Just before Clark Gable appeared as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind, he had the Bethesda Theatre on his mind. Yes, our Bethesda Theatre, right here on Wisconsin Avenue.
On the occasion of its grand opening, the legendary actor sent the following message from Hollywood:
"Congratulations. May the Boro Theatre prove the bright spot of your entire circuit." - Clark Gable
(It was initially called the Boro Theatre.) Today, it is known as the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club.
The club has assembled the quotes of Mr. Gable and his contemporaries Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy, and Shirley Temple recorded on that date, May 17, 1938.
BB&J is throwing a big 75th Anniversary party for the beloved Streamline art deco theatre it now calls home.
And there'll be a celebrity guest - in person, this time: Branford Marsalis.
You can purchase tickets (at BethesdaBluesJazz.com or 240-330-4500) for this special event, which will be held - appropriately - on May 17, 2013.
For ticket prices, and a schedule for the evening, click to enlarge the invitation below.
One interesting piece of trivia, which I only found out in recent years: The Bethesda Theatre was built by Sidney Lust, who also built the drive-in theater on Route 1 in Beltsville. The drive-in had a fantastic wall design that faced the road, but - criminally - was torn down. I can remember passing it on the way to the Laurel Drive-in in the 1980s.
The Bethesda Theatre, named to the national list of historic sites, is here to stay, however. Clark Gable would be pleased.