Hamilton Live reopened last month in limited capacity as part of a D.C. pilot program. What does the venue have planned for its dinner-and-a-movie slate throughout November?
“We wanted to make use of the room — it had been closed since the pandemic started in March,” Clyde’s Restaurant Group Area Director of Operations David Moran told WTOP. “We thought, ‘Let’s do a little bit of a blend, let’s show some movie concerts.'”
Last month included Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” the Rolling Stones’ “Shine a Light,” Prince’s “Purple Rain,” Amy Winehouse’s “Amy” and The Band’s “The Last Waltz.”
“When we put ‘Purple Rain’ on sale, it sold out in the first couple of hours,” Moran said. “You could see people tearing up at times. Not only were they emotional that they were out again, but also the loss of the artist. … People were just happy to be out and about … All of their suggestions brought the next couple of movies we should do.”
Thus, the series continues Friday with Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.”
“This is gonna be the first one where we’re not literally showing a concert movie; we’re going with a movie with more of a plot, but it has a killer soundtrack,” Moran said. “It’s also Friday the 13th, so we thought let’s get a little funky with ‘Pulp Fiction.’ … The iconic scene of Travolta dancing, that was almost his reintroduction to cool.”
Saturday brings Elvis Presley’s “That’s The Way It Is.”
“It dawned on us that maybe we should look at some of the iconic photos we have in the room,” Moran said. “We thought about how important Elvis was to the entire music scene, not only in the beginning but this part. … It’s shot in 1970 right after he had done a string of movies. This is documenting his return to the stage.”
Nov. 20 brings Led Zeppelin’s rockumentary “The Song Remains the Same.”
“I always thought of it as one of the first concert films,” Moran said. “I still have this image of seeing Jimmy Page take his guitar back toward the amp, create feedback and start playing a solo. … This is Led Zeppelin at the height of its powers. … They capture the magic on film.”
Nov. 21 brings the bluegrass tribute “Down From the Mountain.”
“One of the things that’s really become part of our DNA at The Hamilton over the last 10 years is the bluegrass-Americana scene,” Moran said. “We saw Emmylou Harris was included it. … It’s basically the making of the soundtrack of the ‘O Brother Where Art Thou?’ movie, which the soundtrack itself became a top seller and No. 1 album.”
The month wraps with Nov. 28 with the movie musical “The Wiz.”
“A lot of families have that tradition of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ shown on broadcast television, so we thought this was a fun spin on that,” Moran said. “My mother took me to see the original ‘Wiz’ on Broadway in its first week … People are looking for something fun to do with the family on Thanksgiving Day weekend.”
It’s all a way to keep Hamilton Live chugging during an uncertain time.
“What we’re looking to do, truthfully, is fill up our calendar with a mix of some live performances on a smaller scale and the dinner-and-a-movie [events] on a bit of a larger scale on the weekends and try to get our calendar going where we can really sort of bring people back almost on a nightly basis.”