Athena Cinema Takes “Journey To The Center Of The Earth”

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The Athena Cinema will present a free screening of Journey to the Center of the Earth, the next event in the Science on Screen series, Tuesday Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.

Science on Screen events pair a short talk with a scientist or technology expert with a film. On Tuesday, Dr. Daniel Hembree of the Department of Geological Sciences at Ohio University will give a short talk titled “Exploring the Unknown” before a screening of the 1959 sci-fi classic.

Dr. Patrick O’Connor from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Ohio University will join him for a Q&A following the film.

Dr. Hembree will be discussing the value of field work in science, particularly in geology and paleontology, and the use of the Earth as a natural laboratory. While most people think of science as being done in a sterile lab setting, there is still much to be learned by direct observation and exploration of the Earth, according to Hembree.

Dr. O’Connor’s research interests combine laboratory-based comparative anatomy with field paleontology to address a variety of topics in vertebrate evolution. His field research is focused in a number of southern hemisphere locales, including sites in Madagascar, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Antarctica.

Drs. Hembree and O’Connor will be bringing in several fossil examples for viewing at the Nov. 18 event. There will be several examples mentioned in the film, as well as a dinosaur from Zimbabwe that is still partially encased in rock and a specimen of the new dinosaur from Tanzania that was only recently named.

Journey to the Center of the Earth stars Pat Boone and James Mason. A far cry from the CGI effects of today’s blockbusters, it was nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Art and Set Direction. Rotten Tomatoes calls it a “silly but fun movie with everything you’d want from a sci-fi blockbuster — heroic characters, menacing villains, monsters, big sets and special effects.”

The Athena was one of 20 non-profit cinemas selected for this prestigious national program. Participating theaters are encouraged to create their own unique Science on Screen program.

The Athena’s Science on Screen program, “or science movie mash-ups” as they’ve dubbed them, have taken the opportunity to customize the events by emphasizing audience interaction through Q&A’s and other fun, hands-on, “show and tell” extras. The theater’s speaker/movie pairings have even been featured on the NPR’s Science Friday.

The Athena Cinema’s Science on Screen events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Alexandra Kamody at 740-594-7382 or For more information about The Athena Cinema, visit