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Madison in the Movies

Cornerstone Society will kick off
sale of new DVD at Aug. reception

The DVD explores history
of Madison businesses and more

By Konnie McCollum
Contributing Writer

(August 2006) – The Cornerstone Society will hold a reception at the Madison Public Library at 2 p.m. Aug. 12 to introduce “Madison in the Movies,” the DVD version of the 1930s Harold Lohrig film. The digitally remastered DVD now includes a new soundtrack wherein long-time Madison residents viewed the footage with open microphones which captured their comments and reminiscences.

Madison in the Movies DVD Cover

Photo provided

The new DVD features a Lohrig film of
interviews with people several years ago.

The original film was made in 1936-1938. A group of college students collected money from local businesses to be featured in the film, which would be played at the Ohio Theatre before movies. When the film was ready, it was discovered that the theatre did not have the right equipment to run it. The late Harold Lohrig had a projector that could run the film and offered to play it for the theatre. Businesses owners who had paid to have the film made demanded their money back. The filmmakers told Lohrig he could keep the film. The family has had it ever since, but back in the 1980s, the family allowed the Cornerstone Society to sell VHS copies.
Dan Grady of Grady Video Services in Madison has re-organized the original footage and recorded the voices of local people discussing life during the late 1930s and 1940s. He also used a 1938 Madison Area Chamber of Commerce map of Madison to add buttons on the map that may be selected on the DVD to go to certain parts of the film that discuss that location in town. The DVD runs just over an hour and includes the 15-minute World War II propaganda film “The Town,” made by the government using Madison as its model.
Meredith Gregg, project coordinator, said, “This project is excitingly good. Everyone working on it has done an exceptional job.”
She noted that Grady had worked particularly hard and had really done a simply marvelous job. “He has spent over 300 hours on this project,” she said.
The debut party at the Madison Public Library is free and open to the public. Parts of the film and the extras added to the DVD will be shown at the reception. All of the people involved in the project have been invited, and a question-and-answer session with them will also be done. There will be light refreshments, including cookies.
The DVDs will be on sale at the library for $15, and order forms will be available to have them shipped for an extra $3. Gregg said a booth at 509 W. Main will also be set up during the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art to sell the DVDs, and the society is hoping to place some at the Jefferson County Historical Society and the Madison Main Street Program’s office. Only 1000 of the DVDs have been ordered at this point.
The Cornerstone Society is an organization that actively promotes preservation in Madison by urging building owners to restore rather than tear down or use vinyl. It was formed in 1988 in response to threats of building demolitions in downtown Madison.

• For more information about “Madison in the Movies,” call Meredith Gregg at (812) 265-4197.

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