INTERVIEW: 'Save the Byrd' movie fundraiser scheduled for tonight

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Who knew an awful movie, could potentially save a movie theater? That's what the people behind the 'Save The Byrd' fundraiser are hoping tonight. That's as more than 600 people will pack the Byrd in Carytown to see a movie that was filmed in parts in Richmond. The movie is called 'Rock and Roll Hotel', and joining us to talk about it is somebody that's been immersed in this project for more than a year, Dale Brumfield who is a writer with Style Weekly.

Ryan Nobles: You knew this movie had been made, had seen some film strips, but nobody actually knew where the film from start to finish was. How did you find it?

Dale Brumfield: We started this project about a year ago and what we found out was the movie had been completed. Not only that, we were then able to find a copy of it in an architect's closet in California.

Ryan Nobles: So the movie has never been screened in an audience of this size, right?

Dale Brumfield: Right. But what we do know is the movie played one time on March 11, 1983 in an old Waverly theater in New York City. We have no idea who saw it or how many. Then it fell off the face of the earth after that.

Ryan Nobles: And there are a couple of big names.

Dale Brumfield: There are Collin Quinn, Judd Nelson, Dick Shawn from the 60s. There are a lot of big names, a lot of talent in the movie.

Ryan Nobles: And you will see things you recognize from Richmond; is that correct?

Dale Brumfield: That is correct. Almost the entire second half of the film is inside the Hotel Jefferson. So the Jefferson is very recognizable in the second half.

Ryan Nobles: Of course, there is a bigger part of this other than just finding this old movie. It's going to benefit the Byrd Theater which has fallen on some financial hard times. You've already sold more than 600 tickets. How much will this help the Byrd get to the goal of being somewhat sustainable?

Dale Brumfield: What we're seeing is this one event will not save the Byrd by itself. We're hoping it will be a stepping stone to help the Byrd finally reach their goal. We're just hoping this will be a big kickoff point for fundraising.

Ryan Nobles: Congratulations for finding the movie. Here is the information it's tonight, the Byrd at 8:00 p.m. There are just over 600 seats in the Byrd. If you get down there, you may or may not get in, but at least you'll be there for the atmosphere.

See the video at right for the full interview.

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