This Saturday, The Langston Hughes African Film Festival has a lot to celebrate. For the last two years, the festival’s home, The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, has been closed for seismic and electrical upgrades and some architectural renovations. Now, they’re back home and tomorrow’s opening night gala will be the first cultural event in the historic space in two years.
The Performing Arts Center was originally dedicated as the Chevra Bikur Cholim Jewish Synagogue in 1915. It was designed by Seattle architect B. Marcus Priteca and was notable for its polygonal structure and terra cotta detailing. It began its second life as the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center in 1969 and became part of Seattle Parks and Recreation in 1972.
For the opening gala this Saturday, April 14, they will be screening “The Last Fall,” the directorial debut of former NFL player Matthew Cherry, who will be attending the screening. The film centers around a young football player, Kyle Bishop, who’s nearing the end of his career. The film follows Bishop as he returns to the reality of home life, moving back in with his mother and coming to terms with life after sports. A post screening discussion with Matt Cherry and a reception will be part of the opening night festivities.