Orson Welles’ iconic “Citizen Kane” has been set for its first-ever showing at Hearst Castle on March 13 as part of the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival.
The movie will be screened at the private theater at the massive hilltop estate — the inspiration for Xanadu in “Citizen Kane” — for about 50 people. Tickets will cost $1,000 each and proceeds will benefit the festival and The Friends of Hearst Castle preservation group.
The Hearst family became a part of the festival in 2012 when William Randolph Hearst’s grandson Steven Hearst agreed to a first-ever screening of “Citizen Kane” at the Hearst Castle visitor center, two miles away from Hearst Castle — even though his grandfather had tried unsuccessfully to suppress the 1941 film. Steven Hearst had said then that enough time has passed for the family to acknowledge the artistic achievement of the film, while attempting to set the record straight about Hearst.
The evening will include a tour with Museum Director Mary Levkoff. Attendees will include “Apocalypse Now” screenwriter John Milius, recipient of the festival’s Spotlight award; producer/director Greg MacGillivray; Steven Hearst and Warner Bros. executives.
The film will be introduced by TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz — the grandson of Herman Mankiewicz, who teamed with Welles to write the screenplay. That script received the film’s only Oscar.
The event will also include live auctions of a pair of Hearst Castle party packages — a movie night for 10 and a pool party for 10 at the indoor Roman Pool — with bidding starting at $7,000.
The festival screened Leslie Iwerks’ documentary “Citizen Hearst” at the castle in 2013 and held a screening last year in San Luis Obispo of “The Big Lebowski,” preceded by Jeff Bridges and longtime friend James Cromwell discussing the film.
The festival is now in its 21st year.