On this weekend in 1996, the movie “Fargo” premiered at the Fargo Theatre. It went on to be nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards that year, and news agencies descended on Fargo to cover the history-making night.
The scene outside the theater was as quirky as the movie itself, as news people from around the country were bedazzled by a tractor pulling a wagon full of people dressed in farmer-plaids and caps with earflaps. Inside, hundreds watched themselves on the big screen, as they became part of Oscar’s ceremony coverage.
Farther into the evening, the theater’s director made a plea for financial support for the building’s renovation. By this time, enthusiasm had even gripped a jaded New York reporter; dressed in a sweeping, black trench-coat, slapped a ten-dollar bill on the stage and exhorted everybody to follow his example.
While the movie failed to get the best picture award, it definitely put Fargo on the map – so to speak.
Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm