Courtesy of The Hollywood Theater.

The Hollywood Theater in Dormont
January 8
7:30 p.m.

Thanks to The Hollywood Theater, Elvis has not left the building.

Courtesy of The Hollywood Theater.

On Friday, January 8th, celebrate what would have been the King’s 81st birthday and see the legendary special that miraculously resurrected Presley’s fading career. The neighborhood-based, single-screen theater is calling all Elvis Aaron Presley devotees to Dormont for a rock and roll bash complete with peanut butter and banana sandwiches, birthday cake, a special screening, selfies with Elvis tribute artist David Frankowski, and more.

The centerpiece of the event is a presentation on the silver screen of Elvis, the NBC television program affectionately referred to as the ’68 Comeback Special, which thrust (pun intended) the star back into the entertainment limelight. Directed by Steve Binder—the visionary behind highly influential television music programs such as The T.A.M.I. Show and Hullabaloo—and produced by Binder and Bones Howe, the pivotal Presley appearance aired on December 3, 1968 on NBC.

Elvis Presley

Age 33 and a new father, Elvis shines during the NBC Christmas special, which showcases the King recapturing all of his rock and roll glory while the cameras roll. The special features Presley jamming informally and performing blues, R&B and rockabilly numbers with his old Sun Records-era band members—all in front of an intimate mesmerized audience. The riveting, raw and unscripted segment is widely regarded as a precursor to the “unplugged” concept popularized by MTV in the late-1980s.

The edited broadcast of the ’68 Comeback Special—which features dramatic choreographed numbers, lavish sets and informal live sessions—was a massive success, and the show became the highest-rated television special of the year. The program’s set list features everything from “Jailhouse Rock” to “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” and music from the special was released on the album Elvis (NBC TV Special).

The event, which is open to all ages, starts at 7:30 p.m. The film will start at 8 p.m. The Hollywood Theater is located at 1449 Potomac Avenue in Dormont. Purchase tickets.

Looking for more events? Read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in January feature.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...