“It Started as a Concert. It Became a Celebration. Now it’s a Legend.” It’s also a Sunrise Theater tradition.

Every Thanksgiving night, the Sunrise opens its doors to the community for a free showing of The Last Waltz, the Martin Scorsese music documentary on The Band’s historic 1976 farewell performance. The Last Waltz is not only “the most beautiful rock film ever made” (New York Times), it’s “one of the most important cultural events of the last two decades” (Rolling Stone).

The free showing of The Last Waltz is sponsored by Ken Howell and Howell Masonry. Doors will open at 7 pm and the movie begins at 7:30 pm. Advance tickets are not available.

On Thanksgiving Day in 1976, The Band performed its last concert in San Francisco’s Winterland, after 16 years on the road. Scorsese’s camera explored the interactions onstage in the making of music. Offstage, he interviewed the Band’s five members, focusing on the nature of life on the road.  The friendships, harmonies, hijinks, and wear and tear add up to a last waltz.

The Last Waltz was advertised as The Band’s “farewell concert appearance” and the opening title card said the movie should be played loud. Numerous guests joined them on stage including Ronnie Hawkins, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters, Ronnie Wood, Neil Young, Paul Butterfield, Bobby Charles, and Dr. John.

The Band was a Canadian-American roots rock group including Rick Danko (bass guitar, vocals, fiddle), Garth Hudson (keyboards, accordion, saxophone), Richard Manuel (keyboards, drums, vocals), Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals), and Levon Helm (drums, vocals, mandolin, guitar). They reached prominence when backing Bob Dylan in the 60s.

Early names for The Band included “the Honkies”, and “the Crackers”. Without an official name selected, they were referred to as “the band” by Dylan and their friends and neighbors in Woodstock, New York. The name stuck.

THE LAST WALTZ at the Sunrise Theater. Thursday, November 28, 7:30 pm. Rated PG / Documentary, Biography, Music. Free.


Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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