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College to Rename Its Theater After Coppola

April 24, 1998|TOM BECKER

Valley College will rename its campus theater after legendary film director Francis Ford Coppola, school officials said Thursday.

Along with the name change, school President Tyree Weider said, the theater will be home next year to productions by a host of Hollywood directors and writers who will each direct a work with students from the college.

Among guests tentatively scheduled are Coppola, his son Roman Coppola, Wes Craven of "Nightmare on Elm Street" fame, and John Milius, who co-wrote "Apocalypse Now" with the elder Coppola, Weider said.

"Hopefully this will give our students a chance to work with some of the best in the business," Weider said. "We feel it's an honor and a privilege to work in a theater named for Mr. Coppola."

An official name-change ceremony has yet to be scheduled, but Weider said it should be before the fall semester.

The renaming of the 300-seat theater, known as the Little Theater, was the brainchild of Doug Claybourne, a member of the college's foundation and a movie producer.

Claybourne, a friend of Coppola's, suggested the idea to Weider as a way of gaining more recognition for the school that would, in turn, help fund-raising. The idea for the directing program came up while discussing the name change, Weider said.

"It all happened pretty fast," she said.

Valley College has become a sort of fan club for Coppola, who has directed such films as "Apocalypse Now," "The Godfather" trilogy and "Bram Stoker's Dracula."

Last week, the college sponsored a special screening of "Apocalypse Now" at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to benefit the Action/Education Network, a group of Valley schools, including the college, which share resources and raise funds together.

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