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Old Hollywood immerses Arts Clayton Gallery this weekend

JONESBORO — The Hollywood of the early 20th century was all about glitz and glamour.

The studio system was in full swing and moviegoers flocked to see anything featuring stars such as Clark Gable, Rudolph Valentino and Cary Grant. The women swooned over the leading men while the men were enticed by starlets like Mae West.

And the people who just wanted a laugh got to bust a gut while watching famed comedians such as Buster Keaton, Fatty Arbuckle and Charlie Chaplin.

The films went through a couple of transformations, beginning with the introduction of “Talkies” upon the release of “The Jazz Singer” in 1927. In the 1930s, black and white films began to slowly give way to the vibrant imagery of technicolor.

Clayton County residents can learn about the early history of cinema tonight when Arts Clayton hosts a screening of “That’s Entertainment” at 6 p.m. at its gallery at 136 South Main St. in Jonesboro.

“It’s a history of the film industry from the 1920s all the way up through the 1950s, from a humorous perspective,” said Gallery Manager Teri Williamson.

That will be only the first of two Hollywood-related events taking place at the gallery this weekend. The second event will be a casual afternoon community conversation with collector Herb Bridges Saturday from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Vintage movie posters from Bridges’ collection — items made for the old Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta — are currently on display at the gallery through the end of September. Bridges has an extensive collection of movie memorabilia, though, and his “Gone With the Wind” items make up the permanent collection on display at the Road to Tara Museum in Jonesboro.

Williamson said both events are intended to tie into the movie poster exhibit.