The 'stache man cometh: Burt Reynolds appears at Tampa Theatre for a special screening of Smokey and the Bandit

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Before there was the Dukes of Hazzard, there the wise-crackin,' beer- smugglin,' car-chasin,' CB-radio-squawkin' Smokey and the Bandit (1977).

The classic country caper flick sparks great memories from many a childhood, featuring three of Hollywood's all-time legends — Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason — along with country superstar Jerry Reed, a basset hound named Fred and a sweet black Pontiac Trans Am.

The film is part of the TCM Classic Film Festival (April 28 – May 1) in Hollywood, and the cable-TV movie network is heading to 10 cities nationwide for a series of free screenings and live appearances by legendary stars with Tampa Bay making  the list.

So, get this: Reynolds is making a special appearance at a screening of the classic country caper at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23, at Tampa Theatre. TCM weekend daytime host Ben Mankiewicz emcees the event.

Although the screening is free, passes are required for entry.  Free passes can be obtained online, beginning today, at The event is first-come, first-served, which begs the question, why the ticket, but just do as they say and get there early!

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