Home ‘Music at the Movies’ continues with film based on 1950s record company

‘Music at the Movies’ continues with film based on 1950s record company

By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press

arcadia projectSTAUNTON — In 1950 Chicago, Etta James’ star was just about to rise to fame as she came into contact with others who would also become part of American music history.

On Thursday night, the Arcadia Project will show the 2008 film “Cadillac Records,” starring Beyonce Knowles as James, as well as Adrien Brody and Gabrielle Union.

Before the film, George Hunter will play piano and two singers will perform James’ classic hits “I’d Rather Go Blind” and “At Last.”

The film is this month’s pick in the “Music at the Movies” series for the project, and held in the former Dixie Theater in downtown Staunton.

Based on a true story, the film is a behind-the-scenes look at the music industry and the rise and fall of a record company. Hunter said project leaders asked him to pick from three of four films with a focus on jazz music.

“It was the one they thought would fit better,” Hunter said of “Cadillac Records.”

Hunter said he wanted to pick a film that would show individuals that just because an artist is with a record company, that does not mean everything will go their way.

“This movie is more relatable than others [I could have chosen],” Hunter said.

He said he hopes audience members will find inspiration in the movie’s story to pursue what they want in music, as well as learn what to do and what not to do in the music industry.

“It can be a dangerous business,” he said.

Audience members are requested to wear masks and present proof of vaccination before the performance. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and performance begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at thearcadiaproject.org.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.

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