I’m in movie heaven this summer, with two classic film series each week. The historic Lyric Theatre in Lexington’s East End hosts a major African-American film each Sunday afternoon. This year they’re alternating between the classics and recent releases (last week was The Butler from 2013; the week before was Imitation of Life from 1934.)
Stormy Weather (1943) is b
ased on the life of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Robinson plays himself with Lena Horne as his co-star. She performs the iconic “Stormy Weather,” Fats Waller performs “Ain’t Misbehavin,'” Cab Callaway’s band plays “Jumpin’ Jive,” the Nicholas Brothers dance….
“…one of the best Hollywood musicals with an African-American cast….considered a primary showcase of some of the top African-American performers of the time (1943), during an era when African-American actors and singers rarely appeared in lead roles in mainstream Hollywood productions, especially those of the musical genre.” Wikipedia
From the Lyric website:
Almost 70 years from our original opening date, we have patrons coming into our facility, reminiscing of afternoons spent, popcorn in hand, watching cartoons and movies at the historic Lyric Theatre. It is this nostalgia that sparked the free Lyric Summer Film Series in 2012, celebrating the gathering place that the original Lyric was for the East End and giving our current generation this slice of the past.
Being the icon The Lyric was and remains to be in the African American community, these films focused on honoring the monumental achievements of African Americans in film.