Opening Night of the Lowell Film Festival
Thursday, April 8 | 5:30 – 6:45 PM
Athenian Corner Restaurant
207 Market Street, Lowell
Special Guests: Senator Steven Panagiotakos
and Anita Walker (Mass Cultural Council)
Suggested donation: $10 to support the Lowell Film Festival
Come dressed in your 1930’s BEST!
Music! Food! Cocktails! And a night of thanks and recognition — all of this awaits you at Thursday’s Lowell Film Festival Opening Night Soiree at Lowell’s own Athenian Corner restaurant. Come help us kick off this year’s fabulous theme of Hollywood and the Great Depression by coming dressed in your most fancy (or most Depression-era inspired) 1930’s garb. It was truly a cinematic time of big-budget musicals, sweeping epics, and political commentary. Our country hungered for escape as the nation plummeted into financial crisis. It’s no wonder that films like Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” (being screened Saturday), “Gone with the Wind,” and “The Wizard of Oz” all made impacts at the box office or in filmmaking history. Additionally, Walt Disney premiered his very FIRST feature-length animated film in 1937 with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (also screening Saturday) — its success led to Disney Studios’ decision to move full forward with producing full-length animated films for the masses. “Grand Hotel,” Hollywood’s first “ensemble cast” film, came to the screen in the 1932 starring Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, and Wallace Berry. If you haven’t seen “Grand Hotel,” put it in your queue ASAP. The ongoing action and character portraits are absolutely compelling.
All of these are just some of the reasons we’re paying homage to this incredible era in movies. The parallels to our current economy and that of the 30’s are distinguished not just by financial numbers, but by movie-going: the 1930’s saw a spike in film attendance just as the past two years have seen large spikes in box office sales. People escape to the theaters when times get tough, and Hollywood quickly answers the call!
We hope you’ll come out and join us on Thursday for our Film Fest kick-off at Athenian Corner — afterwards, we’ll head across the street to the National Park Visitor Center for the Festival’s Opening Night Film, “Jezebel” starring the irresistible Bette Davis in one of her most seductive roles. But before you leave Athenian Corner, don’t forget to sample their special Lowell Film Festival cocktail, Zorba’s Dance (inspired by the fabulous final scene in “Zorba the Greek!”)