Ebert statue back for good
As the statue of Roger Ebert comes back for good:
1 Chaz Ebert is traveling the country to promote her late husband's legacy as well as "Life Itself," the Steve James documentary about Roger Ebert that opens nationwide in theaters Friday. But she's taking time to visit Champaign for the 5:30 p.m. Thursday dedication ceremony of "C-U at the Movies," the title of the lifesize bronze sculpture of her late husband, depicted sitting in one of three theater seats, with one thumb up. The ceremony will be outside the Virginia Theatre 90 minutes before the start of its "Ice Cream & Independence" concert.
2 Also there: Rick Harney, the Bloomington artist who was commissioned to make the sculpture, which later was cast into bronze at an Illinois foundry. Harney attended the unveiling of "C-U at the Movies" during the 2014 Ebertfest, but that installation outside the Virginia was temporary. Thursday's dedication ceremony will mark the bronze statue's permanent installation just east of the Virginia marquee. People are welcome to pose with the bronze Ebert, with the marquee in the background. But please don't climb on him.
3 Also to be installed: two plaques. One tells of Ebert, an Urbana native and the first movie critic to receive the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. Another will list the names of 26 donors who gave more than $1,000 to the project, including famed director Martin Scorsese, who donated $5,000. "We're still short $9,000," campaign chairman Scott Anderson said Tuesday. "We'd love to get it completed that night so we can quit bothering people and just enjoy sharing a moment with Roger."