Alfred Hitchcock films showing in Davis this spring

ALLYSON KO / AGGIE

Davis Odd Fellows brings back classic film festival

The Davis Odd Fellows is bringing back its classic film festival for the spring, showing Alfred Hitchcock films in Upper Hall at 415 Second St. in downtown Davis. The first showing is on April 15, and the films are free, with popcorn provided. Doors open at 6:29 p.m., and showtime is at 7:01 p.m.

Dave Rosenberg, the former grandmaster of all the Odd Fellows in California, elaborated on how the Odd Fellows started incorporating classic films as a committee.

“The Davis Odd Fellows do a lot of things to serve the community,” Rosenberg said.  “About five years ago, we installed a large projection system at the lodge, and I’m a fan of classic films, so I thought what a nice combination to start a classic film festival and invite the public. Since that time, we installed an even larger system in the upper hall. The one coming up will be our ninth.”

The organization has a large following with many committees in addition to the classic film festival committee.

“The Odd Fellows started in England over 2,000, close to 3,000 years ago,” Rosenberg said. “We are the oldest organization in Davis. We currently have 293 members, [and] we have the largest Odd Fellows lodge in North America. Right now, our members run around from 19 to 51 [years old]. We have 57 committees, and one of the committees is the classic film festival.”

Since the classic film festival started, it has been held every year in the spring and fall.

“We decided to do it twice a year since it’s incredibly popular,” Rosenberg said. “We always do three films on three Sundays in a row. This one is coming up — April 15th, 22nd, 29th. Each time we feature a certain genre. We’ve done classic film noir, classic Jimmy Stewart films, and this time we’re doing classic Alfred Hitchcock films.”

Beth Dovi, a member of the Davis Odd Fellows classic films committee, explained how the films are picked.

“We just had the idea and it evolved — and we vote as a committee and set the dates,” Dovi said. “It’s usually a different genre, it doesn’t have a format, per se.”

This spring, the Odd Fellows decided on the Alfred Hitchcock films.

“There’s some Alfred Hitchcock films that everyone knows and has seen,” Rosenberg said. “We are not showing those. We are showing lesser-known films but equally engaging. The first one we’re showing on the 15th is called ‘Saboteur,’ and the next one we’re showing on the 22nd is called ‘Shadow of a Doubt.’ One of the special features of what we do is we have a film critic in Davis who’s outstanding — he knows films like nobody I’ve ever met. His name is Derrick Bang and he is a film critic for Davis Enterprise. Before the showing, he tells everyone about the film and then afterwards he will answer questions. It’s a wonderful feature of this film festival. We have the benefit of someone who knows everything about the film.”

Many students attend the annual classic film festival.
“I know the public enjoys it, and we always have a lot of college people attend, and we have people who have actually seen the films,” Rosenberg said. “These films go way back from the ‘30s to the ‘40s, and that’s a long time ago. But, they’re wonderful films, and they have aged well with great entertainment and some great directing and acting.”

Rosenberg also noted how intriguing the Alfred Hitchcock films will be, especially for the public.

“Alfred Hitchcock is known as the master of suspense,” Rosenberg said. “His films will keep you on the edge of your seat. You never know what’s going to happen. Sometimes the protagonist is passive by both the good guys and bad guys. And you never know how it’s going to end.”

Juelie Roggli, another member of the classic films committee, stated that they can make good use of the hall they have for the public to come together.

“It was Dave Rosenberg’s idea as a way to bring the public into our beautiful hall — to show them something different,” Roggli said. “It’s worked out really well. We always get a really good crowd and people get to know the Odd Fellows as well as get the community involved and have a good time.”

Dovi emphasized that the festival welcomes anyone to come see the classical films.

“I think that a lot of times, people haven’t seen many of these older films,” Dovi said. “A lot of people may be interested, and it’s something to do on a Sunday night.”

While the films may not show in theaters anymore, Dovi stressed how important they still are.

“It’s important for a lot of things,” Dovi said. “These are movies that might be missed. Typically they’re made before 1960 — it’s important to keep these movies in people’s minds as these movies were not in the theaters when they were around.”

 

Written by: Stella Tran — city@theaggie.org