When it comes to programming the Packard Campus Theater, we have two very distinct differences with other archival venues:
1. We can program almost exclusively from our collection of literally hundreds of thousands of titles. Rarely do we borrow a print for a screening; there’s typically no need for it.
2. Since we don’t charge admission, we’re not constrained by the commercial imperative. Of course, we’re thrilled when we have large, capacity (ca 230 seats) audiences–as we recently did for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs–but not having to worry about box office revenue means we can show pretty much whatever strikes our collective fancy. Remember, however, that you always get your money’s worth at the Packard Campus Theater!
We’re not announcing the title of the one film this week (we’ll be dark Friday and Saturday for Labor Day weekend) so we’ll see how many adventurous souls turn out. This is our second go-round with “mystery” programming. Back when we showed films in the cozy confines of the Library’s 64-seat Mary Pickford Theater in the Madison Building, I occasionally picked titles based on the DC Lottery Pick Four numbers, matching them to the alphanumeric shelf locations we use to retrieve items from storage. We didn’t provide the audience with any clues–one evening we paired David Lynch’s Wild at Heart (Polygram, 1990) with an episode of Adam-12 (NBC, 1968-1975)–so it truly was a step into the unknown.
Thursday, August 28 (7:30 p.m.)
Mystery Movie Night
The first in a new series at the Packard Campus Theater, this unique film-going experience will provide only the genre and rating for a rarely seen title. Additional clues will be provided at the screenings during the slide presentations. The first clues for the month are: A color crime-comedy with music, rated PG and shown in a 35 mm print. This film has never been released on home video of any kind.
For more information on our programs, please visit the web site at www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.