While I was visiting the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut to view the movie The Beatles: Eight Days a Week, I was unaware of how huge this movie would be. When I arrived there were people who were waiting in the lobby for the doors to open. “It’s gonna be a big night,” Heather the box office manager told me. With over three hundred and fifty tickets already sold, over at concessions they were preparing popcorn for both bars. There were two that were open that night, one upstairs and one downstairs. On top of that, there was a table set up with T-shirts to be sold in honor of the event.
When I made my way up the stairs I noticed the Humphrey Bogart Statue had a T-shirt attached to him. I was able to view some of the old news clippings above a piano. All of these clippings contained interesting facts and articles about the Garde Arts Center. I was able to learn from Steve Sigel, 90th Anniversary Season starts on September 27, 2016. Through reading these articles and hear what Steve had to say, I managed to learn more about the history of the Garde.
However, before I was able to learn more the doors opened with a flood of people coming in. It was go time for everyone inside. Soon, there was more popcorn being made to go to both bars as well as water being brought out. As people were taking their seats, I noticed the entire balcony was filled. Around seven o’clock, there were two school buses filled with college students who came to view the show as part of a class. As seven thirty drew closer, there were people trickling in wearing their own Beatles T-shirts. People of all ages to view the Ron Howard documentary on one of the most iconic bands in history.
A little after seven thirty Steve Sigel gave his speech on the Garde Arts Center. Welcoming the audience into the movie palace he made light jokes about the different generations that came into view the movie. Alongside his speech he informed them of The Ghosthunters doing a special on the Garde Arts Center. He was very pleased to reveal that the Garde would be airing a special preview of the episode on October 15. Soon after he thanked the sponsors: Blue Prints Unlimited, Atlantic Broadband, Hall Communications, The Day, Secor, and Bank of America the lights went down as the previews began.
Once previews for Life Animated and Missing Girl were shown the movie started. Throughout the film there were laughs as the audience was ecstatic to view the film. There were people who were clapping in their chairs to the music and laughing at the jokes made in the film. Along the film there were interviews with Eddie Izzard and Whoopi Goldberg describing how The Beatles inspired them growing up. Alongside them were interviews with Larry Kane, a newsman who toured with the, and Brian Epstein who was a manager. Throughout the film, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr spoke about the crowds that they performed for. Among the archive footage of fainting and crying girls, were archive footage of John Lennon and George Harrison with interviews they gave before they passed away. With explaining the stadium tour, I was able to learn more about the iconic band The Beatles through this experience. Through this, I was able to learn that The Beatles refused to play for segregated audiences in the United States of America throughout the Civil Rights Movement. I was able to learn that The Beatles were a close knit group of four men who were humble. In fact, after most concerts they would go and visit with the opening acts. However, their touring life was anything but charming as Ringo described, one night after a concert they were put into an empty meat truck and driven to their hotel. As the film goes on, they describe their personal lives going into their final live performance on a rooftop in England. The audience stayed after the credits to view thirty minutes of uncut footage from The Beatles concert at Shea Stadium in New York City.
When the final segment of The Beatles performing ending, the lobby filled up with audience chattering about the film they just saw. There was talk about what they had learned about The Beatles as the school buses outside filled. There were many people who were crowded around the table where T-shirts were being sold. As I left the Garde Arts Center, I couldn’t help but think about The Beatles. There will be no one out there who can replace John, Paul, George, and Ringo. However, these four were able to go from performing at small venues to stadiums. Part of me wonders, where the next big band that will be compared to Beatlemania would come. After fifty years, The Beatles are still able to make people “Twist and Shout”.