Durant's Never Closes to Premiere at the Bama Theatre

The mob world of the 1950’s will come to the Bama Theatre this Wednesday, with the premiere of “Durant’s Never Closes.”

The film is based on the life of Jack Durant, a 1950’s restaurant owner in Phoenix, Arizona, and rumors of his possible connections to the mob. According to the film’s director, Travis Mills, the movie is about more than Durant’s mob connections

“It’s not just a mob movie about someone who owns a restaurant,” he said. “It’s mainly a character study of a man and what he’s going through.”

This film is Mills’ first time working with Hollywood, rather than local, talent, he said. One of the movie’s stars, Tom Sizemore is known for his roles in "Saving Private Ryan" and "Black Hawk Down." Mills said Sizemore’s performance is one of his favorite parts of the film

“People forget,” he said, “This is a real reminder of how good he is.”

This is also the most widely played of Mills’ movies, with screenings in 21 cities across the country. Mills said he is trying to build an audience for the film by reaching out to local venues like the Bama Theatre and asking them to screen the film.

Mills said he has an interest in telling local stories using locations important to the town. In the case of “Durant’s Never Closes” that meant shooting on location in Phoenix.

“It’s about putting stories where they belong,” he said. “If I made in movie in Tuscaloosa I would use locations important to the city.”

Mills is currently shooting his next project in Mississippi and said he hopes to build a film movement there like he did in Phoenix.

David Allgood, the manager of the Bama Theatre said he would love to see a local film movement in Tuscaloosa.

“It gives a sense of pride to the community or makes us feel special in some way,” he said. “It makes them feel included in the artistic process.”

The film’s premiere on Wednesday will be accompanied by a Q&A session with the filmmakers, Mills said he sees the Q&A session as an opportunity for people to connect with his work and help people enjoy it. Allgood said he sees as another way for people to be involved in the film making process.

“Being able to talk to the people that created the movie makes it kind of personal for them,” he said. “It makes them invested in the project.”

Wednesday’s premiere starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Bama Theatre.

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