/ Modified nov 29, 2012 5:24 p.m.

El Casino Ballroom in Limelight

Community, cultural home to many featured in documentary

Long-time Tucsonans know that for weddings and quinciƱeras, El Casino Ballroom is THE place.

That's been true since 1947, when the South Side community and cultural center opened. For 65 El Casino, at 437 E. 26th St., has been the site of hundreds of family and community celebrations, especially in the Mexican-American culture.

"Men would come home from war and go there," says Daniel Buckley, producer of a documentary on the ballroom. "It was somewhere they could feel at home."

Buckley's El Casino Ballroom Documentary captures the many historical and personal stories behind the iconic gathering place.

The documentary will re-premier Dec. 8 in the very building that it is about, starting at 6 p.m.

In 1991, a large part of the ballroom's roof was blown off in a storm. The roof has since been a work-in-progress to fix, an effort that Buckley says is very personal to some of the construction workers volunteering their time to restore it.

"One of the most interesting people I spoke to during this whole process was a construction worker who volunteered on the reconstruction," Buckley says. "He worked after hours late in to the night just so that his daughter could eventually have her quinciƱera there, and she did."

Tickets for the re-premier can be purchased at the door for $5, with all proceeds going to the El Casino Restoration Fund.

The screening will be followed by a party and musical performnces by local musicians.

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