Friday, October 29, 2010

Celebrate the 81st Birthday of THE RITZ with THE JAZZ SINGER!

Join the Alamo Drafthouse in celebrating this momentous event.

The Ritz theatre was one of the first cinemas in Austin to play sound films, and we're celebrating its 81st birthday with the film that started the talkie revolution, THE JAZZ SINGER! Join us Wednesday, November 3rd at The Ritz for this epic celebration! Tickets to this event are $40 and include your ticket, a three-course feast, and a champagne toast! You can get your tickets here!


By the middle 1920s, American Cinema was at a turning point. After decades of experimentation and failure, the technology for sound recording and amplification became a reality, jeopardizing the tradition of the silent film indefinitely. As much as silent film was the norm and the preferred medium for many of the most talented and popular filmmakers of the day, once sound technology was available it was only a matter of time before “talkies” were the dominant form of moving picture entertainment. As these experiments became more and more sophisticated, there needed to be a huge movie to bring talkies into the mainstream, to do what AVATAR did for 3D if you will. That “killer app” was 1927’s THE JAZZ SINGER.

Starring the inimitable Al Jolson, who was for decades known as the “World’s Greatest Entertainer,” this film brought talking movies to the public in a way no film did before it. THE JAZZ SINGER presents the story of a young man who shames his father by performing the disrespectful, wild music known as Jazz. Jolson shines with his renditions of Blue Skies, My Mammy, and Dirty Hands, Dirty Face, and his Toot, Toot, Tootsie is a veritable showstopper, quite possible the greatest single piece of performed music in motion picture history.

During the ‘20s, theatre owners were hesitant to switch to sound because of the great expense associated with wiring speakers into the halls and buying new projection equipment. THE JAZZ SINGER was responsible for more change-overs than any other movie, and it was the first sound film in more theatres than any other too. The Ritz theatre, opened in 1929, was one of the first theatres in Texas to be wired for sound, and we’re proud to bring THE JAZZ SINGER back to the theatre for its 81st birthday, as it was one of the first films ever to be projected in this building.

To accompany this delightful movie, renowned jazz artist Erik Hokkanen and his band will be presenting some music before the festivities, as was the tradition in movie houses of the era. Hokkanen is an expert of traditional jazz and his sound will take you back to the roaring '20s. The screening will also include a multi-course meal and champagne toast as part of the ticket price.

Behold, the menu!
1) Panzanella Salad with red wine vinaigrette
2) Braised Pork Roll with sausage, celery root, and potatoes
3) White Strawberry Mousse Cake
Plus, we'll top night off with a champagne birthday toast to the Ritz!

Get tickets now!
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