For decades, Little Rock’s West 9th Street and the Dreamland Ballroom have waited to tell the stories of the entrepreneurs and patrons who brought them to life. AETN is privileged to have the opportunity to share them in the original documentary film “Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street,” premiering on air Thursday, April 6, at 7 p.m. Viewers will also have an exciting opportunity to preview the full, feature-length film Friday, March 31, at CALS Ron Robinson Theater.
Held in partnership with the Arkansas Sounds Series, the evening's event will feature a brief performance by Rodney Block, followed by a screening of the original AETN documentary and a Q&A session with the filmmakers and individuals featured in the film.
“Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street” introduces the once vibrant, African-American business and entertainment district through the voices of local residents and historians. The film seeks to recognize, memorialize and share the significant past of the once thriving area as it traces its evolution from emergence in the 1800s through present day.
The documentary also highlights the only remaining historic structure on West 9th Street, Taborian Hall, which, like much of the district, was home to varied and important black businesses — including professional offices, a USO and the Gem Pharmacy. Located in Taborian Hall's top floor was the legendary Dreamland Ballroom, a nationally-recognized stop on the “Chitlin Circuit.” The popular club showcased regional and national African-American bands, including luminaries such as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Little Richard, B.B. King, Etta James, Ray Charles, Count Basie and many more.
In addition to covering the heights of West 9th Street’s glory, “Dream Land” also investigates its transition and the impact federal programs — such as Urban Renewal, school desegregation, the Housing Act of 1949 and the Eisenhower Interstate Program — made on the the district.
To join us as we celebrate the memory of this extraordinary period of Arkansas history, register to reserve your seats for the event. While tickets are free and the screening is open to the public, seating is limited. Reservations may be made now at: to.aetn.org/DreamLandPreviewScreeningTickets.
Friday, March 31, 2017
“Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street” Preview Screening, beginning at 7 p.m.
Held in partnership with the Arkansas Sounds Series
CALS Ron Robinson Theater
100 River Market Ave., Little Rock
Thursday, April 6, at 7 p.m.
Monday, April 17, at 9 p.m.