Black Classics is an outdoor cinema series serving Charlotte through fun, unique social distance-friendly experiences. The organization emphasizes creating social impact in its community and beyond through the Road to Success program. The initiative provides resources including books, school supplies and technologies to students locally in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools and abroad in Anambra, Nigeria.
They’ve committed to fueling the educational growth and development of underserved children locally and abroad by giving them access to resources such as books, school supplies and modern technologies.
Black Classics offers private showings and event planning bookings for individuals, organizations, and companies interested in having their own cinema experience.
The Black Classics co-founders are Brian Okoye and Tina Akunwafor.
Brittany Barnett and her partner Shayna Stanley, co-founders of Ruhe Lounge, are event coordinators who assist with the summer series. Ruhe Lounge, a mobile hookah lounge equipped with a full bar, will be an added experience to The Black Classics summer series that Shayna and Brittany are providing.
Brittany spoke to us to tell us more:
How did you get involved with the Black Classics Drive-In Summer Series, and what exactly does your personal involvement entail?
I reached out to the founders of Black Classics back in December of 2020 initially to offer my event production services but they were aleady on the tail end of the series so I wasn’t able to work with them at that time. Fast forward to April of this year, I reached back out to them but more so from a brand partnership perspective. They just so happened to be in the planning phases of the 2021 series and it was immediate that us collaborating made sense. We collectively support the mission of not only creating a space that supports black owned business and creatives but also an inclusive diverse space for the entire city of Charlotte young and seasoned to connect.
Shayna and I will be working in tandem with Black Classics on the event logistics, marketing strategies, and of course oversee the operation of the lounge onsite.
Do you have a personal favorite Black classic film?
Absolutely! I probably can answer for myself and Shayna that Low Down Dirty Shame is in the top five.
What can attendees expect, and where can we find more info about attending?
Black Classics attendees can expect a social-distance friendly experience provided with a double-featured film showing, fun engagements, vendors, and local minority-owned food trucks. In partnership with FanFood, a technology platform that enables mobile concessions ordering, Black Classics offers contactless food and drink delivery services for attendees at all of their events this season.
Who is the event series for?
Black Classics is for diverse families, young and seasoned adults along with teenagers who are looking for an alternative movie-going experience while maintaining social distancing. This event aims to attract individuals and groups who love film, food, music, commerce, and interactive experiences.
How did the outdoor series first get started? What makes it unique/special?
The outdoor series was conceived during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to spend time with close families and friends. Times of uncertainty called for creative and innovative thinking on how to create a unique experience that provides entertainment in response to the closing of the traditional movie theaters. Black Classcis’ uniqueness is driven by their mission to break social, economic, and artistic barriers by building healthy community relations and giving needed exposure to the filmmakers, creatives, and businesses/nonprofits of color that exist locally.
For more information on how to support or get involved, visit theblackclassics.com.