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New Rochelle To Celebrate The Work Of A Historic Film Company

The New Rochelle Public Library will honor the nationally-famous  Thanhouser Company.
The New Rochelle Public Library will honor the nationally-famous Thanhouser Company. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- The New Rochelle Public Library will honor a nationally-famous movie company from New Rochelle in April.

New Rochelle was the site of Thanhouser Company from 1909 to 1918. The company produced more than 1,000 films and "put New Rochelle on the map,” according to a press release. The library will celebrate the story of the company with events on April 26 and 27.

The New Rochelle Walk of Fame will honor 15 people with ties to New Rochelle, including film company founders Edwin and Gertrude Thanhouser on April 26. The public is invited to join city and state officials, and  families of the honorees for the event.

Following the induction ceremony, the library will host the Thanhouser Film Festival. Edwin and Gertrude's grandson, Ned Thanhouser, will lead the festival. Ned serves as president of the Thanhouser Film Preservation Society. He will present samples of the movies that were filmed and produced in New Rochelle, as well as a documentary on his pioneering grandparents.

As part of the New Rochelle Shakespeare Festival, the Thanhouser Film Fest will include a showing of "Cymbeline" (1911), starring Florence LaBadie as Imogene. The films will be accompanied by Ben Model, silent film accompanist for MOMA. A donation of $2 is suggested at the door. The program is made possible by the Friends of the New Rochelle Public Library.

The library is also organizing a bus trip to visit the Historic Green-Wood Cemetery on Sunday, April 27 to honor LaBadie. LaBadie, who was with Thanhouser from 1911 until 1917, was the company's most prominent player during that span. She appeared in leading roles in dozens of Thanhouser film. She died of injuries suffered in an automobile accident. She was buried in an unmarked grave at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. The cost of bus trip and tour is $35, made payable to “Friends of NRPL.” Residents are asked to call 914-813-3706 to make a reservation before April 11.

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