March 25, 1997 More States To Be Visited by the National Film Registry Tour

Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

The National Film Registry Tour continues in its effort to reach all 50 states with the announcement of three new sites by James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress. Indiana, Missouri and Wyoming will play host to this unique traveling film program this spring, bringing the number of states visited to 20. The tour features 36 wide-ranging film titles from the National Film Registry projected back on the big screen -- the way they were originally intended to be seen. The purpose is to celebrate the diversity of American filmmaking while promoting public awareness of the need to protect and preserve America's film heritage.

David Francis, Chief of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, said: "The brightly lit living room is no substitute for the darkened auditorium, for the projected image and the power of attentive minds. The tour rekindles the cinema experience -- an experience that requires the same level of engagement as the other live arts -- opera, theater and music."

The next stops for the tour are the Indianapolis Arts Center in Indianapolis, April 10-13, 1997, the Tivoli Westport Cinema in Kansas City, Mo., May 9-15, and the Teton Theatre in Jackson Hole, Wyo., May 22-26. The tour visited the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville, Tenn., on March 14, 15, and 16.

The National Film Registry was created by Congress in 1988. The Registry recognizes the richness of American filmmaking and each year 25 "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant films are added to it. The films on tour are selected from the Registry and include a broad range of film types, dates and filmmakers. Audiences will see such films as "Shadow of a Doubt" and "Gigi," as well as avant garde film, "Eaux d'Artifice," "Salt of the Earth," and the celebrated Bugs Bunny cartoon, "What's Opera, Doc?"

Film is a fragile medium, and motion pictures, both old and new, face deterioration problems. Only by storing films in low-temperature and low-humidity environments can the decay process be slowed. The majority of American films do not receive this type of care and are in critical need of preservation. More than half of all American films made before 1951 are lost forever. The National Film Registry Tour strives to communicate the importance of film preservation by creating widespread access to a variety of older films in a theatrical setting.

Funding for the tour comes from the James Madison Council, the Library's private sector advisory board. The Film Foundation, a group of leading film directors committed to film preservation, and Turner Classic Movies have provided additional support. Motion picture studios have generously provided new prints of the titles under their control. The preservation work of many organizations will be represented, including the Library of Congress, the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, the Museum of Modern Art Department of Film and Video and the UCLA Film and Television Archive.


(Program Subject to Change)


  • The Cheat
  • Chinatown
  • Dr. Strangelove
  • Duck Soup
  • Gigi
  • High School
  • I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
  • The Learning Tree
  • Letter From an Unknown Woman
  • My Darling Clementine
  • The Night of the Hunter
  • Ninotchka
  • On the Waterfront
  • Out of the Past
  • Raging Bull
  • Safety Last
  • Salt of the Earth
  • The Searchers
  • Shadow of a Doubt
  • Shane
  • Sunrise
  • Touch of Evil
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Within Our Gates
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy


  • The Battle of San Pietro
  • Big Business
  • Castro Street
  • Eaux d'Artifice
  • Gertie the Dinosaur
  • The Great Train Robbery
  • March of Time: Inside Nazi Germany--1938
  • Meshes of the Afternoon
  • The River
  • What's Opera, Doc?


PR 97-054
ISSN 0731-3527