The Arts

Dirty turns thirty

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For all the incurable romantics who revere Dirty Dancing (1987), you’ve got a big-screen treat in store just before Valentine’s Day.

Once again, Fathom Events, which has brought such classics pictures as Dr. Strangelove (1964), Jaws (1975), National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), Thelma and Louise (1991), From Here to Eternity (1953), and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel (1956) – as well as the ever-popular “RiffTrax” screenings – back to the big screen, now joins forces with LionsGate to do likewise with Dirty Dancing.

The “Dirty Dancing 30th Anniversary” screening event will be shown twice on Sunday, Jan. 29, with encore screenings Wednesday, Feb. 1. Some 550 select theaters will be hosting the event, including the Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, located in the Friendly Center in Greensboro.

In an official statement, Michael Rathauser, the senior vice-president of marketing for LionsGate Home Entertainment, said: “Dirty Dancing is one of the quintessential classics in our film library, and we are thrilled to commemorate its 30th anniversary by bringing it back to movie theaters. 2017 will have an array of exciting activations for all fans with this big-screen experience, specialty home-entertainment release, television event, and more.”

Set in the Catskills in the summer of 1963, Dirty Dancing details the friendship, and later romance, that develops between lonely teenager “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) and resort dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), augmented by such classic tunes as “Be My Baby,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Some Kind of Wonderful” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” as well the as songs created for the film: “She’s Like the Wind” (performed by Swayze himself), “Hungry Eyes,” and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” which won both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Song.

The film, co-starring Jerry Orbach, Jack Weston, Cynthia Rhodes, Kelly Bishop and future “Seinfeld” favorite Wayne Knight in his first major screen role, cost a mere $5 million to make but became an immediate hit, grossing over $60 million in the United States and over $150 million worldwide. Its success gave big boosts to the careers of Swayze, Grey and first-time director Emile Ardolino, and put indie studio Vestron Pictures on the map. (Vestron never produced or released a film that came anywhere close to the success of Dirty Dancing, and did its own swan dive into bankruptcy only three years later.)

Audiences will not only get to re-experience this ’80s favorite onscreen again, but will also enjoy a sneak peak of the special feature “Happy 30th Birthday, Dirty Dancing,” which will be included on the upcoming home-entertainment release, which will be released by LionsGate in February.

The big-screen return of Dirty Dancing is only the first in a series of special events designed to commemorate its 30th anniversary. In addition to LionsGate’s 30th-anniversary special-edition Blu-ray, DVD, and collector’s-edition boxed set, there’s the ongoing North American tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage, a new mobile game, and Legacy Recordings has scheduled a spring release for the new special-edition Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

Later this year, ABC will broadcast a live television adaptation of Dirty Dancing, directed by Wayne Blair, starring Abigail Breslin as Baby and Colt Prattes as Johnny, with Katey Sagal, Bruce Greenwood, Sarah Hyland, Debra Messing, Billy Dee Williams, Nicole Scherzinger and Tony Roberts.

“Dirty Dancing is one of those really rare films that feels just as fresh and fun as it did the first time you saw it,” said Tom Lucas, vice-president of studio relations for Fathom Events. “As an ’80s classic set in the ’60s, it’s a double-dose of cinematic nostalgia and we couldn’t be more delighted to welcome Baby and Johnny back to the silver screen.”

If you want to go … Showtimes for the 30th-anniversary screening of “Dirty Dancing 30th Anniversary” are 2 pm and 7 pm Sunday, Jan. 29, with encore screenings 2 pm and 7 pm Wednesday, Feb. 1 at the Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, 3205 Northline Ave., Greensboro. Tickets are $13.34 (all seats, all screenings). For advance tickets or more information, check out www.FathomEvents.com.
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