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Media Life: “Blade Runner” star Sean Young to guest at classic flick’s Auburn screening

Filmmakers discover footage of Auburn’s 1959 Little League World Series; State Theater film series popularity heating up
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Sean Young, a co-star with Harrison Ford, will be adding some star power as special guest at the State Theater for the Sept. 16 screening of “Blade Runner – The Director’s Cut.” The Ridley Scott classic from 1982 is the latest in a monthly “third Thursday” series of classic films being shown at the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center theater in Downtown Auburn. This month’s “Casablanca” showing sold out quickly and an estimated 150 people had to be turned away at the door so “Blade Runner” tickets could go fast. The theater seats about 130. With that in mind, a limited number of $30 VIP tickets will be pre-sold online at LiveFromAuburn.com. The remainder will be offered at the door for $8 apiece before the film starts at 7 p.m. Sept. 16. The pre-movie dinner reception – with Young as guest of honor – starts at 5 p.m. in the Marquee Room across from the box office and will feature light cuisine from new Auburn restaurant Max’s. The VIP tickets include entrance to a reception, hors d’oeuvres, a complimentary beverage and a chance to win “Blade Runner” memorabilia. GIVE KING CREDIT Young’s appearance can be credited to actor and State Theater supporter Perry King. The Cool resident, who’s probably best known for his starring role in 1980s TV show “Riptide,” has been friends with Young since they were in 1998 TV movie “A Cowboy and the Movie Star.” Beverly Lewis, a member of the arts center’s film-series board, said Young’s appearance is still dependent on no other film or TV projects suddenly taking the actress elsewhere. Young’s career took off after “Blade Runner,” with some of her most memorable roles in 1987’s “No Way Out” alongside Kevin Costner, “Wall Street,” “Dune,” “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” and “Stripes.” A question-and-answer session is also planned with Young, King and Don Baker, an Auburn-area resident who started his own lengthy film career as a camera operator on “Blade Runner.” LITTLE LEAGUE HISTORY ON FILM Auburn’s sports history archive is markedly richer after an unexpected find in Michigan by a documentary film crew. Makers of a new documentary on Art “Pinky” Deras – the Hamtramck, Mich. 12-year-old who shut out the Auburn team in the 1959 Little League World Series championship game – have found something long considered lost and gone forever – film footage from that final matchup. Auburn’s Jim Arbogast, a member of the fabled 1959 Auburn team, said he has often wondered about the possibility of some film surviving. He’s never seen any and had come up empty in his own efforts to locate footage. He even did some sleuthing with the help of Little League International headquarters in Williamsport, Pa. some years back but was told anything had been lost when a basement flooded. The 1959 final wasn’t a great day on the field for Auburn’s little leaguers. Deras allowed only three hits and the Hamtramck side got off to an early lead it never relinquished. The final score was 12-0. The foothills ballplayers could hold their heads high on their return to a huge celebratory homecoming in Auburn. And the fact that Auburn went so far in that storied summer continues to be a source of local pride in the foothills. But film footage from the game just didn’t appear to have survived until Detroit’s Stunt3 Multimedia’s Blue Hammer Films started researching the Deras story – now out on DVD as “The Legend of Pinky Deras: The Greatest Little-Leaguer There Ever Was.” Brian Kruger, co-producer of the 45-minute documentary, learned that Deras’ son had preserved a copy of the game years ago with the help of the Little League organization in Williamsport by transferring a 16 mm version of the game onto VHS tape. GRAINY BUT GOLDEN LITTLE LEAGUE MOMENTS The Auburn vs. Hamtramck (pronounced “Hamtramik”) images are grainy and in black and white. And only about half the game was preserved. But it was passable enough to include segments of on-field action from the game – with multiple camera angles and play-by-play – in the documentary, Kruger said by phone from Stunt3 headquarters in the Ford Building. Deras deserves his place as one of the greatest Little League players of any era. Some 40 million boys and girls have played in the youth baseball system. At the end of the Auburn game, he had rung up 75 consecutive scoreless innings. His record that year was 18 victories in 18 games, including 16 shutouts and 10 no-hitters. In 108 innings he had 298 strikeouts, gave up 10 walks and needed only 26 outs in the field. At bat, he had 33 home runs, including 13 in 13 tournament games. Auburn mustered three hits against Duras in going down to defeat. Arbogast, the longtime owner of Arbogast Body and Paint on Lincoln Way, can point proudly to the double he hit off the “The Greatest Little League Leaguer There Ever Was” in the season that Duras shone most brightly in. Arbogast remembers reaching third base but the rally was cut short before Auburn could break the pitcher’s scoreless streak. Now, it’s only a matter of time before Arbogast has a chance to see one of Auburn’s shining sports moments on film. The DVD is for sale for $29.95, including a package of photos. Orders are via e-mail at info@stunt3.com. Herer's a YouTube link to a Detroit TV station’s preview of the DVD that includes footage of Auburn’s 1959 World Series game: http://wn.com/PINKY_DERAS_ON_WXYZ-TV And, in case you’re wondering, this year’s Little League World Series finale is on Sunday.