Screen Deco Origins

The Park Ridge Public Library is extremely honored to have the support of both authors of the book Screen Deco (St. Martin’s Press, 1985), Howard Mandelbaum and Eric Myers. I asked Eric in an email about the story behind their book and how it came to be. The following is his response which I’d like to share with you…

I was always a 1920s-30s fan, but my love of Deco began when I spent my senior year in college studying film history in Paris. Paris is a major Art Deco city, of course. I came back to the U.S. with my eyes wide open to Deco, and became fascinated with its use in the film sets of the between-the-wars era. I kept saying to Howard, “You know, some day I really should write a book all about Art Deco film sets.” I said it so often for so long that Howard finally said, “Eric, the only way this is going to happen is if you and I collaborate and write it together!” I needed that push, and we set right down and got to work on it, writing the text and searching out the rarest Deco-era film stills we could find. Fortunately, as Howard is the owner of Photofest, one of the country’s largest collections of entertainment stills, we had a great place to start. And of course, Howard knew many other still collectors who generously opened their archives to us.

We’re glad to have planted these seeds, which have now grown into events like your series and the upcoming Turner Classic Movies Festival in April, which will be showcasing films with smashing Art Deco sets.

Author Eric Myers


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