After 50 years languishing in a vault (and in the memories of the few who were lucky enough to experience it live), footage of the last performance by the biggest name in music will find its way in a special limited run onto the biggest screen in Chattanooga.
The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert will be shown in a three-screening weekend run at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater in Chattanooga at 6 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 11 – 13.
For fans of the Fab Four, this hour-long production may as well be a love letter from Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson. After finally gaining access to the Beatles’ archives, Jackson lovingly and painstakingly restored footage of the band’s final public performance — the famed (and impromptu) “rooftop concert” — atop their Apple Crops headquarters in central London on Jan. 30, 1969.
For 52 years, Beatles fans have waited to see this historic performance, previously only enjoyed live by London passersby who took in the mid-day concert during their lunch break and, in parts, via grainy footage shot for the 1969 documentary Let It Be.
Restored segments of the rooftop concert found their way into Jackson’s recently, similarly titled Disney+ mini-series, The Beatles: Get Back. However, the Get Back series was — as Jackson describes it — “a documentary about a documentary,” focusing on the Let It Be film crew’s documentation of the Beatles’ work on their final album. When it makes it way to the giant IMAX screen, however, Get Back – The Rooftop Concert will satisfy a half-century of curiosity by showing the performance in its entirety.
“It’s like you’re sitting in a time machine. We’ve either gone back in time, or they’ve come forward,” Jackson says. “It looks like it was shot yesterday.”
The Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater’s state-of-the-art IMAX with Laser projection system presents films at levels of brightness, contrast and sharpness unmatched by any theater within 500 miles of Chattanooga. Thanks to Jackson’s use of IMAX’s proprietary Digital Media Remastering® process, Get Back – The Rooftop Concert’s image and sound quality have been up-converted to take full advantage of the theater’s world-class projection capabilities.
For years, the chance to see this historic musical event has been a veritable pipe dream, thanks to the Beatles’ desire to keep dozens of hours of footage under lock and key. Recently, the band’s living members changed their minds, and the end result is a film that celebrates a milestone moment for a group of artists whose impact on pop music has continued to reverberate for decades, Jackson says.