Indiana Jones arrives in Fort Smith


The Fort Smith Symphony is trying something new.

On April 2, the symphony will perform “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” and musicians will play the score while the film is filming.

This is the first time something like this performance will be presented in the River Valley area, said Damian Cheek, finance and public services manager.

“The only thing that’s different about it – there’s all the dialogue, there’s all the special effects – the musical part has been digitally removed, so the orchestra will play that live,” said Laken Emerson, director development, education and community engagement for the Fort Smith Symphony.

The show will be the last of the symphony season. It will last approximately two hours, including intermission.

The Fort Smith Symphony will feature "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark" April 2nd.

“It’s definitely a boost,” Emerson said.

The show will start at 7 p.m. and the box office will close at 6:50 p.m. Emerson warns that people must be on time or they won’t be allowed into the show.

Symphony officials will announce next season’s show lineup at the concert.

After the show, there will be an after-party at the Bakery District.

The orchestra will include 80 musicians and will be the largest the symphony has seen in the past two seasons, Cheek said.

Emerson said the show is a good opportunity for people who don’t usually like orchestral music to explore the world the symphony has to offer.

“It’s like for people who maybe fear the symphony but love movies like this, it’s definitely for people who love movies and Harrison Ford and you know classic cinema. It just goes to show that I think it’s a really good way for audience members to see how much, like classical music, orchestral music is like the popular parts of life,” Emerson said.

Emerson said orchestral music is ubiquitous in people’s daily lives.

“It’s not such an old art form. It’s obviously alive, given that it’s not exactly a new movie, but I also mean if you were going to see, I was thinking about it, like if you were going to see ‘The Batman’ as if that was also a full orchestra,” said Emerson.

Emerson said that with Indiana Jones’ performance, she hopes to attract new people to the symphony.

“With this one in particular, there is the nostalgia factor. Since everyone has seen this movie from so many different ages, it’s not just about focusing on younger audiences or our established older audiences,” Emerson said. It’s really that music, even if you haven’t seen the movie. Let’s be a little more generous. Let’s say some people haven’t seen the movie. You heard the music.”

Tickets are $60 or $65 for adults, depending on location, and $30 and $35 for students, depending on location, Cheek said.

Alex Gladden graduated from the University of Arkansas. She previously worked for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and The Jonesboro Sun before joining The Times Record. She can be contacted at


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