News Release from Bing Crosby Advocates
October 9, 2023
Contact: Brad Rovanpera (925) 783-3786, firstname.lastname@example.org
BING CROSBY HOLIDAY FILM FESTIVAL RETURNS DEC. 9, 2023
10 a.m. – “White Christmas”
12:30 p.m. – “Birth of the Blues”
3:00 p.m. – Live! The Big Bing Theory a cappella group
4:30 p.m. – Live! Zonky Jazz Band
6:00 p.m. – Treasures from Bing Crosby’s Own Archive
7:30 p.m. – “White Christmas”
A special presentation of Bing Crosby’s private home movies as well as two screenings of “White Christmas” and live musical entertainment will highlight the 2023 Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival on Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Bing Crosby Theater in downtown Spokane.
“Treasures from Bing Crosby’s Own Archive” will feature highlights from the entertainer’s personal home movies and photos from his private collection — most of which have never been seen by larger audiences. A selection of these will be presented by Robert Bader, President of Bing Crosby Enterprises and curator of Crosby’s papers and media artifacts.
Hosted once again by the Bing Crosby Advocates, this year’s day-long yuletide salute to Spokane’s most famous son will also include a screening of “Birth of the Blues”, Bing’s 1941 film co-starring Mary Martin. Gonzaga University’s Dr. Jadrian Tarver will be on hand to offer commentary on the film’s focus on African American influences on American jazz music. In addition, there will be live performances by Gonzaga University's popular a cappella group, The Big Bing Theory, and Spokane's own Zonky Jazz Band.
As usual, the festival will begin and end with screenings of "White Christmas", Irving Berlin's beloved holiday musical co-starring Bing, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen. This fall marks the 70th anniversary of the making of this Paramount Pictures classic. It was also the first movie made in the widescreen VistaVision format. It was the highest grossing film of 1954, and the biggest hit of Crosby's 36-year Hollywood career. The film will be shown at 10 a.m. and again at 7:30 p.m.
“We’re particularly excited to have Robert Bader join us this year to share Bing’s rarely seen private movies and photos,” said Dave Reynolds, board president of the Bing Crosby Advocates. “Along with the perennial screenings of Bing’s most popular film, ‘White Christmas’, and our special screening of ‘Birth of the Blues’, this promises to be one of the most memorable holiday festivals we’ve ever put together.”
The Bing Crosby Advocates launched the annual festival in 2006 to celebrate Crosby’s enduring legacy and his personal connection with his hometown of Spokane. Crosby and his singing partner Al Rinker performed on stage at what was then known as the Clemmer Theater in 1925, when it was a silent movie venue. The theater, located at 901 W. Sprague Ave., was renamed for him in 2006.
Festival admission is $20.00, along with a $2.00 historic theater restoration fee; those 17 and under are admitted free. For tickets, go online to www.ticketswest.com
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Bing Crosby Advocates, a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate Bing Crosby’s life and legacy and showcase his connections to his hometown of Spokane. The Advocates also volunteer as docents to support the Bing Crosby House Museum, Bing’s boyhood home from 1911 to 1925, located on the campus of Gonzaga University at 508 E. Sharp Ave. in Spokane. For more information and to become a member, visit bingcrosbyadvocates.org