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Celebrate classic cinema with the library

By Emma Rose

Rowan Public Library

What constitutes a movie as being a “classic?” Is it age? Popularity? Appearance or lack thereof on the TCM cable channel?

I am no film expert, but I believe that whatever rubric one decides to measure with, we can agree that some films just have a quality or combination of qualities that seems to not only stand the test of time but ace it.

Many movie buffs could tell you their personal parameters — “the film must be over 20 years old” or “the film must have gotten this specific rating by the audience” or “gained this specific award/recognition” — yet I feel that the true value of a classic film can be found in its ability to bring generations closer together.

Classic films can create a bond, connecting past generations with current and future generations. As a child, you may have eagerly watched “Mary Poppins” or “To Kill a Mockingbird” while curled up in the lap of a parent or loved one as I did.

Alternatively, you may have shared these films with others, including children, other family members, and friends. By doing so, you have introduced these films to new audiences, potentially giving them an appreciation of the tireless work of pioneer actors, actresses, musicians, directors and writers who have paved the way for the movie makers of today.

Last September, East Branch of Rowan Public Library, located at 110 Broad St. in Rockwell, developed a monthly film series in the hopes of bringing people together and inspiring connections. The program is titled the Classic Cinema Series. At 2 p.m. on the second Friday of each month, East Branch offers a free classic movie showing for anyone in the community to enjoy.

Some of the marvelous classic films East Branch has shown throughout this series so far include “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” “The Incredible Mr. Limpett,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “Some Like it Hot,” and “South Pacific.”

All are welcome at these showings. Long-standing fans can watch and reminisce while new viewers can learn what makes these films “classic.”

There are two more showings in the 2017-18 Classic Cinema Series:

• Friday, April 13, 2 p.m., East Branch (Rockwell): Join us for a showing of the 1958 Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific.”  This classic musical is not rated and has a 157-minute run time, though you will be humming the tunes for long after.

• Friday, May 11, 2 p.m., East Branch (Rockwell): Join us for a showing of Agatha’s Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” This 1974 who-done-it is rated PG and has a 127-minute run time.

Admission is free, and light refreshments will be provided.

The Classic Cinema Series will resume in September with eight showings planned for the 2018-19 series. East Branch staff welcome recommendations and hope to see you soon.

Available for checkout

For those who love classic cinema but can’t make the scheduled showtimes, many great films are available for check out from any branch of Rowan Public Library.

For example, “Murder on the Orient Express” — both the 1974 classic and the 2017 remake — are part of RPL’s circulating collection.

All you need is a Rowan Public Library card in good standing, and you can take your classic cinema selection home with you. Card holders can check out up to 15 DVDs per account, and items have a two-week checkout period.

Whether you attend a showing at East Branch or check out a film, hopefully, I’ve made you an offer you can’t refuse (“The Godfather,” 1972). Of all the libraries, in all the towns, in all the world you should walk into Rowan Public Library (“Casablanca,” 1942).

Lastly, may the force be with you all.

Library programs

Adulting 101: You’re almost a grown-up and have no idea what you’re doing. This program will teach you how to become a functioning adult without having to call your parents for help. April’s program will focus on food. East, 6:30 p.m. April 9

Random Fandom: Do you have what it takes to be a super sleuth like Sherlock Holmes? We’ll test your detective skills and deductive reasoning with a series of puzzles and challenges, including a Sherlock Escape Room. East, 6:30 p.m. April 2; Headquarters, 4:30 p.m. April 3; South, 6 p.m. April 4

Murder Mystery Night: There’s been a murder at the library. Search the crime scene for clues, interview all the suspects, and be the first to find out who the culprit is.  Headquarters, 4:30 p.m. April 17; East, 6:30 p.m. April 16; South, 6 p.m. April 18

Teen Makerspace Night: A teens-only open house.  Learn about all the technology in our makerspace, and try hands-on activities. Part of the N.C. Science Festival. Headquarters, 4:30 p.m. April 10

Book Bites Club: South, 6 p.m. March 27. A free book club where we discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments. March’s title is Carson McCullers’ “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.” Need more information? Call 704-216-7730.

Teen Board: Want to be part of a Teen Advisory Board and make decisions about upcoming teen library programs? Or just want to play some board games? Now you can do both. Headquarters, 4:30 p.m. March 27 and April 24

Chapter Chats: Weekly book club for teens 14-17, primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, though all are welcome. 5 p.m. Mondays at East Branch, Rockwell. Contact Tammie Foster at 704-216-7842.

Art programs: Pre-K to fifth grade. Learn art terms, techniques and work on art projects; 30-45 minutes. Art in the Afternoon, headquarters, 4:30 p.m. Thursdays; Bethany’s Brushes, East, 4 p.m. Tuesdays; Canvas Kids, South, 4 p.m. Wednesdays

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