By MELINDA WILLIAMS
A decision by Warner Bros. to pull all licensing to show “Gone With the Wind” has left Pulaski Theatre having to scramble to come up with another movie for its February First Friday Classic Movie presentation.
“I have to make what I would consider the worst announcement I’ve had to make as administrator of this page,” Pulaski Theatre Facebook page administrator Sue Mason said in a Thursday afternoon post. “We received news from Warner Bros. yesterday that they have pulled all licensing for ‘Gone With The Wind’ until October of this year in order to re-release it for it’s 75th Anniversary.”
Since it was announced this past summer, Mason said the theatre has received “overwhelming” excitement and interest over the theatre’s planned showing of the classic film. As a result, she added, Friends of Pulaski Theatre is disappointed to now have to announce it cannot show the film “at this time.”
Friends of Pulaski Theatre, is a nonprofit organization that operates the theatre.
“We WILL, however, show (the movie) just as soon as possible,” Mason stated in the Facebook post. “We’re hoping that perhaps we can have something like a re-release celebration.”
She added, “We can’t stress enough our displeasure of having to postpone this film. It is always distressing for us to let you down.”
“Gone With the Wind” made its national debut in December 1939 in a theatre in Atlanta, where the storyline is based. A United Press (UP) article that appeared in The Southwest Times at that time indicated 2,300 turned out for the premiere of the three-hour, 47-minute film.
The movie, starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, debuted at Pulaski Theatre April 1, 1940 and has been shown there less than half a dozen times since, according to The Southwest Times archives. A 1954 showing at Pulaski Theatre was billed as the third time the movie had been shown there and the only other – and apparently last – showing was in 1970 when the theatre was briefly known as Linda’s Haunted Theatre.
The theatre shows classic movies at 7 p.m. on the first Friday of each month. Mason said an announcement will be made as soon as it is determined what movie will be taking the place of “Gone With the Wind” on Feb. 7.
Other First Friday movies currently scheduled to be shown this year include “Star Wars,” March 7; “Singin’ in the Rain,” April 4; and “The Wizard of Oz,” May 2.