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Movie Citizen Kane to play at Hearst Castle 

San Luis Obispo International Film Festival to present historic screening in Hearst Castle’s Hilltop Theater

The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLOIFF) and Friends of Hearst Castle announced this week a first-ever screening in the historic theater in Hearst Castle of Orson Welles’ masterpiece, Citizen Kane. Tickets are $1,000 per person for this joint fundraiser of SLOIFF and Friends of Hearst Castle, which supports conservation of, and education about, Hearst Castle.

Citizen Kane to play at Hearst CastleOn Friday, March 13, as part of the 21st Annual SLOIFF, the film will be screened for only 50 people in William Randolph Hearst’s original private theater in the hilltop estate. This is the first time this controversial film has ever been screened in Hearst Castle itself. The evening will include a VIP tour and a sunset reception overlooking the San Simeon Coastline. Proceeds from this event will also support the 2015 SLOIFF, an annual countywide film festival on California’s beautiful Central Coast.

SLOIFF Spotlight Award recipient John Milius, producer/director Greg MacGillivray, and Warner Brothers executives will be among special guests attending the event. The film will be introduced by TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz. TV personality, writer and humorous raconteur, Ben is the grandson of Citizen Kane co-screenwriter, Herman Mankiewicz. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles received the only Oscar given to the film that is still considered by many to be the best movie ever made.

The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. when guests check in at Hearst Castle’s Visitor Center in San Simeon. A VIP bus will transport guests up the hill before sunset, where they will be greeted at the front gate of the estate. An expert guide will lead guests on a short tour through parts of the historic estate, winding up at sunset on the terrace overlooking the vast ranchlands and ocean. Cocktails, Hearst Ranch wines and a selection of gourmet hors d’oeuvres from Field to Table Catering will be served on the terrace, or poolside at the indoor Roman Swimming Pool depending on the weather. Guests will then be led to the private theater where W.R. Hearst entertained his houseguests after dinner. Hearst was renowned for his hospitality, magnificent art collections, and worldwide business acumen. His guests included a wide variety of famous politicians, sports legends and Hollywood celebrities.

Before the movie, two exclusive Hearst Castle party packages will be live auctioned. One is a Movie Night for 10 that includes a sunset reception. Within approved parameters, the winning bidder would choose the movie, date and invited guests. The second is a Pool Party for 10 in the spectacular indoor Roman Pool, famous for its exotic tiles inlaid with real gold. The swimming party would include a poolside reception and the use of the historic dressing rooms next to the pool. Bidding for both packages will begin at $10,000 each, the proceeds of which will directly benefit Friends of Hearst Castle and conservation treatments for the castle’s collections, with the remainder designated for SLOIFF.

Guests will also be given a gift bag with collectible items to celebrate Citizen Kane’s 75th Anniversary, as well as a Movie Mogul pass for the 2015 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival.

Tickets online at or by phone at (805) 546-3456.

Source: Press release from the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival


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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.