The newly restored and relaunched Prince Music Theater in Center City will be the site of a special 20th anniversary showing of Schindler's List fundraising event for the USC Shoah Foundation.
To mark the 20th anniversary of Schindler’s List, Steven Spielberg’s seven-time Oscar-winner, the USC Shoah Foundation, the nonprofit organization founded by Spielberg to be a repository for the testimony of Holocaust survivors, will hold a limited series of fundraising events across the United States — the only scheduled theatrical screenings of the film, newly remastered by Spielberg himself.
In bit of truly beshert timing, the inaugural showing of this classic film will have its re-premiere on Sept. 12, during the Days of Awe, and will be the first event of the Prince Music Theater’s 2013-2014 season — the theater’s first since it was brought out of bankruptcy by local philanthropist Herb Lotman.
Lotman is the Overbrook High alumnus and founder of Keystone Foods, the Conshohocken-based company that invented Chicken McNuggets (and proprietor of the soon-to-open Peppercorns Restaurant in Wayne). As a longtime supporter of the USC Shoah Foundation, he immediately agreed to foundation board member and founder/chairman of law firm Cozen O’Conner, Steve Cozen’s request to host the event.
“I went to Herb, who has always been very supportive of the foundation, and asked him, ‘Can we take the work you’ve done at the Prince’ ” — the theater’s renovations include high-definition movie projection capability — “and, ‘will you underwrite this entire performance for us?’ And he did it, with a magnificent commitment.”
The kickoff event is just the latest example of the growing importance of the Philadelphia region to the foundation and Spielberg, who lived in Cherry Hill, N.J., when his father, Arnold, worked at RCA in Camden in the 1950s. Jayne Perilstein, the executive director of development at the foundation, notes some of the ways Philadelphia has become prominent in the foundation’s work, including the first trial of the foundation’s iWitness program, an educational platform for middle and high school students, at the Honickman Learning Center; the University of Pennsylvania becoming the first university in the state to house the foundation’s archives; and the city hosting the foundation's 2011 Ambassador for Humanity dinner, which honored Comcast’s Brian Roberts.
Cozen, who was recently named the international chair of the foundation’s new campaign to raise funds for preservation, endowment and other annual needs, says that the event at the Prince will not only further cement the city’s role in supporting Holocaust education — “Philadelphia has stepped up to the plate in a huge way,” he says — it will also enable the foundation to continue expanding its scope. Starting earlier this year, it began adding the testimony of survivors and rescuers from the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
For more information, contact the Benefit Line at 215-665-7208.