Dallas County residents view classic movie

Published 11:07 pm Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Walton Theatre was filled with Selma residents eager to take a trip down memory lane. The theatre held a viewing of the critically acclaimed movie, “The Heart is the Lonely Hunter” Tuesday night. Mike Lewis, event organizer, said he felt it was important to show the movie on the anniversary of its release.

“Tonight is the exact 50th anniversary of the release of the movie,” he said. “It’s an important movie to Selma because it was filmed here.”

Before the movie, Lewis spoke to the crowd and gave some background on the film.

He also provided a disclaimer about the film, and reminded the audience of what to truly look for in the film.

“There’s difficult parts, but look for the parts where there’s reconciliation and where there’s healing,” he said.

Even with the difficult parts, the movie still offers a glimpse into Selma’s past.

“The movie shows a lot of Selma from that time period, so you get to see buildings like the Hotel Albert and the Wilby Theater,” he said. “People get a really good look at the city, and it’s fun to see what Selma looked like 50 years ago.”

Although there were a number of celebrities in the movie, Lewis said the part that’s most important to Selmians are the local people that had roles in the film.

The weekday showing caused a lot of scheduling conflicts, so Lewis held an additional showing on Sunday, July 29.

“A lot of local people that were in the movie are still here in town,” he said. “Some of them were here Sunday, and some of them are going to be here tonight just to share a little bit about the experience.”

Vaughan Russell spoke to the group after Sunday’s showing about his experiences while filming the movie.

Russell, who was in high school at the time, spoke about being a student while being a part of a major production. He said because of filming on school days, he would have a non-stop schedule for days.

Russell also talked about filming in the Winter time for a movie that was set for the summer.

He said because the movie was set in the summer time they were not allowed to wear heavy jackets on set. Lewis said hearing stories like Russell’s makes the movie even more special to residents.

“I think it adds a lot of fun and interest when people get to hear from people that were actually in the movie,” Lewis said.

Overall, Lewis wanted the event to bring everyone together and enjoy a fun night out in Selma.

He said watching the movie on screen is watching a piece of Selma’s history on screen.

“We want it to be a community event that builds good will and community in the city of Selma,” he said.