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'Diner' cast and crew re-uniting in Baltimore

Director Barry Levinson and cast members from his breakthrough 1982 hit "Diner" will re-unite in Baltimore next month for conversations and screenings in celebration of the film's 30th anniversary.

The centerpiece of the celebration will be a Dec. 10 appearance by Levinson and some cast members at Shriver Hall on the Johns Hopkins University. Leading up to that evening, "Diner" and Levinson's other Baltimore-based films will be shown beginning Nov. 23 at the Charles Theatre and on the Hopkins campus.

Proceeds from the celebration will benefit the Maryland Film Festival. Festival officials said they have yet to finalize the list of which cast members will be attending.

Baltimore native Levinson wrote and directed "Diner," which tells the story of a group of friends living in Baltimore's Liberty Heights neighborhood who come together for the marriage of one of them.

The film, which earned Levinson an Oscar nomination for his heavily autobiographical screenplay, celebrates Baltimore like no movie that had come before. In fact, the film's centerpiece marriage hinges on whether the bride-to-be can pass a test on Baltimore Colts trivia.

"Diner continues to be one of the important American films," said Jed Dietz, director of the Maryland Film Festival, "and we are proud to begin the 30th anniversary celebration right where it should begin, in Baltimore."

The cast, relatively unknown at the time, includes Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Steve Guttenberg, Paul Reiser, Tim Daly, Daniel Stern and Ellen Barkin.

Levinson would go on to make three more movies set in his hometown: 1987's "Tin Men," 1990's "Avalon" and 1999's "Liberty Heights. " In addition, his 1999 documentary "Diner Guys," which opened that year's inaugural Maryland Film Festival, chronicled the lives of the boyhood friends he used as the basis for "Diner." And in 2009, his documentary "The Band That Wouldn't Die" told the story of the Baltimore Colts Marching Band in the years after the Colts left for Indianapolis.

All of Levinson's Baltimore films will be shown in the weeks leading up to the Dec. 10 celebration. The screenings begin Nov. 23 with "Avalon" (7 p.m. at the Charles), then continues with showings of "Liberty Heights" (7 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Charles), "Tin Men" (7 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Charles), "Diner" (7 p.m. Dec. 5, 6 and 8 at the Charles, 5 p.m. Dec. 10 at Shriver Hall on Johns Hopkins' Homewood campus), "Diner Guys" (2:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at Hodson Auditorium on the Homewood campus) and "The Band That Wouldn't Die" (7 p.m. Dec. 9 at Hodson Auditorium.

Tickets for the Dec. 10 celebration are $35, and include admission to any or all of the film screenings. All-access passes, including premium seating and admission to a reception after the celebration, are available for $275. Tickets can be purchased through

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