by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
Marshall, Huntington , and the Community Remembers ... the 75
Photo by Tony Rutherford

On a dreary wet November night in 1970, a Southern Airways jet crashed at Tri State Airport.

The plane carried team members, fans, coaches, and media returning from Marshall University's losing effort at East Carolina.

One member of the team that survived, the injured Nate Ruffin, awaited the arrival of his team members and friends, watching a movie at the Keith Albee Theatre.

The scene would be recreated in Warner Bros. "We Are Marshall," portions of which were shot on Huntington's Fourth Avenue and at the Keith during April 2006. Anthony Mackie, now playing opposite Sandra Bullock in "Our Brand is Crisis," portrayed Ruffin in the McG directed film.

Marshall, Huntington , and the Community Remembers ... the 75
Photo by Tony Rutherford

During the interior filming which consumed hours of shooting time and a couple days for equipment set up and preparation , Mackie and extras seated themselves midway down the center aisle --- bordered then by the two mini-auditoriums. An improvised projector beamed a scene from a Clint Eastwood movie on the screen. After about a minute, the lamp was shut off. A woman stood on stage (as the manager) to announce the pane crash.

The interior scene consumes only 30 to 45 second in the finished film. It then jumps to the sirens outside on Fourth Avenue as moviegoers exit and head to the crash site. The exit and chaos on Fourth Avenue were shot at night following the mid-afternoon shooting inside the Keith.

Marshall, Huntington , and the Community Remembers ... the 75
Photo by Tony Rutherford

However, during the telecast of a championship game in the year 2000, Nate himself read a letter penned to his departed friends.

It begins, "I know you don't keep time up there... but it's 2000 and everybody here is making a big deal out of you. You remember when Marshall's worst news ever was the recruiting scandal of 1969? ......  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ivf6q_CHgQ

Marshall, Huntington , and the Community Remembers ... the 75
Photo by Tony Rutherford

 FLASHBACK IMAGES, WE ARE MARSHALL, http://www.huntingtonnews.net/69477