We would like to thank all our series regulars and semi-regulars who attended Cinema of Transcendence this spring. We averaged 54 patrons a week with the highest-attended film being One Foot in Heaven (71).
This season we had hoped to attract new audiences as well as the church-going crowd, but neither group attended. Despite presenting two of the finest family films ever made in our last two weeks, not one parent brought their child to either Stars in My Crown or One Foot in Heaven. The closest we came was a father who came down to the meeting room looking for a bookmark/schedule for his daughter who was with him. They didn’t stay for the movie. (We were out of the bookmarks since we had been offering them at the front desk for the past three months.) Other patrons who had never attended before asked about the series, but in the end, John Q was more interested in placing reserves on movies like Hot Tub Time Machine 2.
When only 50 (!) show up for a movie like Angels With Dirty Faces with Cagney and Bogart, it’s a clear indication that the problem is with the community at large and how they define entertainment– not with the theme/films we selected. Despite distributing our flyers to all the neighboring churches, we doubt a word was sent out to any congregation concerning our faith-based series. Ministerial cooperation would’ve energized the program.
Despite the disappointing turnout– our lowest average ever–Cinema of Transcendence became the most rewarding program we’ve presented. Those who made the effort to come out enjoyed this year’s subject. In fact, on our last two shows, patrons were actually in tears when the movies ended. There are few films today that can impact viewers to that extreme. They were moved to the core. Other patrons expressed the impact of certain movies in their lives. In this way, the embers of Transcendence will continue to glow. Throughout the series we received many positive comments after each screening:
“It took guts in our very secularized culture to put on a series of this subject matter, but I think it is important to continue to tap into people’s religious instincts and their desire to contemplate the big questions of life. Presenting these films in this context was an excellent way to accomplish that task.” ~Joe P.
If nothing else, this theme made us appreciate even more the dedication and support of our regulars. As we said in our final benediction last Thursday night, God bless them all.
The Park Ridge Public Library Classic Film Series will return…