Meet the Beatles

May 1, 2012

A ticket stub from the first U.S. Beatles concert.

“The Beatles: The Lost Concert” is a 92-minute documentary about the Fab Four’s first show in America, right here in D.C. But based on the film’s trailer, it’s 60 minutes too long. The 12-song performance lasted just over a half-hour, so the rest of the movie is filled with archival footage and talking heads such as Chuck Berry and a Cruella de Vil-looking Joe Perry dropping praise bombs. We don’t need to be reminded how great the Beatles were; the music is enough.

The Feb. 11, 1964, concert at the Washington Coliseum (3rd and M streets NE) was filmed by eight cameras, and little more than a month later, it was shown for two days at movie theaters via closed-circuit.

While clips from the concert will be familiar — the in-the-round staging is the only time the band played this way — the whole show has never been seen in public since the original broadcast. And, of course, by those 8,092 lucky fans who were there in person.

See It: AFI Silver screens “The Beatles: The Lost Concert” on May 17 and 22 at 7:30 p.m.
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