Many area residents who appreciate vintage movies already are familiar with Flick's Cafe, operated periodically by the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library. The cafe has proved a popular venue for classic films in the past. It is likely to do so again beginning tomorrow evening and continuing each Tuesday for six weeks.
The latest incarnation of Flick's Cafe -- movie buffs will know that "Casablanca," starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, prompted the name -- features movies from the 1930s. The films to be screened are entertaining way to explore the period and the manner in which filmmakers addressed the momentous events of the time.
The cafe, entered through the library's 11th Street entrance, opens at 6 p.m. The films start at 6:30. And you can't beat the price. There isn't one, though a donation of at least $1 is suggested. Seating for patrons is comfortable -- cafe style, of course, with armchairs, sofas and small tables. Desserts will be sold, but coffee is a bargain. It's free, too.
David Clapp, library director and admitted film aficionado, is host of the series. In that role, he'll provide a brief commentary and lead discussion about each film. Tomorrow's offering is "Bringing Up Baby," a comedy starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Asta the dog, a pet leopard and a brontausaurus skeleton.
Other dates and titles "on the menu" at the cafae are "Dodsworth" on July 28; Busby Berkeley's "Gold Diggers of 1933" on Aug. 4; "The Childhood of Maxim Gorky" on Aug. 18; "A nous la liberte" ("Liberty for Us") on Aug. 25 and "Shall We Dance featuring music by George Gershwin and starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on Sept. 1. Information about the series is available at www.lib.chattanooga.gov or by calling 757-5310.
The series provides a community outlet for films that might otherwise might not be available for public viewing. Moreover, it provides a forum where those who enjoy and appreciate films can talk about them with those who have similar interests. As such, Flick's Cafe is a useful addition the region's cultural life.
The series is an indication, too, that the library can play a larger role in community affairs than simply serving as a repository of books and other material. Indeed, the series' evening schedule expands the range of activities available in the downtown district after regular business hours.
The masterful mix of film, food and conversation has proved popular in earlier offerings at Flick's Cafe. The current series should win a similar following during the next six weeks.