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The Daily Tar Heel

Chapel Hill Historians Present `Leading Ladies'

Presented by the Chapel Hill Historical Society, "Leading Ladies of the '30s" will highlight legendary actresses in their most memorable roles during the next month. Each week the series will feature a different film classic, beginning Sunday with Alexandre Dumas' classic French tragedy, "Camille."

The Chapel Hill Historical Society was founded in 1966. Doug Eyre, a volunteer at the society since 1975, said the society's mission is to maintain historical connections of the community and to raise awareness about the outstanding people of our past.

The society's second film series is no exception. Val Lauder, president of the Chapel Hill Historical Society, said "Leading Ladies of the '30s" helps preserve that past. She added that these women are some of the greatest stars ever and are part of Hollywood history as well as that of Chapel Hill.

"Movies have always been such a part of Chapel Hill history -- that's why we wanted to do this," Lauder said.

English Professor Margaret O'Connor, who teaches a course in film criticism, said some of the stars of "Leading Ladies" are institutions in and of themselves.

"These are five films about women in a man's world who nevertheless created lasting images for themselves," she said.

O'Connor is one of the three UNC English professors introducing each film and leading a discussion on the film afterward. Professor Kimball King will start off the series at 4 p.m. on Feb. 4 in the Society Meeting Room with a lecture on "Hollywood's Place in Our History."

King and Professor Howard Harper also are participating in the films series' accompanying lectures.

Eyre said he recognizes that the chance to see classic films on Carroll Hall auditorium's large screen and to discuss them with fellow lovers of film is an opportunity that he hopes the community takes advantage of.

"These are fine films that you normally wouldn't get a chance to see," he said. "They have the potential to evoke public interest."

"Leading Ladies of the '30s" will be shown at 7p.m. every Sunday through March 4 at Carroll Hall auditorium. Tickets are available at The Chapel Hill Museum Shop for all five films for $25 or individually at the door for $6.

The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at

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