June 25, 2011

Casablanca On-Screen in New Orleans, Tampa Summer Film Festivals

Summer means classic film festivals, and Casablanca (1942) is on the schedule in two historic cinemas this summer – the Prytania in New Orleans and the Tampa Theatre in Tampa, Florida.

Celebrate Peter Lorre’s birthday this weekend at the Prytania Theatre in New Orleans, where Casablanca (1942) will be shown Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday, June 25, 26, and 29. Curtains go up at 11:45 a.m. with a pre-show program. The main feature begins promptly at noon.

Ticket prices for the classic film festival are $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for seniors over 62 and children under 12. Tickets may be purchased at the box-office or on-line through Yahoo, linked with the Prytania’s website. For more information, please call (504) 891-2787.

Built in 1915 and the only one-screen cinema left in New Orleans, the Prytania Theatre is located uptown at 5339 Prytania Street. Parking is available on the street near the cinema.

The Tampa Theatre is the venue for Casablanca on July 9 and 10, Saturday and Sunday, as part of that cinema’s popular Summer Classics series.

The doors open at 2 pm, at which time interested moviegoers may join a volunteer “Tampa Theatreologist” for a free guided mini-tour of the historic theater. (The theater’s regular “Backstage to Balcony” guided tour is scheduled for Saturday, June 25 and July 9, 11:30 am to 1 pm. Tickets for this tour are $5 for visitors 13 and older, $2 for children 2 to 12 years, and free for kids under 2 and Tampa Theatre members.)

A 20-minute musical program of popular tunes on the cinema’s restored Wurlitzer Theatre Organ will begin at approximately 2:40, followed by Looney Tunes cartoons and the movie at 3 pm.

And following selected movies this summer, moviegoers may stay for the “Post Film Talks”, presented by Professors Harriet Deer and Michael Foley. After Casablanca on Sunday, July 10, Professor Deer will discuss the movie’s cast, production, themes, and cultural significance.

Ticket prices for Casablanca and other Summer Classic films are $9 for all ages and $7 for Tampa Theatre members. Tickets may be purchased at the box-office. For more information, please call (813) 274-8981.

The Tampa Theatre is located at 711 Franklin Street. Parking is available on-street and close to the cinema.

The background and making of Casablanca is discussed in the authorized Lorre biography The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre, by Stephen D. Youngkin. Peter almost didn’t make it to Casablanca, being under contract to Universal Studios for Invisible Agent. Over his four days on-set – May 28-29 (Thursday and Friday) and June 1-2 (Monday and Tuesday), 1942 – Peter claimed he made more money at the set’s roulette wheel than he did working before the cameras.

The Lost One is now available in electronic format on the Kindle and the Nook.

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