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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Library of Congress Film Treasure at the LA Academy

On September 6, 2018 the Academy Theater on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills will be host to a special presentation of films from the famed Library of Congress. The program will feature amazing films, famous and forgotten, that the library has collected over the last 124 years.

Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress, is the featured guest during a special night celebrating the Library’s role in collecting and preserving American cinema, which adds 25 titles every year since 1980. Her presentation showcases some of the 750 films preserved at the Library’s Packard Campus facility in Culpeper, Virginia.

Dr. Hayden is the first woman, and the first African American, to serve as chief executive of the Library of Congress. With more than 162 million items in its collections, it's the largest library in the world. The Library serves Congress, but also makes its research collections accessible on-site and online.

The National Film Registry showcases the extraordinary diversity of America’s film heritage. Preserving these films protects a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history. Spanning the period 1911-2004, the films named to the registry include Hollywood classics, documentaries, silent movies, student films, independent and experimental motion pictures. The films selected for "registry" represent only a small fraction of the Library’s vast moving-image collection of 1.3 million items.

The evening will feature the world premiere of the Library’s restoration of Lois Weber’s On the Brink from 1911. Also on the program is the only surviving footage from two “lost” Technicolor musicals from the early 1930s, and Edison’s Frankenstein from 1910, which was once on AFI’s list of top ten most wanted films.

In addition to selections from the National Film Registry, the evening will include rare footage of Clara Bow and the Marx Brothers, and Hollywood home movies featuring Loretta Young, Clark Gable, George Gershwin and Ernest Hemingway. For real cinemaphiles this event should be a must-see event.

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