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16 May 2017

You must, you will remember this

Bottled-up sorrow: Rick (Humphrey Bogart) drowning in despair. (Courtesy: www.google.com)

I don't remember the first time I saw Casablanca, the mesmerizing romantic World War II drama classic starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid, but I remember the best.

It was in the mid-1970s.  If you wanted to see a movie back then you pretty much had to go to a movie house.  There was no Internet.  No cellphones.  No movies on demand on your Wi-Fi-connected TV.  Social media in a time that now seems locked in a galaxy far, far away meant chatting about a movie on the way home.

Someone at the Granada Theater on Lower Greenville Ave. in Dallas (now a concert venue) came up with a brilliant idea:  Since Woody Allen's romantic-comedy Play It Again, Sam (1972) began with Allen (as a film critic obsessed with Casablanca) sitting in a movie house watching Rick (Bogart) and Capt. Renault (Claude Rains) walk off into the fog at the end of Casablanca ... Hmmm, what if?

And they did.  Using two projectors, the timing was perfect.  As soon as Bogart uttered the classic line “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" and the music swelled, Play It Again, Sam began with the camera pulling back from the scene to reveal Allen frozen in devout admiration in a movie house seat as a reflection of the final moments played out on his face and glasses.

We can't promise that on May 30, but you will have a chance to make your own special Casablanca movie memories as the 1942 Best Picture winner screens in San Antonio to launch Texas Public Radio's 17th annual Cinema Tuesdays film series hosted by TPR's Nathan Cone.

I'm honored to be asked to join Nathan for the screening of my favorite film of all time.  If you are in, around or near San Antonio on May 30, join us at Santikos' Palladium Theater.  In addition to the magnificent movie itself, there will be door prizes, behind-the-scenes insight into the movie I like to call "Hollywood's Classic Happy Accident" and perhaps even a surprise or two.

Reserve your seat now while they are still available.  Call 210-614-8977 or 1-800-622-8977 during regular business hours or click this link to make your reservations.

And remember, we'll always have Paris, but an opportunity for us all to get together to share a movie experience like this was 75 years in the making.



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