End Credits by matthew c. hoffman


Screen Deco turned out to be the most popular film series ever at the Park Ridge Public Library. Nine out of the eleven weeks we had capacity crowds, and the lowest turnout was 84.

The season attendance: 1,117

There are several people I’d like to thank. I’ve already mentioned these names during the course of the series, but a good cast is worth repeating! The following individuals ensured the tremendous success of Screen Deco:

Program Coordinator Laura Scott and Reader Services Department Manager Maggie Hommel for giving me the green light (over a year ago). Also, Mike Hominick for assisting me this season and making sure every evening ran smoothly; he had that DeMille touch for handling crowd scenes. The entire staff of the Park Ridge Public Library was great, and I thank everyone who bought one of our black and white t-shirts!

Authors Howard Mandelbaum and Eric Myers, whose book Screen Deco inspired me to do the series in the first place. Both contributed immensely with special introductions and words of advice. For further reading, be sure to check out their follow-up book: Forties Screen Style.

Joe Loundy, President of the Chicago Art Deco Society. Joe generously invited me to speak at their annual meeting in February, which allowed me the opportunity to promote the upcoming series. For more about the Society, please visit their web site. Also, look for their magazine in Chicago bookstores if you want to read some excellent articles on Art Deco and Streamline Moderne. Their back issues are phenomenal. Highly recommended!

Annette Bochenek, who was a guest presenter for Grand Hotel and Swing Time. Annette also contributed to this blog with several insightful articles. I wish more young people took classic films as seriously as she does, but then, she’s an extremely intelligent young lady. She truly is the Assistant Film Historian, or Vice-Historian.

J.T. Morand of Pioneer Press, the only reporter in the land who saw the importance and value of what we were doing in terms of film study. Every week we had dozens of people waiting in line from the meeting room to the front door. Maybe next year– if the lines stretch down the block– other papers will recognize our Classic Film Series. Until then, we are grateful for J.T. and the Pioneer staff for reporting the story.

My friends Becca Hall and Julian Antos for letting me promote my series at the Portage Theatre. You can catch their Northwest Chicago Film Society on Wednesday nights. They are projecting actual film prints at the theatre, so every fan of classic film needs to make the pilgrimage to the Portage. Never settle for dvd projection when a theatre can play film!

And finally, most importantly, I want to thank all those who attended the series at the Park Ridge Public Library. Regulars (The Schultz Family, the Kilroys, Joyce, Max & Dorothy, etc. etc.) and new faces alike showed up. Your support was incredible, and I appreciate your enthusiasm and feedback. Some regulars even donated to the film series, which is amazing… Sometimes I’d think my lectures were too long and needed to be streamlined, but then people would come up to me afterward and tell me how much they enjoyed what I had to say. Hearing things like that keeps me motivated! And thank you to my parents who were there every week.

The line to get in went from the meeting room to the front door!

The Derers

Annette & Steve


The last page of our Grand Hotel-inspired Guest Book…

The last welcome of the spring: May 31, 2012.

Though the series is over, you can still experience and contribute to our ongoing celebration of Screen Deco by becoming a member in the Facebook movie group I started a couple years ago. You can find it by clicking here!

If anyone would like to join our (e)mailing list so that you are aware of future programs, visit our “Contact Information” page in this blog and shoot me an email. Or, simply follow our screen adventures on Facebook by liking The Park Ridge Public Library Classic Film Series. More LIKES= More Movies!

I’m saying farewell to Screen Deco

But the Classic Film Series will return!


One Response to “End Credits by matthew c. hoffman”

  1. I find you are all over wordpress. That is good. It equals lots of exposure. Since I can’t seem to find my original comment stating who I am I’ll repeat it. You would know me as Elizabeth Rye (Grace Rellie is only a pen name). We met when you took over running the LaSalle Theater all those years ago. At the time I was a member of the family who came from the Wisconsin state boarder (we still live there). If you recall, we were and remain friends with the Fabishes of which I understand you are friends of Conrad’s.

    I just thought I’d send out a hello and see how you were doing. From what I see, your love of classic cinema has continued to expand and other around you have gotten the fever. Good! Keep growing and if you get the chance, send the upcoming schedule my way.

    Talk to you later.

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