Lawrence Public Library and Watkins Museum Celebrate “Stars of Centron”

Lawrence, KS, June 13, 2017 – Banker Don Johnston as a juvenile delinquent? Vigilant 70’s mother Marcia Hill and Bowersock Mills Owner Operator Sarah Hill-Nelson checking for sharp objects in Halloween candy? On Thursday, June 22 at 7 pm at Liberty Hall, revisit Lawrence’s golden age of educational, tourism, and etiquette films, as Lawrence Public Library and Watkins Museum present, “The Stars of Centron” a special program celebrating local citizens and their Centron films.

“There were many, many people in Lawrence who were recruited for Centron films,” said Pattie Johnston, Lawrence Public Library Outreach Coordinator and Centron star. “Even from Centron’s beginning, their casting directors would visit Lawrence High’s Thespian Club on a regular basis to find actors and extras.”

Among the stars and films that will be featured on June 22 are Don Johnston in “What About Juvenile Delinquency?” (1955); Marcia Hill and Sarah Hill-Nelson in “Halloween Safety” (1977). In addition, Loren Dolezal will talk about his Centron career and the making of “Sell America Sell” (1966). KLWN personality, and Centron star Hank Booth will host the evening.

“Whether you lived these films or love history with a retro vibe, Centron films will appeal to many generations,” said Steve Nowak, Executive Director of Watkins Museum of History. “The ‘Stars’ program also is a prelude to a special exhibit coming to Watkins July 28th in honor of Centron’s 70th anniversary.”

Centron was one of the premier industrial filmmakers in the U.S., producing educational and industrial films at its Ninth Street headquarters. Founded in Lawrence, and operating from 1947 to 1994, Centron was a small, yet highly successful company. Its most famous film, Leo Beuerman, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1969. Today these films are time capsules of American pop culture and social issues, as well as local landmarks that are now gone.

The “Stars of Centron” is free and open to the public. It is presented as part of Lawrence Public Library’s Summer Reading Program. Start time is 7 pm on Thursday, June 22 at Liberty Hall. Doors open at 6 pm.

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