Monday, April 07, 2008

What Next For "Citizen McCaw?"

I was out of town for the weekend and unexpectedly found myself running for cover from sniper fire on the Las Vegas Strip.

Actually, there was no sniper fire and I have no idea where that came from, so disregard that introduction. Anyway, my point is, I wasn't here for either of the two encore showings of Citizen McCaw this past weekend. But I do have word on how they went.

Saturday night's showing was nearly sold out with about 750 people in attendance at the Marjorie Luke Theater which has a capacity of 808. The Sunday matinée played to an audience of 670. By my count that means a total of nearly 3700 people have attended the three screenings of the documentary about the News-Press melt down and its aftermath.

A sold out house at the Arlington last month views "Citizen McCaw."

In light of the level of interest in the film based on the three screenings, the producers are contemplating a standard movie theater exhibition for the documentary sometime before mid-June. One possibility is having the film shown at the Plaza de Oro for a one week run with a total of 15 to 20 showings. The producers would have to work out a deal with Metropolitan Theaters and there are still rights issues to be negotiated for some of the music that is heard in the film and some of the clips from other movies, such as "Citizen Kane" that appear within the documentary.

According to at least one person in attendance, the audience at both shows was completely engaged in the movie with laughs, jeers and lively questions at the Q&As that followed the screenings.

I would expect that as more and more people see "Citizen McCaw" word of mouth will continue to build. I think it's fair to say that the producers are planning on doing all they can to keep up with the demand.

* * *

It was a sad Saturday afternoon as I sat in a bar in Las Vegas drinking a beer and watching my beloved UCLA Bruins go down to defeat in their Final Four game against Memphis.

Although they lost for the third year in a row in the Final Four that also means they have advanced to the Final Four for the last three consecutive years, which is an accomplishment in itself. With the conventional wisdom being that while the NBA is a "player's league" it is the coach who is singularly most responsible for a team's success in college basketball, Bruin coach Ben Howland is currently one of the top coaches in the country.

Thursday's L.A. Times had an article pointing out that before Howland made a name for himself a number of Southern California college basketball programs had passed him over for head coaching vacancies in favor of other candidates.

Of course, that hits pretty close to home. Howland, who grew up in Goleta, was a UCSB assistant coach for 12 years under head coach Jerry Pimm during, what many consider, the heyday of Gaucho basketball.

When Pimm stepped down in 1998, Howland was one of the applicants vying to replace him. However, Bob Williams, then the head coach at UC Davis, got the nod. The article describes the failure of Howland to get the UCSB head coaching job as his "greatest disappointment."

After Saturday's loss to Memphis, not getting the UCSB job might have gotten bumped down a notch on that disappointment list.