Black Heritage & Cinema Series at Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute

Zoie Clift


This Thursday (Dec. 30) three documentary films are showing
at the Malco Theatre care of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute.  The event is part of the Black Heritage
& Cinema series.
At 1:30 is Lady Day, The Many Faces of Billie Holiday. The
film integrates film and video
performances, recordings, words from her controversial autobiography and
interviews with artists who played with her.
At 3:15 is Ella Fitzgerald,
Something to Live For.
from orphaned days on Harlem streets to musical stardom, Ella Fitzgerald’s life
and career is the focus of this PBS documentary. During her 58 years of performing
ballads and the blues, the artist won 13 Grammy Awards and sold more than 40
million records.
At 5:10 is Sam Cooke, The Life, The Legend, The Legacy.  The documentary delves
into Cooke’s gospel roots, groundbreaking career decisions, and forays into the
civil rights movement. The story is fleshed out by vintage performance and
interview clips. Commentators include family members and fellow performers like
Aretha Franklin and Lou Rawls, and Bobby Womack, while musical highlights
include Cooke’s version of Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind.
theatre is located at 819 Central Ave. The theatre was built on the site of the Princess Theatre which had occupied the location from 1910 until it burned in 1935. Sidney Nutt, Sr bought the Princess Theatre from the original owners in 1927. A few years later he updated it to include ‘talkies’ just beginning to make their appearance as replacement of silent motion pictures. After the fire the theatre was rebuilt and purchased by the Malco Theatre group. Malco is an acronym from the initials of M.A. Lightman. It reopened in 1946 and remained the local cinema showplace until the 1980s. Since the early 1990s it has been the home of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and to year round events presented by the film institute.  This year was put on the National Register of Historic Places. 

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