There is more to enjoy at the Nostalgia Con than meeting Hollywood celebrities and shopping with vendors. The event room offers slide show seminars hosted by historians, authors, professors, magazine editors, and museum curators. You do not have to attend all of these events but we do recommend you take a moment and look over the schedule and plan to visit the seminar room sometime during your visit. Some of these events are so popular that the room fills pretty quickly!
9:30 am CAROLE LOMBARD AND THE MYSTERY OF FLIGHT 3
Hosted by author Robert Matzen. This fresh look at Hollywood's "Queen of Screwball," Carole Lombard, presents a first-ever examination of the events that led to the shocking flight mishap that took her life on the side of a Nevada mountain in 1942. It also provides a day-by-day account of the struggles of Lombard's husband, Clark Gable, and other family, friends, and fans to cope with the tragedy. In effect, having just completed the first sale of war bonds and stamps in the nation following its entry into World War II, Lombard became the first Hollywood start to sacrifice her life in the War.
10:30 am ZANE GREY: LEGEND AND LEGACY
His full name was Pearl Zane Grey and he is best known for authoring a large number of popular adventure novels and stories associated with the Western genre; he idealized the American frontier. Fans of cowboy yarns are familiar with his novels and short stories, and the motion-pictures adapted from some of his best works. But did you know he was also a dentist? This is your opportunity to brush up on the life of Zane Grey and what inspired him to write about the American frontier. If you knew nothing about him, but are familiar with his name in the credits of motion-pictures, here is your chance to learn all you need to know about the myth, the man, the legend. Hosted by Robert Lentz.
12:00 noon THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Both before it was filmed and after its release, the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz has many detours on its Yellow Brick Road that Dorothy never saw. Follow author Frank Dello Stritto as he is off to see the Wizard, with lots of interesting stops along the way.
3:30 pm THE GOTHAM RADIO PLAYERS
The Gotham Radio Players specialize in performing re-enactments of “lost” radio scripts from the Golden Age of Radio, programs for which no recording exists and which have probably not been heard since their original broadcast more than 60 years ago. This year the group will perform an episode of Dragnet from August 2, 1951, titled "The Big Cop," which does not exist in recorded form. A rare treat for those who love the series!
4:30 pm INTERVIEW WITH TV LEGENDS BOB EUBANKS, JAMIE FARR AND JIMMIE WALKER
To be announced.
5:30 pm INTERVIEW WITH THE GALS OF BATMAN: NANCY KOVAK, LINDA GAYE SCOTT AND SHARYN WYNTERS
To be announced.
7:00 pm TARZAN OF THE APES: 110 YEARS AS A POP CULTURE ICON
Henry Franke, Editor of The Burroughs Bibliophiles literary society, presents the history of Tarzan as a popular culture icon since the character first appeared in the pulps in 1912. His creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs, built a multi-media empire around the ape-man, moving from books to film, newspaper strips, radio, comic books, television, games, merchandising, fan clubs, and much more. See how Tarzan became a global phenomenon, still recognized around the world today through his iconic jungle yell or the image of a man swinging through the trees. And there are more adventures to come for the ape-man.
8:00 pm SPECIAL SCREENING OF EMILY OR OSCAR?
This feature-length movie is a thoughtful romantic comedy, movie musical, that reads as a love-letter to old Hollywood, with archetypal characters paying homage to United Artist Founders, and founders of our modern cinema aesthetic, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and DW Griffith. The feature length, Emily or Oscar? is a thoughtful romantic comedy with gorgeous cinematography and strong musical elements, dazzling like a love-letter to old Hollywood. Archetypal characters, paying homage to United Artist Founders and creators of modern cinema — Mary Pickford, D.W. Griffith and Charlie Chaplin — serve as muses to ingenue ‘Emily Arthur’ (Casara Clark) and protagonist ‘Sam Feldman’ (Chris M. Allport), the film’s romantic pair. Meanwhile, trapped between the old world and the new, the conflicted spirit of Douglas Fairbanks offers ‘Sam’ a deal with the devil. But will Sam sacrifice his soul? Familiar faces populating the feature are Golden Globe winner Susan Blakely, former Nostalgia Con guest Jeanne Russell (Dennis the Menace), Susan Boyd Joyce (Happy Days), and Stephen John Kalinich (The Beach Boys). Written and Directed by Chris M. Allport, who will also present 45 minutes of Q & A after the movie.
9:00 am AUDREY HEPBURN: DUTCH GIRL AND WARRIOR
Hosted by author Robert Matzen. Audrey Hepburn's experiences in wartime, including the murder of family members, her survival through combat and starvation conditions, and work on behalf of the Dutch Resistance, gave her the determination to become a humanitarian for UNICEF and the fearlessness to charge into war-torn countries in the Third World on behalf of children and their mothers in desperate need. She set the standard for celebrity humanitarians and Matzen will present us with a slide show not so much of her screen career but her humanitarian work.
10:00 am THE LIFE AND CAREER OF NEHEMIAH PERSOFF
Character actor Nehemiah Persoff recalls his early childhood years in Jerusalem, his coming to New York during the terrible Depression, his work as a technician in the New York subway, and his remarkable transition to Broadway and Hollywood. From Some Like It Hot, On the Waterfront to The Twilight Zone, Nehemiah Persoff's career will be explored by author Jim Rosin, Persoff's cousin, recounting the actor's stories as if Persoff himself was on stage!
11:00 am A HISTORY OF SERGEANT PRESTON OF THE YUKON
From 1939 to 1958, a fictional Canadian Mountie named Sergeant Preston patrolled the wilds of the Yukon, with his horse Rex, and his faithful dog Yukon King, battling both the elements and criminals. The program began on radio in Detroit in 1939, went national in 1947, and made the transition to television in 1955. The franchise spawned a series of comic books, police whistle, board game, children's books and the most unique premium ever given away -- a legit land deed for fans of the program to own a piece of the Yukon. This slide show presentation, hosted by Martin Grams, will give us a brief summary of the program with all the trivia you could imagine from a weekly Canadian Mountie series.
12 noon OLD-TIME RADIO TRY-OUTS
Try your hand at playing a role on stage with script, sound effects and microphones. Open to anyone who attends the tryouts at 12:30 p.m. Win the role and you get to perform on stage!
3:00 pm OLD-TIME RADIO RE-ENACTMENT
Drama to be announced.
3:45 pm CHARITY AUCTION FOR THE ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL
Have a few things about the house that you want to get rid of? Bring it to the convention on Friday and put them on the auction tables. All items will be accepted and every dollar raised during the sale of the auction items will help benefit children with treatable cancer. Bring your checkbook because you can make payment out to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, should you bid on items. (Please consult a CPA regarding tax deductions.) This year we are asking people NOT to donate audio cassettes or VHS videos, since no one is bidding on them during the auction. Thank you!
5:00 pm INTERVIEW WITH SUSAN GEORGE, MELISSA GILBERT and CONSTANCE TOWERS
To be announced!
6:00 pm INTERVIEW WITH LINDA THORSON, LYNN-HOLLY JOHNSON and KATHLEEN BELLER
To be announced!
7:30 pm ROBERT FULLER FAN CLUB GATHERING
Actor Robert Fuller loves to mingle with his fans on a personal level with members of his fan club.
9:00 pm SAM JONES INTERVIEW / FLASH GORDON
A special screening of the 1980 FLASH GORDON movie, introduced by Sam Jones who will discuss his screen career and then provide us with some background regarding the production of the movie.
9:00 am DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC? How 1966 Changed Popular Culture
Holy Nostalgia, Batman! 1966 was an extraordinary year in American popular culture. In addition to the camp show Batman premiering in 1966 and igniting a superhero craze, Hollywood introduced the iconic shows Star Trek, The Monkees, and Mission: Impossible. Caesars Palace debuted in Las Vegas, setting a new standard of excellence for travelers to “Sin City.” Frank Sinatra’s landmark double album Sinatra at the Sands was recorded and released; his daughter Nancy climbed the charts with her female empowerment anthem These Boots Are Made For Walkin'. It was all set against the backdrop of five successful missions in Project Gemini bringing the astronauts closer to fulfilling President Kennedy’s goal of landing a man on the Moon and bringing him back safely to Earth before 1970. Plus, the Baltimore Orioles surprised the sports world when they swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. David Krell is the author of an upcoming book on 1966 to be published by Rowman & Littlefield next year. He’ll share his archival research and exclusive interviews to explain the significance, impact, and appeal of this overlooked annum in popular culture scholarship.
10:00 am JAMES STEWART'S WWII CAREER
Hosted by author Robert Matzen. When he left Hollywood in March 1941, Jimmy Stewart was America’s boy next door movie star and a recent Academy Award winner. He left all that behind to join the United States Army Air Corps and fulfill his family mission to serve his country—only to face obstacle after obstacle from both Hollywood and Washington. Finally he made his way to the European Theater, where several near-death experiences and the loss of men under his command took away his youthful good looks. The war finally won, he returned home with millions of other veterans to face an uncertain future, suffering what we now know as PTSD. For the next half century, Stewart refused to discuss his combat experiences and took the story of his service to the grave. Matzen dug through military records to provide us with this fascinating slide show account of James Stewart's military career.
11:00 am PARLEY BAER: Radio Gunsmoke's Chester and Mayberry's Mayor
Imagine an actor who has performed in over 50 theater productions, more than 10,000 radio shows, 1,500 television shows and 100 movies. Oh, and in his spare time he spent many years on the road training wild animals and acting as ringmaster for many circus performances. This sounds incredible, yet such a man existed: his name was Parley Baer. Many people, if asked, would not recognize his name. And yet, this lack of instant recognition made Parley one of the great character actors of film, radio and television. He was a mainstay on many radio shows including The Count of Monte Cristo and the classic radio western Gunsmoke where he portrayed Chester, Marshal Dillon’s trustworthy sidekick. He was also Mayor Stoner on The Andy Griffith Show and the next door neighbor Darby on TV's Ozzie and Harriet.That’s just a few of his many performances. His career spanned almost sixty years and a wide range of programs and productions. Don Ramlow, Karl Schadow and Joe Webb present a program that showcases the many facets of Parley Baer's curious and successful career.
12 noon METRO WASHINGTON OLD-TIME RADIO CLUB
You do not have to be a member of the old-time radio club to attend their monthly meeting. The group gathers together for review of a classic old-time radio broadcast, demonstrate a brief sketch on stage complete with special effects, and other interactive activities. And, of course, you can sign up to become a member of the club after the meeting and get their bi-monthly newsletter. (Or you can visit the club website and sign up in advance at www.mwotrc.com)
1:30 p.m. TELEVISION IN THE 1940s
Hosted by author Garry Berman. To be announced.
7:00 pm SATURDAY NIGHT DINNER BANQUET
All you can eat buffet with live stage entertainment! Tickets always sell out for this event. This is a great way to close out the weekend. Details of this year’s entertainment to be announced. A great way to close the weekend of excitement. The dinner banquet is the only event that requires a separate fee and is not included with general admission. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance, sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. (Which is why we recommend you purchase your tickets in advance.)