No industry in America has been more impacted by Greeks than Hollywood. That’s right. Hollywood. It’s an amazing connection dating back to the Vaudeville years– well before the first moving pictures were projected on the big screen.
Today, the Greek America Foundation launched an important cultural initiative that aims to share this important story with the world.
We’re busy planning an exhibition that will be mounted during the weekend of the Gabby Awards in Hollywood. Unfortunately, only those people able to be in Hollywood that weekend will have the opportunity to see it.
But we want to share this story with the world– we we’ve launched a campaign to raise funds to digitize the exhibition and put in online.
We want to share the story of the Skouras brothers who came to America penniless, each of whom impacted Hollywood in a major way– one becoming the President of Twentieth Century Fox and even discovering a young blond actress named Marilyn Monroe.
We want to share the story of Alexander Pantages, the father of American Vaudeville and the builder of the nation’s largest theater network in the early 1900s whose trial for a wrongful rape charge of a young dancer became the biggest media event in American history at that time.
We want to delve into the careers of Elia Kazan and John Cassavetes– important directors whose Greekness impacted their work and as a result, the industry.
We want to share dozens of colorful movie posters and lobby cards– lost art pieces that once were the only marketing a film would ever have well before the advent of viral trailers and digital imagery; as well as our collection of stills from films that were either shot in Greece or were impacted by a Greek story.
We want to remind the world of the Golden Greeks of Hollywood– Oscar winners like Elia Kazan, George Chakiris, Katina Paxinou, Olympia Dukakis and others both in front of the camera and behind, who have left their mark.
Many of these stories are almost lost… relegated to memorabilia shops and dusty museum archives, largely unaccessible to the general public or to researchers. We want to change that and make this exhibition accessible and available to the entire world.
We’ve turned to crowd funding to help cover the expenses of digitizing the exhibition. Please consider even a small donation of $10 and get your name on the “exhibition wall” forever and be a part of sharing and preserving this special story.