“I never meant to cause you any sorrow/I never meant to cause you any pain/I only wanted to one time see you laughing/I only wanted to see you/Laughing in the purple rain.”
Following Prince’s unexpected death last Thursday, April 21, at age 57, the opening lines to the seven-time Grammy-winning music legend’s signature song, “Purple Rain,” have acquired a newfound — and rather sobering — resonance.
Both MTV and VH1 aired an edited-for-television version of his 1984 film, Purple Rain, this past weekend. As a way to pay tribute to the legendary artist, two local Marcus Theatres and The Times Cinema have scheduled nighttime screenings of the R-rated theatrical version of the film this week.
Menomonee Falls Cinema (W180-N9393 Premier Ln.), Menomonee Falls, is screening the film on Monday, April 25, at 6:00 p.m. and 8:35 p.m.; Tuesday, April 26, at 7:00 p.m., 8:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.; and Thursday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m. and 7:05 p.m.
South Shore Cinemas (7261 S. 13th St., Oak Creek) is screening the film on Monday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.; Tuesday, April 26 at 8:00 p.m.; Wednesday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.; and Thursday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Admission at both venues is $5.
The Times Cinema (5906 W. Vliet St.) is screening the film Tuesday, April 26 through Thursday, April 28 at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5.
Prince made his film acting debut in the Oscar-winning, semi-autobiographical tale set in his native Minneapolis about a tormented young singer/musician on the rise. In it, he copes with a tumultuous home life, professional rivalry with another singer (played by Morris Day), and a burgeoning romance with a young, hungry female singer (played by Prince-protégé Apollonia Kotero) who’s new to town. Originally Vanity, another protégé of Prince’s, was set to co-star opposite him in the film. She dropped out of the film when her romance with Prince came to an end. She died in February, also at the age of 57.
Made on a $7.2-million budget, the film, shot entirely on location in Minneapolis, was released in July 1984 and grossed more than $68 million at the domestic box office. The film’s equally-iconic soundtrack sold 13 million copies, garnering diamond record status – a rare feat. Prince won the Oscar for best original song score for the film in 1985, and Romancing the Stone (1984) co-stars Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner presented him with the award. His win would mark the last time the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the group behind the Oscars) would bestow an award in that category.