Skip Navigation Links  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
Moving Image Research Center (Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division)
  Home >> Mary Pickford Theater

Mary Pickford Theater

Archive of past screenings:

2017 -2016 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000



Each year, the Librarian of Congress selects 25 films of enduring importance to American culture for inclusion in the National Film Registry. The selection takes into account thousands of titles nominated annually by the public, as well as recommendations of the National Film Preservation Board and the Library film curators. Once a film is inducted into the Registry, the Library determines if it has already been preserved, and, if not, seeks to ensure that it eventually will be preserved by the institution or individual holding the best master material. This month, the Pickford Theater will showcase two titles deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" for inclusion into the Registry, both in new 35mm prints made from the studios’ preservation elements for the Library’s National Film Registry Collection.

Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 7:00pm

SHAFT (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1971). Directed by Gordon Parks. Written by Ernest Tidyman, John D. F. Black, from the novel of the same name by Ernest Tidyman. With Richard Roundtree. Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi, Christopher St. John, Gwenn Mitchell, Lawrence Pressman. (100 min, color, 35mm)

Poster for "Shaft"
(Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1971)


A private detective is recruited by a Harlem crime boss to find his daughter who has been kidnapped by the Mafia. The film that defined the Blaxploitation genre and expanded the representation of African Americans in mainstream commercial cinema was a modestly budgeted affair ($500,000), shot on New York City streets in the winter and featuring a cast of little known stage actors and bit players. Its success at the box office (grossing $13 million in the U.S. alone) saved MGM from financial ruin and spawned a host of sequels and imitations across the pop culture spectrum. The memorable score was composed by Isaac Hayes, who won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Theme from Shaft,” making him the first African American composer to win an Oscar. Selected for the National Film Registry in 2000.

Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 7:00pm

THE MARK OF ZORRO (Twentieth Century-Fox, 1940). Directed by Rouben Mamoulian. Written by John Taintor Foote (screenplay), Garrett Fort & Bess Meredith (adaptation), from the story “The Curse of Capistrano” by Johnston McCulley. With Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Gale Sondergaard, Eugene Pallette, J. Edward Bromberg, Montagu Love. (93 min, black & white, 35mm)

Lobby card for "The Mark of Zorro"
(Twentieth Century-Fox, 1940)

Johnston McCulley’s tale of a masked swordsman who becomes the scourge of Spanish oppressors in 1800’s California was first published as a serial in the “All-Story Weekly” magazine in August-September 1919. Among the many films and TV shows based on the story or using the character of Zorro, are the 1920 blockbuster with Douglas Fairbanks in the title role, the Walt Disney-produced 1950’s TV series, and two recent (1998 and 2005) Columbia releases starring Antonio Banderas. None, however, have approached the elegance and visual sophistication of Rouben Mamoulian’s 1940 version, which brought the director’s sublime sense of movement and rhythm to the swashbuckler’s traditional mix of action, romance and humor. Selected for the National Film Registry in 2009.

Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> Mary Pickford Theater
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  January 18, 2017
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian