Philanthropist and film industry pioneer Max Palevsky will be honored at the theater in Santa Monica that bears his name at a celebrity-studded screening of the 1977 film Fun With Dick and Jane.
The screening has been organized by the Santa Monica Conservancy and is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, July 17th, at the Max Palevsky Theatre at the Aero, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. Tickets are $35. Proceeds benefit the Santa Monica Conservancy.
Celebrity stars of Fun With Dick and Jane, including Jane Fonda, George Segal and Ed McMahon, are scheduled to attend the event and to participate in a question-and-answer session with the audience following the screening. The post-film discussion will be mediated by the editor of Variety, Peter Bart, who served as executive producer on the film along with Palevsky. A champagne reception will follow the question-and-answer session.
In the midst of a varied career that included convincing Packard Bell to enter the computer business and develop the PB-250 computer, Palevsky’s love of and belief in the power of filmmaking eventually led him to the film industry, according to the Santa Monica Conservancy.
He was executive producer of several films, including Academy Award-winning Marjoe; the Ernest Hemingway adaptation Islands in the Stream; both the original and remake of Fun With Dick and Jane; Marcel Ophuls’ The Memory of Justice; and Costa-Gavras’s State of Siege.
Palevsky has also been involved in the financing of several films, including Terence Malick’s Badlands.
A common thread seen in films Palevsky was involved with is his interest in the study of man in morally-charged situations, according to the Santa Monica Conservancy.
Fun With Dick and Jane is said to be a work that Palevsky is exceptionally proud of. Illustrating many of Palevsky’s favorite themes, Fun With Dick and Jane is a satiric take on an upper middle class social climbing couple who are suddenly thrust down the financial drain when Dick is fired from a corporation whose director has been lining his pockets with money intended for loyal employees and gullible stockholders.
In the name of sweet revenge, Dick and Jane go on a comic crime spree that raises the hopes of all of the people who have been wronged by the power elite. Dick and Jane stick it to the man and become local heroes, according to the Santa Monica Conservancy.
“Fun With Dick and Jane is a whacky comedy, rooted in reality,” Jane Fonda said of the film. “Even at its funniest, it takes a long overdue look at a situation in which many Americans have found themselves. We all know couples like Dick and Jane, living beyond their means, juggling bills, getting by on credit cards and time payments.
“When they finally feel the crunch and do what many people have fantasized about doing — holding up the neighborhood supermarket and even the phone company — they’re treated as folk heroes.”
The film was remade last year starring Jim Carrey and TÈa Leoni.
Palevsky believes that invaluable wisdom can be transmitted through film.
“Movies are important cultural documents equal to novels or poetry,” Palevsky has said. “There should be a place where people can always go to experience them on screen.”
In commitment to this belief, Palevsky donated $500,000 and underwrote the renovation of the 1940 Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Other financial gifts of Palevsky’s subsidized two theaters in Telluride, Colorado and allowed the University of Chicago to build the Max Palevsky Cinema, a campus movie theater and auditorium run by the Documentary Film Group, the longest-running student film organization in the country.
The Santa Monica Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the architectural, cultural and historic heritage of Santa Monica. It offers educational programs and tours, and works with public agencies to raise awareness of the value of the city’s historic landmarks and natural environment.
Information, (310) 396-8202.