There once was a jock, a rebel, a princess, a brain and an outcast who lived in a land far, far away called the 1980s.
John Hughes wrote, produced and directed a movie about the five fictional high-schoolers forced together in Saturday detention and called it “The Breakfast Club.”
Teenagers loved it. Reviewers — adults — loved it. Moviegoers of all kinds loved it and made it a financial hit.
At 7 p.m. Saturday at the Grand Opera House, “The Breakfast Club” will make a few more dollars but it will only be $5-per-person more.
If you look for someone who understands 1985, when “The Breakfast Club” was released, for someone who was a fan, who gets what it was to be in high school then, you won’t find anyone much better than Joe Patti, the Grand’s executive director.
Patti has even met Molly Ringwald, the ‘80s teen film-star with a string of hits who played Claire — the princess — in “Breakfast Club.”
“Yeah, I was in high school,” he said. “I saw ‘The Breakfast Club’ and before that ‘Sixteen Candles’ then later “Pretty in Pink’ when they came out. All were part of my teenage and early college years.”
As iconic as Ringwald is as an ‘80s star and as identifiable as she and her co-stars Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall and Judd Nelson were to that period (they were collectively part of what was called the Brat Pack) — the film also has an enduring quality because most people still identify with the characters and the movie’s underlying theme.
“Sure, there’s a whole lot of nostalgia in its appeal, but it’s classic because it’s a good story done well and everybody knows those people in it,” Patti said. “And a lot of people know exactly who they would be in it. It was the first movie that addressed the stereotypes about jocks, troublemakers, princesses, nerds and outsiders and let them all say this is who we really are, we’re really a lot alike. Each one realized those from other groups were just people, too.”
And oh yes, Patti met Ringwald.
“I was pretty starstruck and we didn’t have much of a conversation,” he said. “I was helping at a film festival in Sarasota, Florida, a festival of French films, and I had a backstage pass. I stepped through a door and there she was. We exchanged pleasant nods and that was about it. I’m not sure if we even said anything more or if I even could have. She was there because she moved to France at one point and did a number of French films.”
Patti said the Grand Opera House is still experimenting with what it can do with the film series, other presentations and new spaces in the theater.
“It’s almost a year since we re-opened after remodeling the theater and creating a new lobby and lounges,” he said. “As far as films, we want wide appeal but in our first year also had an eye toward what film buffs would appreciate. Now, we’ve expanded things like showing ‘Kung Fu Panda’ for families on Wednesday before school got going. Ahead are general appeal movies, music and concert films, some cult classics and just a whole lot of great, entertaining movies.”
Coming are more ‘80s-‘90s hits like “Back to the Future” and “Dirty Dancing” as well as a September repeat showing of “Saturday Night in Macon, Ga.,” from the ‘70s. It’s an Allman Brothers Band concert shot by Don Kirshner at the Grand Opera House also featuring the Marshall Tucker Band and Wet Willie. “The Need for Speed,” which was shot in Macon, is scheduled and where last October for Halloween two silent horror classics were shown, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” and “Nosferatu,” this year the campy-cult-horror favorite “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” will be featured.
“And yes,” Patti said, “since we’re wanting to do more things where people can really get involved, we’re going to encourage audience participation “Rocky Horror” is famous for, the sing-alongs and reciting movie lines and such. We might even be doing some ‘Rocky Horror’ karaoke in the lounges.”
Dates and times for films and other presentations are at www.thegrandmacon.com.
Contact Michael W. Pannell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Breakfast Club”
Where: The Grand Opera House, 651 Mulberry St.
When: 7 p.m. Aug. 3
Information: www.thegrandmacon.com/all-events/the-breakfast-club, 478-301-5470