When the American Civil War Center and the Museum of the Confederacy consolidated in 2019 to develop into the American Civil War Museum, it left some unfinished enterprise at its glass-enrobed constructing alongside the river on the historic Tredegar Ironworks.
On Friday, the museum lastly opened its 1,128-square-foot theatre house, The Robins Theater, premiering a brand new immersive $2 million documentary titled “A People’s Contest: America’s Civil War & Emancipation.”
It’s the primary movie produced by the ACWM and displays years of analysis, says Jeniffer Maloney, the museum’s director of promoting and public relations, including that the work locations an emphasis on the consequences of the warfare on extraordinary individuals, together with slaves. “While the leaders and battles of the Civil War are familiar to us, the outcomes were far from certain for the people who lived through it. This film tells the story of the costs and the consequences of the war.”
Along with the film, the display, seating and sound system of the brand new 67-seat Robins Theater have been designed by the identical agency, the Kentucky-based Solid Light Inc., chargeable for the dramatic layered displays discovered all through the ACWM, which additionally has places on the White House of the Confederacy and in Appomattox.
The new auditorium was initially deliberate to open with the 29,000-square-foot Tredegar constructing, however building prices and COVID acquired in the way in which. “The money for the theater was included in the umbrella of the capital campaign of $25 million for the entire museum,” says Maloney. “But when supply chain issues became a problem, we held off on building the theatre.”
The state-of-the-art Robins will function a program and lecture house however its major perform can be to display the brand new 13-minute movie, on a steady loop, for museum ticket holders.
This movie was made so as to current an understanding of the motivational causes, course, and penalties of the battle, says Stephanie Arduini, director of the Edward L. Ayers Center for Civil War and Emancipation Studies, and deputy director of the museum.
“For a long time, our country has told its stories in terms of heroes and villains, but we know that life is more complicated than that. Our focus was to include that complexity, that humanity, because we’ve found that visitors seek that human connection.”
Arduini says that the immersive movie, that includes actor re-enactments, first-person quotes, archival photographs and artifacts from the establishment’s formidable assortment, is a praise to the ACWM flagship exhibit, “A People’s Contest: Struggles for Nation & Freedom in Civil War America.”
“In some ways, it was a blessing to have our flagship exhibit open first because we could see what questions our visitors were asking when they came out,” she explains. “What were they most curious about? What did they want to know more about that we didn’t have space for in the exhibit?”
Many of immediately’s up to date museums function an analogous kind of orientation movie, she admits (one instance is on the recently-reopened Virginia Museum of History and Culture). But the in-house cinema is not a bow to developments.
“Even before the consolidation of our two parent organizations, the American Civil War Center had been planning to build a film experience,” she says. “We know that there are certain types of stories, and certain types of impacts in storytelling, that you can do in film that you can’t always do in an exhibit. It helps to set people up for this larger experience.”
For extra on the American Civil War Museum, go to https://acwm.org