s the thing. It was on TV a couple of nights ago,” says Sammy. “I asked Shannon if she wanted to watch it, and she said no, let’s wait.” As Shannon sees it, experiencing the film in the splendor of an historic theater, makes the past seem present.

“Thalian Hall is living history. We come here for plays and musicals and such. But with this, you have a large screen with a whole group of people to enjoy it with you. Some are seeing the film for the first time. Nothing gets better than this.” Shannon says, “We weren’t around back when the film was originally shown in 1946. But we can get a feel of what it was like to be in a theater back then.”

Her husband wasn’t always such an avid theatergoer. As Sammy tells it, he was something of a jock in college. But, in his senior year fate intervened. He was short on arts electives. That’s when he met and alluring music major named, Shannon. She dragged him to all sorts of arts events. He caught the bug. Later, their son did, too. When he was young, Sam played drums in the pit with the orchestra at Thalian from time to time. Now’s he’s in college in Charlotte playing in the marching band and majoring in what else? History!

Sammy is the fire marshal for the City of Wilmington Fire Department. He will be the assistant chief in operations after the first of the year. Being emotionally invested in the town where he works and lives comes naturally to him. Shannon teaches music at Wrightsboro Elementary and feels the same way. They like to support local talent and businesses.

“We feel we have a real connection to Thalian,” says Shannon. “Because of my involvement in the arts, whether it’s someone playing an instrument, or someone on the stage, we come so often we even have favorite actors and actresses that we love to see.”

For Sammy, that stage to audience connection doesn’t end at the footlights.

“Because so much of the talent is local,” says Sammy, “you often see them out at dinner, or pass them on the street downtown. Where else does that happen?”

It’s clear that being part of the Thalian Hall experience is something that Sammy and Shannon celebrate and want to share with others. Is it any wonder why this holiday they will again pay homage to a film that reminds all of us, this is in fact, a wonderful life!

About Thalian Hall and THCPA

Thalian Hall is one of the oldest theater in the United States and has been in almost continuous use since its opening in 1858. The theater has been under the management of the Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. (THCPA) since 1963.

The vision of Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts Inc. is to create a culturally vibrant community by expanding education, entertainment, and the imagination through the arts.
For more information contact Melissa Miedema, Development Director at 910-632-2282 or visit us at thalianhall.org

-Content provided by Thalian Hall

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