The following article was submitted by Matt Mottl, Public Services Assistant at MPL.
It surprised me when I first started working at Manitowoc Public Library that there were no movie nights currently happening there, even though I learned that we’d held screenings in the past. As a huge lover of movie magic and being someone who loves seeing all the aspects that go into making a movie great—including its score, cinematography, screenplay, etc.—my time at MPL evolved into me becoming a de facto point person for movie questions or knowledge.
Now in my fourth year here at the library and having created numerous movie displays covering various themes and topics, I am excited to announce that I’ll be doing my first program that focuses on something that I truly love—Movie Nights at the Library, which will begin on Thursday, February 9, at 4:30 PM in the Balkansky Community Room. This new series premiere will kick off with a movie that was released very recently and that I personally have already seen twice and love. That movie is (drum roll, please) “Elvis”—the biopic about the one and only Elvis Presley.
“Elvis” is a film that depicts the life story of the iconic singer, from his humble beginnings to his meteoric rise to stardom and onward into the hearts of so many people with his music. The film is swept along by the dazzling directing of Baz Luhrman—whose trademark visual style has also been seen in his other big movies, such as “The Great Gatsby,” “Moulin Rouge,” and “Romeo + Juliet.” His stylistic choices give the film a spectacular visual feel.
I chose this movie to be the first showing for the new Movie Nights at the Library not only because it is a new release, but “Elvis” is also a critical darling nominated for several Academy Awards this season.
Another reason I chose this film is that I believe that people of all ages and demographics really respond to Elvis Presley’s music. His enduring popularity truly confirms how beloved of a singer he was and continues to be.
I hope to repeat this program monthly with possible Theme Nights included, whether that be a mystery night, a horror night, a date night—you name it! There are so many possibilities. The experience of sitting in a darkened room, eager to experience what your senses will encounter with a new (or established favorite) film, and sharing that experience with a large group of people really is great moment. It’s why I love the movies and why I believe everyone else does, too.
We, as a public library, are a media hub with our books, movies, CDS, and more. As such, I feel we should embrace that reality and go beyond just checking these materials out to patrons. We also need to create programs like Movie Nights at the Library where we can all come together and experience the joy of watching a film on a big screen that takes us on a shared journey. You may have noticed by this point that I am very excited to see these movie nights grow and bring eager filmgoers together.
Plus, I haven’t even mentioned the Added Bonus: there’s going to be FREE popcorn, drinks, maybe even some sweet snacks. We’re doing our best to make it seem just like there’s a little movie theater within the library!
I hope to see my fellow moviegoers and film lovers attend the first installment of Movie Nights at the Library on Thursday, February 9, at 4:30 PM in the Balkansky Community Room. Enjoy Baz Luhrman’s “Elvis” and the complimentary snacks and beverages.
Let’s all have a grand old time—we’ll sit back, turn of our cell phones, and enjoy a great movie!