“Empire Strikes Back” comes to Fox Theatre

Fox Theatre hosts an immersive movie experience performed by the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra so viewers can enjoy an engaging listening experience alongside a showing of the film

(Rigo Moran)
(Rigo Moran)
Mid Valley Times Staff
Published October 14, 2023  • 
3:00 pm

VISALIA – The force is bringing fans to Fox Theater to experience the scope and grandeur of the beloved classic “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” along with a live symphonic concert experience of the movie’s soundtrack.

“I call it the ultimate surround sound experience,” executive director Marina Rojas said. “The only other Symphony that’s doing (Empire Strikes Back) in California is in San Diego this year.”

Conducted by Bruce Kiesling, the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra (SSO) will be performing their live performances on Friday, Oct. 20. and Saturday, Oct. 21. at the Visalia Fox Theatre. 

With this performance, the symphony is bringing the showing of composer John Williams’ complete score of “Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back” to life by playing along with the film live in order to provide the audience with a full, immersive listening experience.

“The ideas for our programming is the brainchild of our amazing music director Bruce Kiesling,” Rojas said. “He’s been with us 13 seasons now, and he does a great job of taking the pulse of the Central Valley and finding things that people would love to see.”

According to the theater, since the release of the first Star Wars movie over 40 years ago, the Star Wars saga has had a seismic impact on cinema and culture, inspiring audiences worldwide with its mythic storytelling, captivating characters, groundbreaking special effects and iconic musical scores composed by Williams.

In 2005, the American Film Institute selected legendary composer Williams’ score for 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope” as the greatest American film score of all time. The Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry also preserved “A New Hope” soundtrack for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” 

Williams was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl’s Hall of Fame in 2000, and he received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004, the National Medal of Arts in 2009, and the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2016. Williams has composed the scores for eight of the top 20 highest-grossing films at the U.S. box office (adjusted for inflation)

Williams is well known for scoring all eight of the Star Wars saga films to date, beginning with 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope” for which he earned an Academy Award for Best Original Score. His scores for “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” were each nominated for Best Original Score. Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, five Emmy Awards and 23 Grammy Awards. With 51 Academy Award nominations, Williams is the academy’s most nominated living person and the second most-nominated individual in history, after Walt Disney. 

“Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” is produced under license by Disney Concerts in association with 20th Century Fox and Warner/Chappell Music. STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates.

For more information and tickets, go to SequoiaSymphonyOrchestra.com or call 559-732-8600.

Mid Valley Times Staff