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Bankhead Theater Reopens In Mid-May With Art Films

Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center announced that the Bankhead Theater will reopen in May 2021, screening films with a restricted audience size. Following state guidelines, only 100 tickets distributed across the 507-seat theater will be sold for each event.

Originally scheduled for the week the theater closed a year ago, the classic film musical “Fiddler on the Roof” (1971) will be the first to return on Wednesday, May 19. Nine additional films include theatre productions filmed for broadcast from London’s West End and a “Travel Without Leaving Town” Series featuring famous art and artists.

National Theatre Live offers the best of British theater with state-of-the-art filming techniques specifically tailored for each play, providing an experience described as “the next best thing to actually being there.” On June 10, the Bankhead will screen an inventive new adaptation of the powerful love story “Cyrano de Bergerac” starring James McAvoy (X-Men, Atonement) in the title role. The legendary Ian McKellen delivers an “extraordinarily moving portrayal” of Shakespeare’s tragic and tormented “King Lear” in a Chichester Festival Theatre production to be shown on July 8.

The “Travel Without Leaving Town” series is made up of five Great Art on Screen films which offer an in-depth look at some of the most extraordinary and groundbreaking artists of their time. From Venice and Florence in Italy, to Spain, Russia and Mexico, the films feature the works of great Renaissance masters, Tintoretto and Botticelli, the fascinating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, as well as in-depth tours of the treasures within famous museums, The Prado and The Hermitage. Narrated by well-known actors, interspersed with insights from expert art historians, the culture and stories of these artists and art collections come to life. The films will be screened on Sundays from May 30 through July 25 and align with a new Bankhead Gallery art exhibit, “Take Me There: Travel the World Through Art and Photography,” which opens June 29. For more information on the exhibit’s Call for Art, visit

Tickets purchased for “Fiddler on the Roof” in 2020 will be honored in May and patrons will be contacted to choose whether they want tickets reissued using the new COVID-safe seating map, or to exchange, donate or receive a refund instead. Any remaining tickets will then be made available at the standard Classic Film Musical price of $5 each.

Tickets for “National Theatre Live,” “Travel Without Leaving Town,” and “Live from London’s West End” are $15 each, with $10 tickets for students up to age 21. Only 100 seats spaced six feet apart will be sold initially per show. Ticket availability may increase if county or state guidelines change, but audience size will not exceed 200 for film screenings at the Bankhead through August 2021. It should be noted that most art and theater films are unrated. Parents know their children best and should make their own decision regarding appropriate content.