Ragtag holds live viewing of presidential inauguration

Monday, January 21, 2013 | 3:04 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Donna Kessell walked into theater two at Ragtag Cinema with her 2008 Obama-Biden campaign yard sign in hand.

The cinema held a public viewing of the second presidential inauguration of Barack Obama on Monday morning.

Kessell said she was cleaning out her house and was hoping to give the sign to a fellow viewer.

"I wanted to watch it on the big screen," Kessell said. "It's the closest thing to being there."

About 40 people attended the viewing, some coming in with warm beverages and pastry items from the cafe.

The viewers clapped in unison during Obama's speech when he talked about women earning equal wages and gays having equal rights. They also laughed when Obama said, "Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote."

Kyle Cook, movie clerk at Ragtag, said the cinema held its first viewing of the presidential inauguration in 2009, when Obama took office.

"Everyone thought with Obama being elected that a tide of change was coming," Cook said. 

He said while Ragtag is a cinema and cafe, it is also considered a center of the arts holding free events for the public.

Mary Heppner, an MU professor of counseling psychology, brought along international student Bin Liu from China to watch the inauguration at Ragtag.

"It felt good to come watch it with others," Heppner said.

Heppner said the whole inauguration was thrilling and Obama's speech was beautiful because of its tone and themes.

Liu said she was impressed with the inauguration and Obama's public speaking skills.

"The ceremony was very different than the ones in China," she said.

Supervising editor is Simina Mistreanu.

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