It was a film more than 30 years in the making. And on Friday, it’s returning home for a special showing at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi.
“Raiders! The Story of The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made” will be shown at 7 p.m., followed by a screening of Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos’ shot-for-remake of “Raiders of The Lost Ark.”
“We have such a beautiful state-of-the-art theater, the Beau Rivage Theatre, that seats about 1,800,” Beau Rivage Director of Marketing Mary Cracchiolo-Spain said, “and it’s an amenity that we have and we are looking for other ways to use than traditional headline entertainment.”
Zala, Strompolos and Jayson Lamb were 11 when they started making their remake in 1981. They worked on the film for seven years, completing it except for a shot where Indiana Jones fights the Nazis on an airfield. Jeremy Coon's documentary, “Raiders!,” tells the tale of Strompolos and Zala, as adults a quarter-century later, assembling a crew and filming the scene in Vancleave in 2014.
The “Beau show” will be a homecoming for Zala and Strompolos, who have spent most of the summer in a “Raiders” RV taking the film to various art houses, cinemas and festivals around the country.
“It’s been a really wonderful experience,” Zala said. “We took a huge leap of faith in doing this tour — it’s been exhilarating and exhausting.”
Strompolos said the tour has been sustaining itself off merchandise shown at the appearances.
“It’s been a very ‘do-it-yourself’ tour, which has always kind of been our MO,” he said. “Life on the road can be pretty challenging.”
Zala and Strompolos plan to bring the RV to Biloxi and park it front of the Beau Rivage.
“We will bring the RV for those that are curious to see it,” Zala said. “It’s quite the eye-grabber and we’ve met a lot of folks along the way because of it.”
The filmmakers said they also plan to do a Q&A with their fans.
“We hope to bring up a lot of the people on stage who were pivotal to the airplane scene — like Mark Spain, who built the airplane, and our director of photography, Francisco Gonzalez,” Zala said.
If you go
“Raiders! The Story of The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made” double feature with original fan film
Beau Rivage Theatre, 875 Beach Blvd., Biloxi
7 p.m. Friday, August 26
Tickets are $10 and are available at Tickemaster.com