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Ebert statue about to get a permanent home

Published: Thursday, July 3, 2014 12:00 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, July 3, 2014 12:01 a.m. CDT

CHAMPAIGN – A sculpture of famed film critic Roger Ebert will be dedicated Thursday outside the Champaign theater that hosted the annual Ebertfest film festival.

The sculpture was set in place in April and will be permanently installed Thursday outside the Virginia Theater, a venue where Ebert watched movies as a child while growing up in nearby Urbana.

According to The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ebert's widow, Chaz Ebert, will be there for the dedication of the statue known as "C-U at the Movies." Champaign and Urbana are often referred to as C-U locally.

But the drive to pay for the sculpture is still on.

"We're still short $9,000," Scott Anderson, who leads the fundraising campaign, said Tuesday. "We'd love to get it completed that night so we can quit bothering people and just enjoy sharing a moment with Roger."

The dedication will include the installation of two plaques, one on Ebert's life and one listing the names of the 26 people who have already donated $1,000 or more. That includes Martin Scorsese, who donated $5,000.

Also expected is Rick Harney, who created the sculpture. It depicts Ebert sitting in one of three theater seats with one thumb up.

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