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Alamo Premiere Weekend

October 24, 2008

Today is the 48th anniversary of the world premiere of the John Wayne classic, The Alamo. The film premiered in San Antonio, and the city threw a weekend-long celebration to honor the movie and its stars.

On Saturday, the 22nd, the city welcomed guests, including Wayne, at an airport reception. That was followed by a press reception, a symphony concert featuring the film’s score, and a San Antonio Press Club Gridiron Show. Also, according to the San Antonio Light, Frankie Avalon (pre-Annette) made an appearance at the Trinity-McMurray football fame. In the film, Avalon played “Smitty,” a fictional character.

Sunday, the 23rd, was marked by other receptions and a special Night in Old San Antonio in the evening. Like NIOSAs during Fiesta, the event took place at La Villita and featured a wide variety of food and entertainment. The San Antonio Light reported that about 8,000 people attended. Below is a broadside advertising the event.

Broadside for the special NIOSA during the premiere's weekend.

Broadside for the special NIOSA during the premiere.

Monday, the 24th, began with a breakfast held at Alamo Plaza and ceremony honoring the Alamo defenders. This was followed by a luncheon at the Menger Hotel. Then, that evening, the highly anticipated premiere occurred at the Woodlawn Theatre.

The library has several copies of an official program created by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce for the weekend. Below is the schedule of official events from that program. Because of the document’s 18 inch by 12.5 inch size, a few words were cut off from the scan. The broadside featured above and the program reside in the library’s Ephemera Collection. Click on the images for larger views.

A list of events for Oct. 22nd from the Chamber of Commerce's program.

A list of events for October 22nd from the Chamber of Commerce's program.

The program's list of events for October 23rd and 24th.

The program's list of events for October 23rd and 24th.

Click here for a full citation of the documents and images included in this entry.

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