End Credits & A Look Ahead by matthew c. hoffman


I would like to thank the following individuals for their support and contributions to the Legends of Laughter film series at the Park Ridge Public Library:

Laura Scott, Program Coordinator; Maggie Hommel, Reader Services Dept. Manager; and Jan Van De Carr, Library Director.

Rachel Depcik, Assistant Film Historian

Becky McMorrow, Staff Artist

And the entire staff and Friends of the Park Ridge Public Library.

Pictured: Matthew C. Hoffman with the “projectionist,” Rachel Depcik.



Suzanne Lloyd and the Harold Lloyd family


Melissa Talmadge Cox and the Buster Keaton family


Special thanks go to:

Dennis Wolkowicz and the Silent Film Society of Chicago

Dino Vlahakis, owner of the Pickwick Theatre

Bonnie Marshall, coordinator at the Harold Lloyd Foundation

To our friends in the media:

J.T. Morand and Pioneer Press; J.R. Jones and the Chicago Reader; Michael Phillips and the Chicago Tribune; and Steve Darnall, radio host of 90.9 FM’s “Those Were The Days” (and our special guest during the Speedy screening).


A word of gratitude to the silent film historians who have been a great source of information and inspiration: Jeffrey Vance, Annette D’Agostino Lloyd, John Bengtson, and James L. Neibaur.

Thanks to Annette Bochenek, my video narrator and guest speaker.

Ben Burgraff, caricature artist

And finally, most importantly, many thanks to all those who have attended the Classic Film Series on Thursday nights. You’ve helped show how valuable these films are to a community. Film study can be fun, and you’ve proven that by your presence every week. The combined attendance for our three month series: 1,228.

Click here for more photos!


Many good suggestions have been offered as to what the next series should be. However, whenever you deal with specific genres, there is a tendency to lose some of your audience, whether it’s musicals or Westerns or mysteries. I always look for subjects I feel passionate about– but will have an appeal as well.

We can’t make a program bigger than Legends of Laughter. We can’t afford to; this was an amped-up silent film series and a one-time deal. (But as long as it was, we had a couple potential guests that would’ve made it even more epic.) But you can make a series more original. You can out-maneuver the programming at other libraries by putting together something no one has ever seen before. This is what I’m doing now. As far as I know, there has never been a series quite like the one people will experience next year. Last Thursday night, ninety-five patrons got a 3-minute video preview. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

In 2012 I will return to the kind of eclectic programming I did when I operated the LaSalle Bank revival house: rare, obscure films from the Warner Archive that will force people to come out. You won’t find these titles on Netflix or in the RedBox or even on youtube. There will only be one place in the Northwest Suburbs where you can find these films, and that will be at the Park Ridge Public Library beginning next spring.

If you would like to be included in our film series (e)mailing list, please email me at this address:


The Classic Film Series will return…

The official Screen Deco blog!


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