Party: Glenn Fubler, third left, and the event’s organisers. *Photo by Helen Jardine
Party: Glenn Fubler, third left, and the event’s organisers. *Photo by Helen Jardine
The 50th anniversary of Bermuda's landmark ­Theatre Boycott will be ­celebrated next week.

Thursday will mark half a century since segregation was abolished in the ­island's cinemas.

Back then, Hamilton's two main movie theatres reserved seating in the ­balcony and centre section for those with white skin.

Anti-racism campaigners the Progressive Group ­organized a boycott - and two weeks later the theatres desegregated, as did other public venues.

To honour the group and the many others who made the campaign a success, there will be a cultural ­celebration on July 2 at the south-western area of the City Hall Car Park.

The area is where those involved in the boycott gathered in 1959. The evening will include the ­unveiling of the monument When Voices Rise, created by Chesley Trott and ­commissioned by the ­Corporation of Hamilton.

July 2 will also see the opening of the new Wesley Square 14 of the island's restaurants - including La Trattoria and Chopsticks - will offer discounts. The celebrations will include music, poetry and dance by local artists such as Gene Steede, and Suzette Harvey.

At least a dozen members of the original Progressive Group will attend.

Those who predated them, the Spice Hill Group, will also be there.

They led a demonstration at the Bermudiana Theatre Club in 1951. Glenn Fubler, the event's coordinator, said: "Their actions provide a dramatic example that well-meaning people, with courage and dedication to do good, truly do have the capacity to play a part in making a better Bermuda.

"Our island survives ­because it ­sits on top of a mountain, a geological ­giant, which stands on the basin floor of the Atlantic.

"This offers a metaphor for the giants of generations past on whose shoulders we all stand today.

"None offer us more ­support than those who imagined a better Bermuda and ushered in a new era for our island.

"Their vision and courage calls us all to meet any challenges we face in this new Century."

Festivities start at 6:30pm. For details email fubler@northrock.bm