I wanted to share a quick story with you from my #ClassicMovieTraveler adventures in Iowa. I visited the little town of Denison on Monday to tour the Donna Reed Museum and Foundation for the Performing Arts. Both the foundation and museum are housed in a building occupied originally by the Germania Opera House and later the Ritz Movie Theater (where Donna Reed saw films growing up). The restored downtown storefront and theater, all named in her honor, provide the community with a mixed-use space for the performing arts and other special events.
Upon my arrival, I was greeted with a warm welcome from a museum staff person (coincidentally her name was also Donna) and given a personalized tour of the museum and historic theater. The museum shows guests an introductory video on Donna Reed, which happens to be a TCM piece produced when she was the Star of the Month in 2010. Throughout the tour, my guide referenced the network and even mentioned how “It’s a Wonderful Life” screened at this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival. We also discussed how TCM has introduced so many people (me included) to the full breadth of Donna Reed’s career.
After my tour, I explained to the staff how I was using Twitter to document my trip to some of Iowa’s film landmarks. They kindly let me take pictures with my Robert O. bobblehead throughout the museum. In fact, they loved the idea so much that they changed their exterior marquee to read “Hello TCM!”
Whenever I travel, I try to see as many film-related sites as possible. Without fail, I strike up conversations with nice folks like Donna about our mutual love of classic movies and why sites like the Donna Reed Museum and Foundation are important. These discussions always seem to lead back to TCM and how the network has illuminated the work of so many stars that might have otherwise been forgotten. Without TCM, places like the Donna Reed Museum or the countless other small, classic Hollywood museums throughout America would struggle to survive.
You probably hear this all the time from fans, but I just wanted to say “thank you" for all the work you and the rest of the folks at TCMHQ do on a daily basis to keep our shared cinematic heritage alive.
Thank you Lora! We really appreciate hearing from you.