Fade in: Las Vegas. Yes, things move so fast here in the entertainment capital of the world that sometimes we forget about all the great entertainment of the past. That’s where the Las Vegas Classic Film Series comes in. Many have tried to open some type of vintage movie house, but it took the combined efforts of our plucky heroes to actually make it happen.
It’s a story made for the silver screen: A Senegalese woman, Wassa Coulibaly, moves to Sin City to be a dancer for Cirque du Soleil. She takes over the Baobob Stage at Town Square and begins shaking things up. On a recent trip to Switzerland, in a small theater, lightning strikes. “The movies they played were just so raw,” Coulibaly says. “It inspired me.”
Enter Bosnian refugee Ozren Cvjetic, who also happens to be a filmmaker. He’s lived in New York and throughout Europe and has this idea to create the Classic Film Series. “Only Paris, London, Berlin, New York and LA are going to have this level of programming,” he promises.
That means two movies a day, ranging from A Star Is Born and The General to The Wizard of Oz. For now, admission is $5 as the films are all available via public domain, but Coulibaly is hoping to add copywrited titles, especially those by her favorite filmmaker Federico Fellini. She also wants to bring in programming from film festivals around the world.
Cvjetic has even grander ambitions, hoping to “build a film archive collecting everything that was ever filmed in the Southwest, from casinos to Navajo reservations from Santa Fe.”
Opening night saw a large crowd turn out for Charade, a 1963 thriller starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. This is a worthwhile cultural venture, and with continued community support there’s no reason these two dreamers can’t have their own Hollywood ending.