In honor of Black History Month, the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society’s February Third Thursday Lecture will feature Norman Studios, one of the nation’s first film studios to produce films starring African-American characters in positive, non-stereotypical roles.
Devan Stuart Lesley, Norman Studios Co-Chair, will show a documentary and discuss Jacksonville’s silent film history and its unique contribution to African-American cinema. Hollywood East: Florida’s Silent Film Legacy explores how the top motion picture producers of the day came to reside in Northeast Florida and why they left for the West Coast.
Hollywood East was produced by Nadia Ramoutar and Steph Borklund in collaboration with the Norman Studios, a nonprofit organization working to restore and reopen Jacksonville’s sole surviving silent film studio complex, which is still standing in the historic Old Arlington neighborhood. There, late filmmaker Richard Norman produced some of the nation’s earliest all-black-cast films during the 1910s and ’20s. Its unique place in cinema and civil rights history helped land the site a National Historic Landmark designation in 2016.
The Third Thursday Lectures are presented by the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society in partnership with the Mandarin Community Club. This event will be presented on Thursday, February 15 at the Mandarin Community Club, which is located at 12447 Mandarin Road. Refreshments are at 6:30 pm with the presentation at 7:00 pm. It is free and all are invited and encouraged to attend. For more information, call 268-0784.