AFI Silver to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Beatles Coming to America and First US Concert at Washington Coliseum
By Joan Kirby of AFI
Jan 29, 2004, 15:07

Week-Long Film Events Begin Friday, February 6, 2004

Tribute Includes Footage of Beatles' Ed Sullivan Appearances; Newly Restored Print of A HARD DAY'S NIGHT; Beatles Scholars Martin Lewis, Bruce Spizer & Martin Goldsmith; Washington Post Music Critic Richard Harrington

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- The American Film Institute's AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center will launch a week-long 40th Anniversary tribute to the Beatles on Friday, February 6 -- exactly 40 years after the Beatles arrived in America for their first US visit. The AFI Silver will commemorate the Beatles' legendary first visit with a presentation of their first film, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, which began shooting just weeks after the visit. The Beatles' two-week trip included their historic appearances on three consecutive broadcasts of THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW and two concerts, the first of which took place at Washington, DC's Washington Coliseum on February 11, 1964.

The AFI Silver's tribute will include a special screening on Friday, February 6, at 8:50 p.m., of selected highlights from the three history-breaking Beatles appearances on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW in February 1964 (courtesy of Sofa Home Entertainment), along with a presentation of the newly restored print of A HARD DAY'S NIGHT "the Citizen Kane of Jukebox Musicals" -- Andrew Sarris), which screens at both 7:00 and 8:50 p.m. and throughout the week.

Two of the world's leading Beatles historians, Martin Lewis (producer of the DVD Edition of A HARD DAY'S NIGHT) and Bruce Spizer (author of THE BEATLES ARE COMING! The Birth of Beatlemania in America), will introduce the 8:50 p.m. February 6 presentation and participate in a post-screening panel discussion moderated by Washington Post music critic Richard Harrington. Spizer will be available to sign copies of his new illustrated historical account of how the Beatles conquered America -- including the revelation of how a 15-year-old Silver Spring schoolgirl helped jump-start Beatlemania in America.

During the week-long celebration, AFI Silver will host two special Wednesday, February 11, book-signing events with screenings of A HARD DAY'S NIGHT on the exact anniversary of the Beatles' Washington, DC, concert -- featuring noted Beatles author Martin Goldsmith ("The Beatles Come to America"), co-host of SONGS FOR AGING CHILDREN and XM Radio program director.

WHAT: February 6 Beatles 40th Anniversary Tribute Opening:
Screening of highlights from the Beatles ED SULLIVAN SHOW
Screenings of the restored print of A HARD DAY'S NIGHT;
Panel discussion with noted Beatles scholars, music critic

February 11 Washington Coliseum Concert anniversary:
Special book signing events and screenings

WHO: Friday, February 6, 8:50 p.m.:
Martin Lewis, Beatles scholar/producer, DVD Edition A HARD DAY'S
Bruce Spizer, Beatles scholar/author, "THE BEATLES ARE COMING!"
Richard Harrington, music critic, The Washington Post
Murray Horwitz, Director, AFI Silver Theatre

Friday, February 6, 7:00 p.m.:
A HARD DAY'S NIGHT screening only

Wednesday, February 11, 7:00 & 8:50 p.m.:
Murray Horwitz, Director, AFI Silver Theatre
Martin Goldsmith, author, "The Beatles Come to America"

WHEN: Friday, February 6: 8:50 p.m. special presentation
Wednesday, February 11, 7:00 & 8:50 p.m. book signing events

WHERE: AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center
8633 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD
(Corner of Colesville Rd. and Georgia Avenue,
two blocks from the Silver Spring Metro stop)

For further information, please contact Joan Kirby of AFI, +1-301-495-6747,

© Copyright 2003 by