Butler County Times Gazette
  • Bisagno Family's 81st Annual Free Christmas Movie and Visit from Santa Saturday Dec. 22

  • The Bisagno Family tradition of providing a free Christmas movie and visit from Santa to the children of Augusta continues.
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  • The Bisagno Family tradition of providing a free Christmas movie and visit from Santa to the children of Augusta will continue on Saturday, Dec. 22.
    The popular movie, "The Grinch" will be shown at 10 a.m. that morning at the Augusta Historic Theatre, 523 State. The movie is rated PG and admission is free.
    D.A. Bisagno and his wife Aline started the tradition in 1931 in the old Isis Theater (located just south of the present Augusta Theatre) and in the 1940s, as the crowds grew, the event took place in both theaters. Sometimes over 1,500 children were in attendance.
    During the 1940s, the Bisagnos and the Elks club combined to make it a bigger party for the kids. The Elks furnished the candy and the Bisagnos, the theater and the movie.
    Santa could always be found in the lobby or visiting with children outside the theater.
    Robert Bisagno, the son of D.A. and Aline, who became the owner and manager, was a driving force in keeping the holiday tradition alive. He was present each year distributing candy and making sure the show went on.
    Even after the Bisagno Family sold the theatre to the Augusta Arts Council, Robert's son David and his family, continue the tradition for local children.
    Arts Council Director DeAnn Triboulet stated, "The Christmas movie has been - and still is - a very important tradition. The Bisagno Family is still very generous to sponsor the event and the community should take advantage of this special tradition."
    Share this special event with the children in your life and honor a family's wonderful Christmas gift to our community.
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