Taylor House film fest revamps Sunday event
By Greg Ellison
(June 10, 2021) Looking to mark history, while also starting a new chapter this weekend, the “Movies of Berlin: Film Festival” that launches tomorrow at the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum is the inaugural installment of monthly “Sunday at the Museum” events scheduled through September.
Taylor House Museum President Melissa Reid said the three-day cinematic celebration of twin Hollywood productions filmed on location in Berlin commemorates the 20th anniversary of “Tuck Everlasting,” on Friday and Saturday, while 1998’s “Runaway Bride” takes center stage on Sunday.
“It’s really focused on the films of Berlin,” she said.
The film festival at the Taylor House Museum is being produced in conjunction with Berlin’s Arts & Entertainment District and the Worcester County Arts Council.
In 2002, Berlin doubled as the fictional “Treegap,” during the filming of ‘Tuck Everlasting,’ which featured Sissy Spacek, Ben Kingsley and William Hurt.
Before a free screening of ‘Tuck Everlasting’ Saturday night, “Movies of Berlin” will begin with a ticketed event Friday at 6:30 p.m., when Maryland Film Office Director Jack Gerbes drops by for a meet and greet.
“He was involved in the filming of ‘Tuck Everlasting,’” she said. “He will be there to share his experiences.”
Cost of admission for the Q-and-A session with Gerbes is $20 per person or $30 for families and free for museum members, with paid entry also covering a yearly membership.
“If you come that night and buy the ticket … you would get a membership for the rest of the year,” she said
Opening night tickets can be purchased in advance or in person Friday.
“It’s the only paid event,” she said.
Attendees at Friday’s opening night shindig will also have an opportunity to peruse artifacts from the filming of “Tucker Everlasting” on display in the museum’s Harrison room.
“We have a jacket on loan from a crew member, scripts, storyboards, and a couple of photo albums that were put together that show what Berlin looked like during the filming,” she said.
On Saturday, “Tuck Everlasting” will have a public screening on the lawn outside the museum starting at 8:30 p.m.
“That’s free, just come and bring a blanket and sit on the lawn,” she said.
In light of the 20th anniversary of that film, Gerbes coordinated with director Jay Russell to record an opening presentation.
“Jack was able to get a video introduction done for the museum event by Jay Russell,” she said. “It will be a wonderful evening on the lawn.”
Berlin’s weekend film festival will end Sunday with a free screening of “Runaway Bride,” starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, on the lawn starting at 8:30 p.m.
Shot in Berlin, the 1998 release is set in the fictional town of Hale, Maryland.
Reid said diehard fans of the Garry Marshall directed Roberts-Gere romantic comedy might want to arrive before show time.
“In the Berlin Welcome Center vestibule, there is a brochure that’s a self-guided walking tour of all the “Runaway Bride” film sites,” she said. “We’ll be giving that out on Sunday night, but by 8:30 it’s pretty dark.”
Reid said the festival is only the first installment of a reimagined take on a previous offering from the Taylor House Museum.
“The impetus for these events was about 20 years ago … the museum began what we called “Concerts on the Lawn,” she said.
Reid said the museum sponsored monthly music performances on second Sundays from June through September until last year.
“Now the events are called “Sunday at the Museum,” she said. “This [first] one we morphed into a three-day event.”
After the covid-19 pandemic limited offerings last year, museum leadership re-evaluated its traditional summer concerts.
“When we started those events, there was really not a lot of live music in Berlin,” she said.
With that in mind, museum officials opted to take a different approach.
“What is wonderful, now there is there’s a lot of live music in Berlin,” she said. “The dates are the same but the events are different.”
On July 11, “Sunday Evenings at the Museum” will feature a free live performance by the Old School OC Band on the museum lawn from 7-8 p.m.
The script flips the following month, with a free storytelling evening for kids on Aug. 8.
Sunday Evenings at the Museum for this year will conclude on Sept. 11-12 with an event highlighting recent local literary releases.
“In September, we’re going to be doing a book festival,” she said.
On Saturday, Sept. 11 Maria Grosskettler, author of “Tracks,” a young-adult mystery set in Berlin, will be present for a book signing.
The session with Grosskettler is free for members, while the cost to non-members is $20 per person or $30 for a family.
“She’s going to come and do an event on Saturday night with us and then we’ll have some author readings on Sunday,” she said.
On Sept. 12, numerous local writers will be available for book signings, including, Mindie Burgoyne author of “Haunted Eastern Shore,” Joe Moore, author of “Murder on the Eastern Shore,” and Susan Ayres Wimbrow author of “Death is My Life.”
Reid said in addition to the upcoming trio of paid events, also included in the cost of museum membership will be a ticketed Christmas extravaganza.
Paid museum members also receive a quarterly electronic newsletter and free regular admission.
Reid envisions the new take on Sunday events at the Taylor House Museum breathing new life into its mission to preserve local history.
“It’s a conscious choice on the museum’s part to update our programming,” she said. “We wanted to provide some events that would make people realize why it’s important to be a museum member.”
Lifetime memberships are also available for $400 per individual or $600 per family.
The Calvin B. Taylor House Museum is located at 208 N. Main Street in Berlin. For more information, visit taylorhousemuseum.org.