VIDEOS: ‘Legends of the Road’ screening benefits Historic Admiral Theater mural restoration

June 29th, 2017

Please enjoy this video depicting the introduction (0:00-7:39) and the post-screening Q/A session (7:40-26:24) for the June 27, 2017, “Legends of the Road” event in Pier 4 at the Historic Admiral Theater. You can see a portion of one of the recently exposed auditorium murals in the background.


Screening of ‘Legends of the Road’ documentary on June 27 draws 200 to Historic Admiral Theater and raises more than $5,000 for new mural restoration fund


Restoration of the art-deco underwater murals of West Seattle’s Historic Admiral Theater received a boost with the June 27, 2017, screening of a local documentary that showcases a project by local students to salute the black baseball barnstorming phenomenon of the early 20th century.

The screening of “Legends of the Road,” a feature-length, student-produced film at the Historic Admiral Theater, which drew nearly 200 people to Pier 4 of the theater, was sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

The film, which won the highest audience rating at the 2017 Kansas City Film Festival, was introduced by Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, and former teacher Gary Thomsen of West Seattle, who led the “Legends” project at Chief Sealth High School and directed the film.

After the film, Kendrick and Thomsen, as well as former student and “Legends” producer Paul Byrne and “Legends” trip leader Tauno Latvala answered questions.

Emcee for the evening was Clay Eals, executive director of our historical society.

Admission was by $20 donation, and a VIP opportunity, to see the film and visit one-on-one with the featured speakers beforehand, was by $100 donation.

To learn more about “Legends of the Road,” please view these videos:

  • The three-minute trailer for “Legends of the Road”:

  • A 16-minute segment of Bob Kendrick speaking about his museum and “Legends of the Road” while being interviewed by West Seattle Blog Editor Tracy Record the morning of June 26, 2017:

  • A three-minute segment of Gary Thomsen speaking about “Legends of the Road” while being interviewed by West Seattle Blog Editor Tracy Record the morning of June 26, 2017:

Further special events to support mural restoration at the Historic Admiral Theater will be planned down the road, as will the detailed process for seeking restoration proposals.

Our historical society, which secured landmark status for the Historic Admiral Theater in 1989, will lead the effort to restore its murals. After being covered for decades, the murals were revealed earlier this year as part of the theater’s $1.7 million renovation and expansion to four screens.

Bob Kendrick’s visit was made possible, in part, by the kind in-kind contribution of John Coney and The Grove/West Seattle Inn.

‘Legends of the Road’ background

“Legends of The Road” is the deeply moving account of 28 public high-school students from Chief Sealth High School in West Seattle, Washington, who in 1999-2000 created an extraordinary project about a largely unknown baseball phenomenon known as barnstorming.

While many sports fans are familiar with the Negro Leagues, and many more with iconic players Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson and Buck O’Neil, few are aware of the men who traversed two countries playing the game they loved in the face of rampant prejudice and discrimination — the barnstormers.

Their journeys dispelled the notion of white supremacy on the baseball field and fostered the breakdown of racial stereotypes, leading Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to say, “They laid down the first plank in the civil rights movement.”

The extensive research project culminated with the students’ re-creation of a summer-long tour of the western United States and Canada to commemorate the 100th anniversary of barnstorming. The tour was done on bicycles: 71 days, 33 games and 5,100 miles.

“Legends of the Road” offers a comprehensive, behind-the-scenes look at this heartwarming story, as told through candid, student-shot, in-your-face vérité footage. Mixing provocative classroom scenes with captivating video of the epic trip, the story is as inspiring as it is historically significant.

The film draws upon 80 hours of behind-the-scenes classroom and trip footage as the students labored to research and produce the project, 55 hours of interviews with former Negro Leagues players (and players who played against them), 11 hours of interviews with iconic Hall of Fame player Buck O’Neil and Bob Kendrick (now president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum), and 23 hours of interviews with historians.

“Legends of the Road” won the highest audience rating at the 2017 Kansas City Film Festival.

To have the media kit for “Legends of the Road” e-mailed to you, please click here.