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Pickwick Theatre Debuts New Classic Film Series

September 16, 2013 10:36 AM
Film fans in Park Ridge will have one more thing to cheer about: this fall, the Pickwick Theatre debuts an all-new classic film series, hosted by film historian Matthew C. Hoffman. The series opens Thursday, September 26, with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Known for his popular annual film series at the Park Ridge Public Library, Hoffman sees the new venue as an opportunity to introduce a younger generation of filmgoers to cinematic gems that are rarely, if ever, shown on television.
"These are films that are easy for people of any age to enjoy," Hoffman says. "And they’re really meant for the big screen. Our idea was to create a series that families can come to, or couples who want a different kind of date movie."
For him, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a logical choice for the first show. "It’s the greatest live action Disney film ever made," he says. "A lot of attention went into the casting and production values, and it doesn’t feel dated."
While the film series is hosted by the Pickwick, it retains close ties to the Library. In addition to brief introductory comments provided by Hoffman, there will be occasional tie-ins to library programs and displays.
For example, during October the Library will be featuring a second floor display, "Drive-In Terrors: Men, Monsters, and Mayhem," which showcases the work of Hollywood special effects artists during the 50s and 60s. The display corresponds to the Classic Film Series’ second show on October 31: The Blob starring Steve McQueen.
Hoffman notes that showings of classic films have been increasingly popular around the country, especially at the old movie houses that once hosted their opening nights.
 "It’s a little bit of a retro experience to experience a movie like this in its natural setting," he says. "That’s what attracts some people initially, but then they end of really liking the movie – and that’s the whole point."
The Pickwick Classic Film Series will feature the follow movies through the end of the year:
September 26
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
With prelude music by Jay Warren of the Silent Film Society of Chicago.
October 31
The Blob (1958)
November 21
The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
With live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren of the Silent Film Society of Chicago.
Admission is $7 ($5 for seniors). All shows start at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. For more information, please visit www.parkridgeclassicfilm.com.

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