Friday, June 15, 2012

El Casino Kickstarter Needs Your Support

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Daniel Buckley began a Kickstarter project last week to help support the final push for a documentary project on El Casino Ballroom, which will premiere in August at the Tucson Fox Theatre.

In March 2010, I went to the El Cine Plaza series at the Fox to watch great old movies my mother watched at the old theater when she was a kid. That theater was torn down in the name of downtown redevelopment. Before each screening, Buckley's first Tucson documentary series opened taking us back to that dear old theater, the destruction of Barrio Viejo (which continues today), and the people.

Buckley followed up with more documentaries, the latest on Barrio Hollywood. This anticipated gem on El Casino is expected, from my perspective, to bring together aspects of Tucson that those who understand and love this gravel-lot town know how it all comes together at El Casino.

From Buckley's Kickstarter (the goal is $7,500 and has $1,255 pledged so far):

The funds raised will go toward finishing the editing of the film, paying for transcription of all of the interviews involved, renting the Fox Theatre so that the premiere can be a free event AND the hiring of three young interns to participate in the film's creation. Two of the interns will come from Tucson's now-banned Mexican American Studies program. The third will be a high school graduate starting a journalism program at college in the fall.

There's a whole lot of rewards offered, ranging from the DVD of this and other Cine Plaza at the Fox documentaries to opportunities to attend portions of the filming of the documentary, credit in the film and much more.

All of the raw footage and all of the transcripts from the interviews will be turned over to the Arizona Historical Society for research and inclusion in other people's projects.

El Casino Ballroom turns 65 this year, and has been the home to more musical and cultural celebrations than just about any landmark in the city. Become part of preserving and celebrating its history by supporting this project in any way that you can. And please forward this to other friends who may be interested.

The film is being produced in partnership with CHISPA, The Fox Tucson, KXCI Radio, and the Arizona Historical Society with additional support from the Tucson Pima Arts Council's PLACE Initiative Grant. This will be the fifth installment of the Cine Plaza at the Fox documentary series.

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