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Silent-Film Story Stirs Memories

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Thank you for the interesting photographs and fascinating article by Edwin Slipek Jr. regarding the local contribution to the early era of so-called silent cinema or movies ("Hollywood Dreams," Cover Story, Jan. 9). I am not surprised that in addition to being an astute student of this area's architectural history, Mr. Slipek is also well-versed in Richmond's cultural history.

And it is not at all surprising that the pioneer film industry of Hollywood actors, screenwriters, directors and producers played into the somewhat lascivious lifestyles and personations that have become such an important party of much of what is now associated with the so-called Hollywood lifestyle. And certainly scandal-mongers such as the late Walter Winchell and Louella Parsons contributed to the Hollywood mystique in those early years.

And then there were the "middle film industry years," when the Central Virginia area could say with some pride, "But Joseph Cotten is from Petersburg." And did not Mary Tyler Moore and some of her stage and film colleagues come to Richmond some years ago to film a version of "Finnegan Begin Again" using the old, but restored Hey House on McDonough Street for some scenes? The Hey House has been since disassembled and moved to somewhere in Bon Air.

Allender M. Griffin Jr.
Richmond



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