A tribute to Prytania Theatre owner and film historian Rene Brunet, who died last week at the age of 95, will include a screening of one of his favorite movies at his beloved Uptown theater.
Brunet's family said there will be a free screening of his favorite film, "Rhapsody in Blue," at the Prytania on Friday, which would have been Brunet's 96th birthday. The free screening will begin at 5 p.m.
The 1945 film is a fictionalized screen biography of the American composer and musician George Gershwin and features nearly two dozen of his songs. It was nominated for two Academy Awards, including for best score.
Another tribute to Brunet is visible on the Saenger Theatre on Canal Street. The theater marquee pays tribute with his birth and death dates and reads "Farewell Dear Friend." Brunet was present at the 2013 reopening of the Saenger on Canal Street, the landmark theater whose grand opening he attended as a six-year-old boy 86 years earlier.
Brunet, whose family owned many local movie theaters over the years, purchased the Prytania Theatre in 1996 and his family says they will continue to run the theatre after his death. Brunet was a regular at the Prytania's classic movie screenings each week, introducing and providing commentary on the films.
The showing of his favorite film on Friday will follow his funeral Mass, which will be celebrated Friday at noon at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, 2701 State Street. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m.
A memorial reception at the Prytania will follow the Mass and is expected to begin sometime around 1:15 p.m. It will conclude before the showing of "Rhapsody in Blue" at 5 p.m.