VOL. 23 - NO. 38
OCT 21 - 28, 2018
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OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

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TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Classic Film Musicals from the Golden Age of Hollywood Return to the Bankhead Theater in September

Sep 14, 2018
Launched earlier this year, the Classic Film Musicals Series at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore, CA. will resume September 19, 2018 with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in “On the Town.” The series, designed to showcase some of the most beloved film musicals from the Golden Age of Hollywood, will continue approximately once per month through the 2018-2019 season. Tickets for the affordable evening of retro entertainment are just $5 each, which includes a newsreel and cartoon of the era before each film. Fresh popcorn, drinks and movie theater treats will be available for sale in concessions.

In “On The Town” (1949), US Navy sailors Gabey (Gene Kelly), Chip (Frank Sinatra) and Ozzie (Jules Munshin) are free in the big city for a 24-hour shore leave and they want to see all the sights, especially girls. Making every second count, their adventures are filled with love and laughter as they sing, dance and enjoy everything the city has to offer. With an Academy Award-winning musical score filled with Leonard Bernstein’s music including the familiar title song and “New York New York,” the film was directed by Gene Kelly and shot partially on location, bringing the era to life.

On October 24, the Bankhead will screen the star-studded MGM classic “Showboat” (1951) filled with music, from big song and dance numbers, to “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” and the unforgettable “Ol’ Man River.” The Cotton Blossom show boat steams into town and Cap’n Andy’s daughter Magnolia (Kathryn Grayson) falls in love with a riverboat gambler Gaylord Ravenal (Howard Keel), who is posing as an actor. When deep Southern prejudice results in the departure of leading lady Julie LaVerne (Ava Gardner) and her husband, Magnolia and Ravenal take their places in the show but the passing of time proves that the comedy and drama of life is not so different, on or off the stage.

Esther Smith (Judy Garland) and her three sisters are caught up in the excitement of preparing for the 1904 World’s Fair in “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944). Esther is in love with the boy next door, who has yet to notice her, despite her somewhat clumsy efforts. When her father tells them they will be moving to New York City, each of the girls is upset for their own reasons, until twists and turns lead them to an eventual happy ending. The film debuted a number of timeless hits including “The Trolley Song” and the iconic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Sung by Esther to her youngest sister Tootie (Margaret O’Brian), the song became a holiday standard as popular today as it was then.

The Classic Film Series at the Bankhead began last January with “American in Paris,” followed by “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Easter Parade” and the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers hit “Shall We Dance.” Response to the opportunity to see these films on a larger screen with theater acoustics the way they were intended to be seen was immediate and enthusiastic and all four films were well attended. In a follow-up survey, attendees praised the nostalgic, upbeat experience, and requested the series continue with more musicals, as well as other classic films. Plans are underway for four additional films to be announced for the remainder of the 2018-2019 season.


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