Lido Theater 80th Anniversary Celebration Raises More Than $150,000

You might have read our previous post about Lido Theater’s 80th anniversary celebrations (of course you did, you read all our stories, right?) But now … now! We’ve got a very exciting update: The duel-festivities, which benefited Lupus International raised a combined $150,000 for the non-profit organization. 

Rock n Roll Hall of Famer Bill Medley performs with his daughter McKenna Medley at the Lido Theater to benefit Lupus International and celebrating the landmark theater’s 80th anniversary.

The back-to-back evenings included a Bill Medley benefit concert and special reception and screening of the Oscar-winning movie Jezebel, the first movie to be shown at the Lido Theater in 1938, and now part of the Library of Congress National Film Registry. (Local trivia/bonfire lore: It’s been said that Miss Davis, a Corona del Mar resident at the time, drove by the theater daily while it was under construction. She reportedly requested a sitting parlor in the ladies room, which was built and still remains today, and also told the original owners of the Lido Theater to open with her movie Jezebel, which they did.)

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bill Medley, who performed side-by-side with his daughter, has a special connection to Lupus International. The former longtime Newport Beach resident not only an advocate for the charitable foundation but also lost the wife of his late musical partner Bobby Hatfield to lupus in 2010. Lupus International provides funding for support and research for this chronic autoimmune disease, as well as pediatric rheumatology fellowships at major teaching hospitals and leading research centers throughout the country.

Along with music legends, the events also brought out local politicians and notable figures. Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill and city councilwoman Diane Dixon were on hand at the reception and screening of Jezebel, and presented a proclamation to Fritz Duda, honoring him and his company for restoring the Lido Theater in recent years and maintaining its status as one of the only operating single screen theaters in California.

The Lido Theater is located in Via Lido Plaza at 3459 Via Lido, off Newport Boulevard, in Newport Beach. For additional movies and show times, please call (949) 673-8350 or visit to inquire about renting the theater for a private event, please call 949.723.7100 or email