January 19, 2016 Packard Campus Celebrates Television on the Big Screen
Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady (202) 707-6456
Public Contact: Rob Stone (202) 707-0851
The Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper, Virginia, will showcase the little screen on the big screen in February by devoting its programming to the medium of television.
Culling from its extensive broadcast archives, the Library will showcase classics and rarities from every genre and every era of the made-for-TV medium. Library specialist Cary O’Dell will serve as guest programmer for the February lineup.
Early television, often live and always black-and-white, will be remembered via the presentation of the original “Requiem for a Heavyweight”—one of the crown jewels in the golden age of television—along with a series of evenings devoted to such classic programs as “I Love Lucy” and “Your Show of Shows.”
Television’s legacy of iconic genre programming will be highlighted in an afternoon of live-action superhero shows featuring the original “Superman,” “Batman” and “Wonder Woman” and a review of small-screen science fiction with back-to-back episodes of “Space: 1999.”
Also, two rarely seen cult favorites, the small-screen horror films “Bad Ronald” and “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” (which later inspired a big-screen remake) will be shown during a Saturday-afternoon matinee.
The month’s film schedule will include the 1975 “Night That Panicked America” movie-for-television that recounts Orson Welles’ infamous “War of the Worlds” broadcast as well as a two-part episode from the 1966 series “Tarzan.”
Music on the small screen will be highlighted toward the end of the month with a specially produced collection of country hits from the long-running PBS series “Austin City Limits.”
Short subjects will be presented before select programs. Titles are subject to change without notice. Screenings at the Packard Campus are preceded by an informative slide presentation about the film, with music selected by the Library’s Recorded Sound Section.
All Packard Campus programs are free and open to the public, but children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Seating at the screenings is on a first-come, first-serve basis. For general Packard Campus Theater information, call (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 during regular business hours. For further information on the theater and film series, visit loc.gov/avconservation/theater/. In case of inclement weather, call the theater information line no more than three hours before showtime to confirm cancellations.
The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is the site where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings (loc.gov/avconservation). The Packard Campus is home to more than 7 million collection items. It provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board (loc.gov/film), the National Recording Preservation Board (loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb) and the national registries for film and recorded sound.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at loc.gov.
Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater ScheduleFriday, Feb. 5 (7:30 p.m.)
“Playhouse 90” – “Requiem for a Heavyweight” (CBS, 1956)
This Rod Serling original could be considered one of the gems of the golden age of television. Originally aired Oct. 11, 1956, and made at the height of the anthology drama era, “Requiem” is still a compelling human drama about an aging boxer facing an uncertain outcome and negotiating the conflicting advice of his longtime manager and a compassionate social worker. Jack Palance, Kim Hunter, Ed Wynn and Keenan Wynn star in in this critically acclaimed drama, which was so well received that it was remade for the big screen in 1962. A 1940 short film, “Television,” will be screened before the program. Produced by RKO, the short takes the viewer into the exciting, experimental world of “pictures through the air.”
Saturday, Feb. 6 (2 p.m.)
Made-for-TV Movie (Double Feature)
“Bad Ronald” (ABC, 1974) / “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” (ABC, 1973)
Before they largely disappeared from network primetime, the made-for-TV movie was a respected genre all its own with its own menagerie of subgenres including these two psychological thrillers-horror films. In “Bad Ronald” (originally aired Oct. 23, 1974), the new residents of an old house don’t know that they aren’t really alone. Scott Jacoby, Kim Hunter, Pippa Scott and Dabney Coleman star. In “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” (originally aired Oct. 10, 1973), Kim Darby and Jim Hutton star as another set of new homeowners to whom some unexpected things begin to happen. Since their original broadcast, both these telefilms have developed devoted cult followings. The original “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” made such an impression on filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro that he remade it for the big screen in 2010. The new version featured Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes.
Saturday, Feb. 6 (7:30 p.m.)
“Still Loving Lucy” (CBS, 1952-1957)
Few sitcoms from 60 years ago (or even 10 years ago) hold up as well as the iconic “I Love Lucy,” especially in today’s binge-watching era. Among “I Love Lucy’s” incredible keys to success was its ability and willingness to gently reinvent itself each season during its small-screen lifespan. While keeping its focus always on its four main, core characters—anchored by the genius of Lucille Ball—the series moved the group to different settings, bringing with them new environs to act and react against. The evening’s screening will feature episodes from each of the series’ major incarnations: its New York City origins, its trips to Hollywood and Europe, and its eventual relocation to Connecticut. The four episodes being shown are “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” (May 2, 1952); “LA at Last” (Feb. 7, 1955), where Lucy has an interesting encounter with actor William Holden; “Lucy’s Italian Movie” (April 16, 1956),where Lucy goes grape stomping; and “Lucy Does the Tango” (March 11, 1957).
Friday, Feb. 19 (7:30 p.m.)
“Tarzan” – “Tarzan’s Deadly Silence” (NBC, 1966)
Though he first swung into theaters in 1918, played by Elmo Lincoln, the Lord of the Jungle first came to TV on NBC in the personage of Ron Ely in 1968. On the air from 1966 to 1968, the series enjoyed long-lasting popularity both in the U.S. and abroad. This two-part installment from the series’ first season was later repackaged as a theatrical film for showing overseas. In “Tarzan’s Deadly Silence,” Tarzan loses his hearing after a deadly bomb blast. Featured in the production was Jock Mahoney, who played Tarzan in films. These episodes originally aired Oct. 28, 1966, and Nov. 4, 1966.
Saturday, Feb. 20 (2 p.m.)
“Space: 1999” – “The Bringers of Wonder” (Syndicated, 1977)
The Packard Campus brings its theatergoing patrons a unique nostalgia for the future with this two-part episode from the space saga’s second season. As created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, “Space: 1999” today serves as an important link in small-screen science fiction—a bridge between the “outer space Western” feel of the original “Star Trek” and its more cerebral sequel “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Oscar-winner Martin Landau, multiple Emmy-winner Barbara Bain and Catherine Schell star as residents of Moonbase Alpha, a colony on Earth’s moon which is now hurtling through the galaxy. In this installment, the Alphans are overjoyed to encounter a ship of what appears to be fellow Earthlings…but are they? The programs originally aired in August 1977.
Saturday, Feb. 20 (7:30 p.m.)
“Ten from Your Show of Shows” (Continental Distributing, 1973)
Seen on NBC from 1950 to 1954, Sid Caesar and his band of merry players produced one of the most renowned and enduring television programs in history. This compilation, released theatrically in 1973, collects some of the show’s most beloved and hilarious sketches, including inspired takes off of “From Here to Eternity” and TV’s “This Is Your Life.” Featured alongside Caesar is his incomparable ensemble that included Imogene Coca, Louis Nye, Carl Reiner and Howard Morris.
Friday, Feb. 26 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Night That Panicked America” (ABC, 1975)
Radio meets television in this docudrama that looks back at Orson Welles’ and the Mercury Theater’s infamous “War of the Worlds” broadcast from Oct. 30, 1938. Paul Shenar stars as Welles in this reenactment, which takes place both in the radio studio and out in the country where the compelling storytelling of Welles and his company set off a nationwide panic. Meredith Baxter, Tom Bosley, Eileen Brennan, Vic Morrow, John Ritter and Will Geer co-star in this tale of mass media mass hysteria. Originally broadcast on Oct. 31, 1975, this made-for-TV movie garnered Emmy nominations for outstanding writing, editing and sound.
Saturday, Feb. 27 (2 p.m.)
“A Saturday of Super Heroes” (1958-1979)
Before they began to overrun the multiplexes every summer, super heroes were most at home on television, beginning with the 1952 debut of “The Adventures of Superman.” In this perfect-for-a-Saturday-afternoon retrospective, the thrilling feats of four of TV’s greatest heroes will be screened. George Reeves plays the Man of Steel in the season-six episode “The Perils of Superman” (syndicated, April 21, 1958). Then it’s a camp-tastic half-hour of Adam West as “Batman.” In this installment from the series’ third season, “The Ogg Couple” (ABC, Dec. 21, 1967), Batman and Robin (Burt Ward) tangle with super criminal Egghead (Vincent Price) and his evil cohort Queen Olga (Anne Baxter). Next, “Wonder Woman” (Lynda Carter) takes on the Nazi menace in the season-one episode “Fausta, The Nazi Wonder Woman” (CBS, April 28, 1976). Finally, David Banner (Bill Bixby) is a professor on the run who harbors a terrible secret in “The Incredible Hulk” episode “Homecoming” (CBS, Nov. 30, 1979).
Saturday, Feb. 27 (7:30 p.m.)
“Austin City Limits” – “Highlights from the First Five Years” (PBS)
“Austin City Limits” (ACL) is the longest-running music series in American television history. ACL recorded its first program in October 1974 at the University of Texas although the pilot with Willie Nelson never officially aired. Originally created to celebrate the music of Texas—featuring western swing, Texas blues, Tejano music, progressive country, and rock ‘n’ roll—the series has gone on to feature regional, national and international artists performing a wide range of musical styles. ACL is the only television program to ever receive the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest award for artistic excellence. Most of the performances in this program—culled and digitally restored from the Library of Congress’ video collections, have not been seen since the 1970s. Performers include Willie Nelson, from the 1974 pilot episode, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Tom Waits, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Ernest Tubb, Clifton Chenier, Merle Travis, Earl Scruggs, Charlie Pride, John Prine, Bobby Bare with Ronnie Montrose and Tracy Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker and The Lost Gonzo Band, Asleep at the Wheel, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Townes Van Zandt, Flaco Jimenez and Ry Cooder, and Marcia Ball and Hank Thompson.