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Freeport cinephiles tout Lindo Theatre Classic Film Series

The Journal-Standard ~ January 9, 2015

















Alan Wenzel (left) speaks to a crowd of moviegoers for the classic film “The Manchurian Candidate” on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, at the Lindo Theatre in Freeport. After the film, a group discussion was held about the history of the film and details about the movie.

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By Jane Lethlean
The Journal-Standard 

Posted Jan. 9, 2015 @ 1:16 pm
Updated Jan 9, 2015 at 6:09 PM 




  • FREEPORT — For the past 10 seasons of the Classic Film Series, Bernard and Deborah Lischwe of Freeport have sat in their own specially selected seats at the Lindo Theatre for the latest showing of a classic movie.
    “This is one of Freeport’s treasures,” said Deborah.
    This past week, moviegoers braved the extreme temperatures to attend one of two showings of the 1962 classic film, “The Manchurian Candidate.” Deborah said attending the movie is more than seeing an old film on the big screen. She enjoys the history lesson presented by Dr. Ed Finch and Alan Wenzel, who brief the audience before the film and hold discussions about the film after the showing.
    “What makes seeing these movies so special to me and my husband is the commentary from Ed and Alan,” Deborah said. “It becomes a richer experience, and what makes it more special is these movies are often from the era of my mother, and it makes for a cross-generational appeal.”
    This is the fifth year and 10th series of classic movies to be shown at the Lindo Theatre. The latest is a series of movies made to depict the Cold War. Wenzel said the movies he and Finch select represent the best of their kind to show an appreciative audience. He said there is an afternoon and evening showing of each movie on the selected day. Since the series’ inception, audience numbers have grown to about 200 people at each showing.
    “The attraction is to see these older movies on the big screen and to enjoy them as they were intended to be seen,” Wenzel said. “We decided to try this movie experience a few years ago and it has just taken off. We have a loyal, consistent group of people who enjoy being part of the discussions.”
    Since the movie series began, there have been westerns, comedies, science fiction, war movies, silent films and movies starring legend Sidney Poitier. The fall schedule will be movies starring Elizabeth Taylor.
    “What we hope to accomplish with the Classic Film Series is a deep appreciation of films that stand the test of time, and then we critique and study the mastery of these films,” Wenzel said.
    JoAnne Burgener of Freeport said she enjoyed watching “The Manchurian Candidate.”
    A faithful attendee of the series, she said, “I end up watching movies I never thought I would be interested in, but the moderators put it into a historical perspective and then it becomes a history lesson. It helps me understand the movie and it becomes more than just entertainment — (it’s) a social statement.”

    Page 2 of 2 - Finch said in the past five years, 5,981 people have attended the movies. The next movie will be called “Fail Safe,” to be shown Feb. 4. This 1964 Cold War movie is about the misguided transmission of a squadron of bombers hurtling toward Russia. It stars Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau and Larry Hagman.
    Other movies to be shown will be “Dr. Strangelove” on March 4, “October Sky” on April 1 and a series bonus with “The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming” on April 29.
    “It’s about the appreciation of films as they were meant to be seen, but the addition of discussion makes it a personal experience,” Finch said.


    Jane Lethlean;; @DOGWMN2
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