TFAC to present Alice’s Restaurant

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, October 30, 2019

On Tuesday, November 5, Tryon Fine Arts Center will set the stage for the holiday season with the screening of the film of the now famous ode to Thanksgiving, “Alice’s Restaurant”.

Loosely based on a true story, the film is about 18-year-old folksinger Arlo Guthrie and his friend Rick Robins as they help their friends Alice and Ray Brocks clear out their home in Great Barrington, MA. The Brocks then open a restaurant in the nearby town of Stockbridge. The plot also involves a pile of garbage, a blind judge, a red VW minibus, the military draft, the Stockbridge Police Chief (who played himself) and Arlo’s girlfriend.

The restaurant, originally named The Back Room, achieved worldwide fame when it was immortalized by Guthrie in his song “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre” at the 1967 Newport Jazz Festival. The narrative song continues to be popular and has become a part of the annual Thanksgiving celebration, at least in MA.

The film was directed by Arthur Penn, who was a resident of Stockbridge at the time the story took place and had just completed the filming of “Bonnie and Clyde.” He also co-wrote the story with Venable Herndon. The film stars Guthrie, as himself, with Pat Quinn as Alice and James Broderick as Ray. Penn was nominated for Best Director by the Academy Awards and he and Herndon were nominated for their writing by the Writers Guild of America. The music was nominated by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Showtime is 7:00 p.m, For more information, visit or call 828-859-8322.

Michelle Fleming