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Lights, Camera, Action! Norman Studios Exhibit & Programming

Friday, October 4, 2019
Norman Studios logo with camera operator and camera

September through December, 2019

View exhibit (fourth floor) during regular library hours. Free self-guided tour and video.

Don’t miss this traveling exhibit that chronicles the story of one of the nation’s first motion picture studios to produce all African-American cast films. Learn how Jacksonville was at one time considered the “Winter Film Capital of the World,” what actors—you’ll be surprised—made their debuts, and why the film industry left Jacksonville for the west coast—Hollywood.

Along with the exhibit, Norman Studios Silent Film Museum members offer a series of presentations. Each program represents an aspect of the type of programming at the Race Film Museum and Film History Center.

Image of the Norman Studios

All Norman Studios Programs are Saturdays at 2 p.m.

Main Library, 4th Floor, Ansbacher Map Room
(exceptions noted)

Oct. 5  Why Norman Studios Is a National Historic Landmark and Its Role in Tourism and Revitalization:  NSSFM panel will lead a discussion of the past, present and future of the city-owned property.

Oct. 12  Panel presents a discussion of Building “Pride of Place” in Arlington through film-related activities.  Norman Studios will be a hub for filmmakers and film lovers, community activities, a trailhead for ecotourism.

Oct. 19  One of Norman Studios missions is to showcase and facilitate many forms of “moving pictures,” especially local students. Youth filmmakers from middle and high schools will screen and discuss their films.  Film instructors will also share insights. 

Nov. 2  Steve Arrington and Richard Corbin explain, “How Gateway RC (Radio Controlled) Club changes lives” with model planes. They offer instruction in building and flying models at their field and at venues such as the Duval County Fair. Using simulators, they help people experience aviation.

Movie poster for the film, The Flying Ace from the Norman Studios

Nov. 9  UNF professor and documentarian Frank Goodin explores Race Films, contrasting egregiously racist films like Birth of a Nation to aspirational films like The Flying Ace and Black Panther.

Nov. 16  Norman Studios panel screens and discusses The Flying Ace and more.

Movie poster for the film, The Green Eyed Monster from the Norman Studios

Nov. 23  Norman Studios panel screens and discusses why Black Panther is a modern race film. (Hicks Auditorium)

Dec. 7  Ed “Skip” Booth  discusses how Jacksonville could honor Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman aviator who died in a tragic plane accident at Paxon Field, the day before Richard Norman started shooting her story. She was the original inspiration for The Flying Ace.

Dec. 14  Meet the Gloria Norman Dancers! Learn how Gloria’s dance school preserved a future National Historic Landmark!  When Richard stopped making feature films in 1939, Gloria started a Dance School,  which saved it for 44 years, including the rampart growth when the Matthews Bridge opened in 1954. Until then, Arlington had been available from Downtown mostly by ferry. Former students will share memories of Gloria, the classes, the converted car in which she took students home.  A display will include pictures and memorabilia.

Find more information about Norman Studios at www.normanstudios.org.

Jacksonville Public Library