The classic film “High Noon” returns to the silver screen at the site of the former Keyser Theatre where, over half a century ago, audiences gathered to enjoy it.
This dramatic showing is just one of several cinematic selections that are being studied in a course on the American western film genre at Potomac State College.
The course consists of both a classroom portion on campus and a cinema portion in the restored theatre at The Indie On Main, Keyser’s budding destination for art and film enthusiasts.
“The western is the story we tell ourselves about America,” said the instructor, professor Richard Hunt, “This film is a morality play; it’s about duty, honor and community.”
The other films being explored in the course are:
This selection represents the genre that remained popular all throughout the twentieth century and starred famous actors such as Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Grace Kelly, Lee Van Cleef and Clint Eastwood.
The students not only immerse themselves in the history of American filmography, but also the history of Keyser itself. The renovated theatre retains the architecture from when it was first constructed in 1939 and served the residents of Keyser as the town’s sole movie theater until it closed its doors in 1977.
Now, the building has been refurbished and reinvented as much more. In June of 2017, Stephen Settmiti purchased the venue and transformed it into The Indie On Main.
“When I saw the old Keyser movie house for sale, I decided to go headlong into reopening it as a mixed arts venue,” Settmiti said. His goal is to create an environment where students can get involved and experiment with the arts.
Students who are interested in the visual arts may wish to take advantage of The Indie’s studio space and art classes; musicians and entertainers can perform in front of an audience on open-mic nights every Thursday; and fans of cinematography can enjoy cult classic films on the weekends. More information on events taking place at The Indie On Main can be found at the venue’s website or Facebook.