Coming Soon: Hispanic Films at Tally Ho

Judy and Michael Wilson, owners of the 75-year-old Tally Ho, planned the event to reach out to the area's Hispanic community.
Judy and Michael Wilson, owners of the 75-year-old Tally Ho, planned the event to reach out to the area's Hispanic community. (By Tracy A. Woodward -- The Washington Post)
By Arianne Aryanpur
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 9, 2007

In the five years since Judy and Michael Wilson became owners of the Tally Ho Theatre, the 75-year-old Leesburg landmark has experienced a revival of sorts.

The theater on West Market Street closed in the late 1990s because of competition from national theater chains.

But when it reopened in 2002, its owners had a new vision: to provide Loudoun County with something those big chains couldn't offer. So the Tally Ho began screening documentaries by local filmmakers and hosting cultural events to foster a sense of community.

On Friday, the theater will continue that effort by hosting its first Hispanic film program.

The two-week event will include screenings of Spanish-language films, Latin dance and music performances, a Hispanic business networking event and a photo exhibit of coffee bean harvesters in El Salvador.

"We have a growing and vibrant Hispanic community in Northern Virginia, and we're trying to reach out to them," Michael Wilson said. Hispanics make up 9.3 percent of Loudoun's population, according to recent census estimates. "This will be great for them, and it will give other people the opportunity to see foreign films as well," he said.

The theater will screen four films as part of the program.

In addition, the lobby will feature a photo exhibit of Finca Amaquilco, a coffee bean farm outside San Salvador, by photographer Linda Holtslander.

"For three years, I've been going down there for my vacation and staying on my friend's farm," said Holtslander, who is also assistant director of Loudoun County Public Library. "The workers are really proud of what they do, and that's the issue I try to address."

Florencia Loren, head of the county Chamber of Commerce's Hispanic Business Outreach committee, will host a networking event Sept. 27. for Hispanic business owners, who make up 5.6 percent of entrepreneurs in Loudoun, according to recent census estimates. There will be a screening of "Ladr?n que Roba a Ladr?n," a Spanish comedy/action film with English subtitles, at 7:30.

"We want Hispanic business owners to learn that they're welcome here," Loren said. "More importantly, this is a cutting-edge festival in Loudoun County. You can come to the theater with your family and a learn a little about other cultures."

The Hispanic film program kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday at the Tally Ho, 19 W. Market St. in Leesburg. El Zol (99.1 FM), a Spanish-language radio station, will welcome guests. Danceintime, a Latin dance troupe, will perform and offer dance lessons from 6 to 9 p.m., and Leesburg Town Council member Fernando "Marty" Martinez (D) will deliver an opening address at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, a Latin folk and contemporary music band will perform from 6 to 9 p.m.

Three films will be screened on a rotating basis: "El Cantante," a drama in Spanish and English with Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez; "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," dubbed in Spanish; and "Dragones: Destino de Fuego," a Spanish children's film with English subtitles.

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