Palace Theater to host 'King Lee' showing

One of the most compelling periods in the Salt City’s history will hit the big screen on Thursday night.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - One of the most compelling periods in the Salt City’s history will hit the big screen on Thursday night.

The Palace Theater in Syracuse’s Eastwood neighborhood will host a one-night showing of “King Lee” – a movie inspired by Lee Alexander’s turbulent tenure as the mayor of Syracuse.

Lee was a larger than life figure in the city’s history – running it almost like a king would.

He was Syracuse’s longest serving mayor, but wound up serving time in federal prison for racketeering and accepting kickbacks while in city hall.

"The city loved Lee Alexander and we kind of take a look at this point of people realizing that all along that to a degree he was involved in so many different unsavory and illegal things that, that's kind of when Syracuse stopped believing in itself,” said co-producer Tim Ferlito.

The movie is based on real-life occurrences, but “King Lee” takes a 16-year career and compresses it into a two-week period. Ferlito and the man who plays the lead says the movie is written in the manner that Alexander would have written about himself.

“It was important for me to get the spirit of him, but I didn’t want to do an impersonation,” said Nathan Faudree, who plays Lee in the movie. “I didn’t want to turn this into the Saturday Night Live skit of Lee Alexander.”

The film was not intended to document Lee’s time in office, but as a character sketch.

"I want more than anything people to come in and see the film because they're excited about the subject matter, they're excited about maybe how it’s made. I want them to come in with an open mind and be willing to experience just what it is on its own merits,” Ferlito said.

The private screening a week and a half ago was the first time either one saw the final cut.

Both said they were thrilled by it.

The Palace Theater will show “King Lee” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night.

The film will eventually be available on blu-ray and DVD.

More information is available at the WeForLee.com website and also on a Facebook page dedicated to the film.

The film is intended for adults.

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