Hollywood Shake-Up: ‘Priscilla’ L.A. Premiere Moves Amid IATSE Picket Threat

The highly anticipated Los Angeles premiere of ‘Priscilla,’ initially scheduled for Monday at the Hollywood Legion Theater, has been abruptly shifted to a new location following an ongoing labor dispute. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) threatened to picket the event, prompting a last-minute change in plans. In this article, we delve into the details of this unforeseen development.

What Led to the Change in Premiere Location?


A representative for A24, the film’s distributor, confirmed the change in venue after becoming aware of the labor unrest and contract dispute on Thursday evening. The dispute primarily involves IATSE Local 33 and the American Legion Hollywood Post 43, the veterans’ organization that owns the Hollywood Legion Theater.

The union’s original contract with Post 43 had expired in 2021, and negotiations regarding the theater’s future and the salary of Taylor Umphenour, the former chief projectionist, had been marred by disagreements. IATSE 33 alleged that Post 43 had negotiated the new contract in bad faith.

The union’s picketing of the theater on September 14 marked the escalating tensions between the parties.

A Respectful Gesture Amid Global Events

26,914 Respect Gesture Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

In response to the ongoing global situation, Strategy PR, the public relations firm involved with the premiere, announced, "Out of respect for the events going on in the world, we will be forgoing a red carpet for the ‘Priscilla’ Los Angeles premiere." The statement seemed to allude to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Acknowledging Solidarity

"IATSE Local 33 would like to thank the production team of A24 and the film production personnel for ‘Priscilla’ with their solidarity in moving the event," stated Ronald Valentine, the union’s business representative. He specifically acknowledged Sofia Coppola, who directed and co-produced the film, for her support.

Dueling Unfair Labor Practice Charges

Labor disputes hi-res stock photography and images - Alamy

IATSE Local 33 and Post 43 have both filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board. These filings signal the intensity of the fight for a new contract.

What Were Attendees Expecting?

The premiere was anticipated to host appearances by notable figures, including Sofia Coppola, the film’s stars Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi, and Priscilla Presley, who executive produced the film. ‘Priscilla,’ which explores the relationship between Elvis and Priscilla Presley, previously premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September.

It’s worth noting that A24 had signed an interim agreement with SAG-AFTRA, the union representing Hollywood actors, to allow its stars to promote the film despite the ongoing strike.

Not the First Film to Screen at the Hollywood Legion Theater

Hollywood Legion Theater Sets 35MM Summer Drive-In Screening Series

Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’ biopic, slated for 2022, also screened at the Hollywood Legion Theater, highlighting the venue’s significance in the film industry.

The relocation of the ‘Priscilla’ premiere serves as a reminder of the complexities and challenges often involved in the entertainment world, as labor disputes and contract negotiations can significantly impact even the most anticipated events.

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