Music critics and fans have extolled Prince’s brilliance as a songwriter and musician since the pop-music legend died Thursday. But for a brief, shining moment, Prince also was a big movie star. His semi-autobiographical screen debut, “Purple Rain,” took in more than $68 million at the U.S. box office – a lot of money for 1984.
Sacramento’s Tower Theatre and Rocklin’s Studio Movie Grill will honor Prince by showing “Purple Rain.” The film will screen at Tower at 7:15 p.m. on Monday. Tickets for the Tower show are $10, but at Studio Movie Grill, which is showing the film at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, they’re a more 1984-esque $5.
In “Purple Rain,” much of which was filmed at the famous First Avenue rock club in Prince’s hometown of Minneapolis, Prince played an emerging musician called the Kid. In between the movie’s musical-performance scenes, the Kid encounters turmoil at home (his “too bold,” frustrated musician father beats his mother), a fierce rivalry with another musician/bandleader (Morris Day) and trust issues with his new girlfriend (Apollonia Kotero).
Prince’s subsequent film appearances in “Under the Cherry Moon” (1987) and the “Rain” semi-sequel “Graffiti Bridge” (1990) were not nearly as well-received, by critics or audiences.