El Casino Ballroom documentary set for premiere August 5

Producer Daniel Buckley shooting at El Casino Ballroom

Producer Daniel Buckley shooting at El Casino Ballroom

El Casino Ballroom documentary set for premiere:

After a year-plus of shooting, “The Heart and Soul of Tucson – El Casino Ballroom” is set to premiere August 5 at 2 p.m. at the Fox Theatre downtown.

The film marks the 65th anniversary of the venerable Tucson landmark where people of all ethnicities and backgrounds have been welcomed since its earliest days. It also marks the 80th anniversary of the Latin American Social Club, which has run the ballroom since the late 1960s.

Film on El Casino premieres Sunday

Founded in 1947 by Ramon Siqueiros, Benjamin Jacobs and Adolfo Loustaunau, El Casino Ballroom has hosted the stars of Mexican cinema, Latino music, jazz and more. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, when black artists could not play in white Tucson clubs, El Casino opened its giant dance floor to the likes of Fats Domino, Little Richard and the Motown reviews. It was the place where Tejano music took root in Tucson, and in the 1980s, the home of KXCI’s House Rocking series of blues, Cajun, zydeco and roots music concerts.

Film on El Casino premieres Sunday p. 2

But it is also the headquarters of Tucson’s Latino community – politically, socially and culturally. Countless wedding receptions, quinceañeras, anniversary parties, memorial services, celebrations of every type and political rallies of many viewpoints brought the community together under El Casino Ballroom’s roof. And to this day, every Sunday El Casino Ballroom is turned over to local non-profits to help them raise funds for their community efforts.

For over a year, videographer Daniel Buckley has been capturing events and stories of the people who have lived and loved the El Casino Ballroom experience. Folks who had their first kiss or first dance there, who joined clubs and organized there, and who hold memories of hearing music and dancing on its vast dance floor that will last a lifetime. The stories are told by those who lived it.

This is the fifth and largest of Buckley’s Cine Plaza at the Fox documentary series, produced in conjunction with associate producers Ralph Gonzalez and Julie Gallego, and such partners as the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation, the Arizona Historical Society and community radio station KXCI. The film was supported by a Tucson Pima Arts Council PLACE grant, as well as community donations.

City Week | City Week | Tucson Weekly

In addition KXCI will hold its first Blues Review show in years at El Casino Ballroom on August 10 (see separate forwarded press release) in conjunction with the film’s release. For more contact Daniel Buckley at 520-260-4176 or dbtucson@gmail.com.


What: “Tucson’s Heart and Soul – El Casino Ballroom” – a documentary film by Daniel Buckley

When: August 5, 2 p.m.

Where: Tucson’s Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress Street

Suggested donation: $3 at the door


Film on El Casino premieres Sunday,” Arizona Daily Star, 08/02/12

A Tribute to El Casino Ballroom,” Tucson Weekly 08/01/12

~ by Daniel Buckley on July 23, 2012.

One Response to “El Casino Ballroom documentary set for premiere August 5”

  1. I can’t wait to see it, Dan!

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