Saturday, February 21, 2009

What's in store for Year 15?

Beginning in 1995, the city of Muskegon has played host to an Annual Buster Keaton Celebration each October. Staged in cooperation with The International Buster Keaton Society, who brings their convention to town, the event has won the hearts of many. Over the years, guests have included film personalities James Karen, Adrian Booth Brian, Gerald Potterton, Frank Buxton, Cliff Cronan, authors George Wead, Joe Adamson, David Macleod, Jim Kline, Imogen Smith, Edward McPherson, Annette D'Agostino Lloyd. Lloyd Williams. Family members Eleanor Keaton, Melissa Talmadge Cox, Ted Keaton, and Jeanne Keaton Holler have come to visit the city that Buster called home.

The convention has included rare film clips and television shows, panel discussions, power PowerPoint presentations, slide shows, quizzes, auctions, baseball games, trolley and walking tours of Bluffton, and even a wedding and two receptions. Events have been hosted at the Muskegon County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Muskegon Museum of Art, the Muskegon County Museum, Hackley Public Library, the Beardsley Theater, the Shoreline Inn, Muskegon Community College, the Muskegon Harbor Holiday Inn and the old Muskegon Mall.

In that first year, the celebration included a museum exhibit highlighting Keaton's career and the history of the local Actors' Colony. The event has included art exhibits by school age children, life-size sculptures of Keaton, beautiful streetlight banners and, of course, a full slate of his classic films at the historic Frauenthal Theater in downtown Muskegon. Here's what we've shown to date.

1995 - Friday - The Cameraman
1995 - Saturday - The General
1996 - The Goat & The Railrodder/Buster Keaton Rides Again
1997 - The Boat & The Navigator
1998 - The Balloonatic & Our Hospitality
1999 - One Week & Seven Chances
2000 - One Week - accompanied by the West Shore Symphony Orchestra
2001 - The High Sign and Steamboat Bill, Jr.
2002 - The Electric House & College
2003 - An Evening of Shorts - The Paleface, Hard Luck, Taming of the Snood & The Frozen North
2004 - Friday - A Vaudeville Show accompanied with the shorts Backstage & The Playhouse
2004 - Saturday - The Scarecrow & The Cameraman
2005 - The Butcher Boy & Spite Marriage
2006 - Oh Doctor!, The Haunted House and Sherlock Jr.
2007 - Convict 13, One Week & Three Ages
2008 - Battling Butler & The Navigator

The 15th annual Buster Keaton celebration is scheduled for October 2-3, 2009. As always, it should be quite the show!

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