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The Pickwick Theatre Classic Film Series’ Screening of Thunderball –

The Courage to Hit, “Send”

Sitting at her desk Cynthia struggled to come to a decision. The story was done. There was nothing more she could do to change it. It was what it was. The characters were completely fleshed out. The story had a beginning, a middle and an end. Nothing was missing. She knew that and yet she hesitated.

Should she change that one word here or there? Did her character’s name roll off the tongue easily enough? After all, it was a unique name. Maybe she should change it. Or maybe she was just second guessing herself.

Cynthia stared at the email she’d written. It was good. The agent would see her clearly. The words she’d chosen gave a complete picture of the woman who’d written them. Jammie Bendwick would read Cynthia’s words and know her to be a plucky woman with a sense of humor and a strong business ethic. A woman who you could count on to get the job done.

Everything was there. The email was complete. The story was typed in 12 Point Times New Roman font. The margins were at .5. There were no indents as requested in the agent’s specifications. She’d followed the rules. Her story followed the guidelines.

So why was she sitting in her small office terrified that she was making a mistake when she knew she wasn’t? Because she was a new writer and this was her first try at publication. What if she never heard back or if she got a rejection notice? Both would be dramatic. Both would be terrifying, even traumatic.

But what if she didn’t send it out? Would she be any less a failure? The reality was staring her in the face. If she didn’t send it out, she might be safe from being told, “No,” but she’d be saying, “No,” to herself. She wouldn’t be giving herself a chance.

Thinking of it that way, she didn’t like the outcome. She was being the judge and jury of herself and if she didn’t let the story go – she’d be pronouncing judgment on herself and become a failure. She didn’t want that. Even if the story came back, she’d given it a chance to live. She could always play with it later and make it better so that someday it would live again. That sounded hopeful.

Taking a few deep, calming, breaths and sending a prayer heavenward, Cynthia, reached out and clicked the SEND button. It was done. The story was sent on its way and Cynthia had just taken her biggest leap towards publication. She was a writer. And she’d sent her work out.

There is no greater superhero than the spy. He is real. He is daring and he risks his life for his country.

That is the premise of our Hero shall we say. We call him James Bond. 007 for short. He is licensed to kill and he does. He also does as he pleases which makes him the man we all wish were were given permission to be or to meet.

Created in 1953 Bond has graced the screen over two dozen times. Thunderball  would be the first Bond film shot in widescreen Panavision. Almost a quarter of the film was shot under water making for a very unusual Bond film.Thunderball Concept artwork james bond

This film almost didn’t become a reality as a lawsuit threatened to keep it from the screen. Settled out of court, it was resolved by letting the suing party retaining some rights and the film’s producers being titled as Executive Producers instead. Despite this hurdle, the film entered the world with a bang as it earned a total of $141.2 million worldwide, eclipsing the three previous Bond films. Adjusting for inflation, Thunderball remains the top grossing film in the series today.

So… I’m not going to give you any spoilers. I won’t tell you what the plot is, I won’t tell you how Bond succeeds as you know he must, or how many women he will have in his life. I’ll let you come to the Pickwick and experience it all yourself. I will tell you that it’s going to be terrific!


The Cast of Thunderball

e54cb7dd1cd746aeef677bce3fc3242f         Our Hero: Sean Connery as 007: Bond, James Bond!

Our Bond Girls: Naughty and Nice

Claudine Auger as Domino       claudine-auger-domino-thunderball-hot-29

8d1bb1c97d7b17eda767bcf67c0f156e              Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona

Martine Beswick as Paula              full-martine-beswick-9fdc36f630e16c00b36f786523b47f17-large-1059937

adolfo_celi And Our Villan Adolfo Celi as No. 2: Largo

Our guests on this special occasion will be Colin Clark of the Ian Fleming Foundation who will bring with him many special props used in the actual filming of the movie. The biggest and most impressive item will be the actual Vulcan Bomber that was in the movie! This will be a once in a lifetime experience for all Bond aficionados.

Colin will talk about the making of this 4th Bond film and give us some insight and behind the scenes stories.

Joining Colin will be author Raymond Benson who has authored over 35 books including six original 007 novels. He has also written three film novelizations and three short stories making him an expert on Bond.

If you think that’s not enough you haven’t heard the best. The first 100 patrons through the door will get a chance to win a tour of the James Bond prop facility in Kankakee, Illinois!!! Yes, that’s right!!! You could be a winner!!! You could be sitting in a real Bond car. Or, you could be me when I went and sit ON it!!!11411631_10204748585096060_2342298776180647643_o

There will also be a raffle basket chock full of Bond items. It’s valued at well over two hundred dollars and it could be yours for only the price of one raffle ticket. My advice, buy several because we’re expecting a packed house and you don’t want to miss your chance to win.

CLICK HERE to see the Trailer for the 50th Anniversary showing of Thunderball

HERE is what the Chicago Tribune had to say about our upcoming event: Classic Film Series having a ‘Thunderball’ at the Pickwick

For more information on this event please check out the official website Park Ridge Classic Film


Thunderball (1965)


April 21, 2016

Live Organ music by Famed Organist Jay Warren at 7pm

Feature 7:30 p.m. (125 Minutes)


The Pickwick Theater

5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL


50+1 Anniversary Screening


Regular – Day of $10 / Advanced $8

Seniors – Day of $7 / Advanced $6

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It’s that time again for watching zaniness in action. Join us at the Pickwick Theater for a rollicking laugh fest. It’s time for the Marx Brothers!!!!


It’s time to hear Groucho make some cracks and ad-lib his way out of trouble.

It’s time to watch Chico in action as he sells a singer’s voice.

Marx Brothers (A Night at the Opera)_09.jpg

It’s time to watch Harpo chase some pretty girls or play some music for them before the chase.


This Thursday (March 10, 2016) we want to find out how many people we can pack into the Pickwick Theater Lobby. Then we want to see if we can fill the theater. It’s going to be a time for side-splitting laughter as we watch the boys go through their round-about way of getting their way.


Don’t forget to come early and hear Chicago’s Foremost Organist Jay Warren tickle your musical ear. Then we’ll have a Laurel and Hardy short for you. See what “Fine Mess,” the boys get themselves into in the Hal Roach Short, Thicker Than Water.



A Night At The Opera (1935)


March 10, 2016

Live Organ music by Famed Organist Jay Warren at 7pm

Feature 7:30 p.m. (92 Minutes)


The Pickwick Theater

5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL



Regular – Day of $10 / Advanced $8

Seniors – Day of $7 / Advanced $6

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Some people are not content to leave their brainchild in the hands of another. Orson Welles was one such individual. He believed in a hands-on approach from start to finish and it can clearly be seen in what is unquestionably his greatest work, Citizen Kane. This story of a young newspaper man’s rise to fame started with an original screen play co-written by Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz. Welles chose to direct his film as well as star in it like many pioneers of motion pictures.


Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin on May 6, 1915, he was destined for greatness. His parents were upstanding citizens of the community, his father an inventor and his mother a concert pianist. His home lacked for little. Sadly his mother passed away when he was at the tender age of 7. His father would join her eight years later leaving a 15 year-old Welles a Ward of the State. Luck continued to be with the boy despite his loses when he was taken under the care of Dr. Maurice Bernstein of Chicago. During this time he attended the Todd School for Boys in Woodstock, Illinois. He began writing his own plays and putting them on at the local Opera House. He graduated from The Todd School in 1931.


Graduating from school he decided to skip college though he was accepted by several. Instead he traveled Europe doing a variety of jobs that included a sketching tour of Ireland and be a matador in the Spanish bullring. In 1934 he was once again stateside and acting in a touring company. Not to be bored he directed his first short feature film, began acting on the radio and married. By 1937 he’d established a radio drama team known as the Mercury Theater which did many dramatizations of famous authors of the present as well as the past.

He would shock a nation on October 30, 1938 with his rendition of The War of the Worlds based on H.G. Wells’ famous novel . His broadcast was done in such a way that many listeners tuning in late thought we were actually being attached by men from Mars. H.G. Wells was not happy and Orson almost found himself thrown in jail for what was seen as a holiday stunt gone wrong.


In 1941 Welles took his talents to the Silver Screen with his first feature. Citizen Kane. Though a box-office flop at the time it has since become widely seen as one of the best movies ever made. This from a first attempt was more than lucky, it was genius. It won many awards including the coveted Oscar for Best Writing and Original Screenplay.

Welles would go on to make many more films but none would reach the public conscious as much as the first. In 1975 he received the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award, an award associated with greatness as it is given to those persons who have enriched the American culture through motion pictures and television. He was the 3rd individual to receive this award.


So why don’t you come join us. We’ll make sure you have a great time. More info and pictures can be found on our Facebook Events Page and on the official Webpage. Joining us will be film producer and Welles historian Michael Dawson. michael-dawson1For more information about Welles please check out the wonderful website and for information on how Woodstock Illinois celebrated his birthday last year look on this page.

To hear a broadcast from the Nick Digilio Show about this event please click HERE.


Citizen Kane (1941)


February 11, 2016

Live Organ music by Famed Organist Jay Warren at 7pm

Feature 7:30 p.m. (119 Minutes)


The Pickwick Theater

5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL


75th Anniversary Screening


Regular – Day of $10 / Advanced $8

Seniors – Day of $7 / Advanced $6

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What’s the best way to watch perhaps the most famous Spaghetti Western of all time? Try watching it on the Big Screen in a classic theater that seats 950 guests! Imagine the atmosphere of that many people watching a movie together. It’s truly a magic feeling.

This Thursday join the crew of the Pickwick Classic Film Series as we bring this classic back to the theater for a one night only special 50th Anniversary showing. We give you, the guest, the Red Carpet treatment because you deserve it. We welcome new faces and love to see old friends visit month after month. It’s like belonging to a movie club only you actually get to to be in a theater.

Tomorrow night we’ll see legend Clint Eastwood as Blondie, the man with no name. He’s the Good. Then you have Lee Van Cleef as the Bad. Eli Wallach is the Ugly. Join this unlikely trio as they fight together and apart during Civil War times for goals not always mutually agreeable. They are truly The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.

Also notable is the unmistakably memorable soundtrack by Italian composer Ennio Morricone. Early in his career he wrote this classic and he’s still bringing us beautiful scores. Most recently Morricone wrote the score for Quentin Tarantino’s 8th film, The Hateful Eight (currently touring the country as a special Roadshow Engagement in 70mm.)


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (1966)


January 7, 2016

Live Organ music by Famed Organist Jay Warren at 6:30pm

Feature 7:00 p.m. (161 Minutes)


The Pickwick Theater

5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL



50th Anniversary Screening



Regular – Day of $10 / Advanced $8

Seniors – Day of $7 / Advanced $6

There are people of all sorts on trains and today (12-12-15) is no exception. Watching your fellow passengers can be most entertaining as long as they don’t realize you’re watching. Let me explain.

Take today for instance. It’s the second train of the day and people are piling on as if it were the last of the night. Seated before me is a medium-aged senior totally engrossed with the racing form. As it turns out, he’s a regular. He has a discussion with the conductor about another regular racing aficionado who left his gold racing card on the train by accident. The conductor is holding on to it but he hasn’t seen the man in a while. It’s no surprise when the passenger gets off at Arlington Park Race Track.

Then there’s the family who never takes the train but who’s afraid they’ll be bored and so brings every electronic form of entertainment known to man in order to avoid communicating with each other.

There’s a man with his nose stuck in a book and another who squiggles with his stylist on what looks like a Nintendo DS. Perhaps he too is recording what his fellow passengers are doing.

Two women across from me have been talking non-stop since they got on and that’s been nine stations already. There’s no sign that they’ll run out of things to talk about. If I didn’t have earbuds in listening to Frank Sinatra I’d most likely know their life’s stories.

Across from me on my top deck perch is another regular. She’s always worried the conductor will forget to take her money and today is no different. Even after she has her ticket she follows him with her eyes every time he goes by. Maybe she just has a thing for conductors? Still, she does wear a wedding band. I guess a man in uniform is an exception to the rule.

I always come across the group that comes aboard and talks so loud you want to put the old library sign up about being quiet. Likewise I find the vacationer who obviously has never been on a train in their life and brings enough luggage aboard to clothe the whole car. They practically bring a steamer trunk aboard and they wonder where they’ll put it. I wonder too.

Occasionally, and it’s getting more and more rare, you’ll find the dreamer who gazes out the window and actually enjoys the passing scenery. They have that whimsical look in their eye and I sometimes wish I could go where they are. It looks like a nice place.

It used to be that newspapers were king. These days the most popular devise on the train is the cell phone. It has many uses. Such as being a music player. From my own experiences I’ll admit I use it to drown out the cacophony of voices coming from all angles. It’s a camera for those all important selfies to remind us twenty years from now on Facebook where we were, who with and what we looked like. Both of those uses have some validity but there are other devises designed for those purposes. The biggest use for the cell phone is sending text messages to other people and avoiding talking to the people you came with who are seated in front of you. The reality is, why would you talk to someone right in front of you if you can text someone else?

Of course there are surprises. Like the little girl playing tic-tac-toe with Grandma. Funny how that came to pass since it was only fifteen minutes ago that she was busy fighting with her little brother. The conductor needed to break that one up. Strange power that man has. He asked once and the fight was over. Grandma and Grandpa asked and the children were deaf. Does that mean the conductor is a miracle worker who can restore hearing? I guess so.

Depending on how far the passenger has to go and what time of day it is you’ll see some strange commuter sights only found on the train.

This early morning I find a woman putting her makeup on. Her arms are shock absorbers that go up and down as we bump along the rails. She’s a pro who doesn’t smudge her mascara. She’s also a procrastinator or why else would she be doing this on the train?

Of course I have the man sleeping with his head on the window as a pillow. In the winter this sleeping arrangement becomes difficult fast. Since it’s December I wonder if his face is numb to the cold. Mine would be freezing. I touch the window and immediately bring it back. It needs warming.

And you see train passengers come in all forms. They dress in business professional style, sporting gear, casual and even pajamas. They come in large groups, as a couple or a loaner. They need one stop, half or all the way into the city. Work or pleasure is their objective. They either take the train to save money, avoid the hassle of rush-hour and the hell of parking or because it simply is the most convenient. Training is for some an acquired taste, for others a way of life and still others an adventure. It’s not for everyone but it is one of the oldest forms of transportation that continues to bring wonder to many a rider. If you haven’t taken a train before I encourage you to take a ride. It may not be for you or it could be a life changer.


Come join us this Thursday for our gala Centennial event as we celebrate the life of a man who gave us so much joy, Ol’ Blue Eyes will be at the Pickwick Theater on December 10, 2015. He’ll be joined on the big screen with one of his closest  friends – Gene Kelley (the man who taught Frank to dance and boy do they do a swell job), when they take the city of New York by a storm in “On the Town. Then, look at the girls they meet. How could anyone not have a good time?”

845155_origJoining us in the theater lobby will be Steve Darnall of Those Were The Days. He will be selling copies of the Winter Edition of the Nostalgia Digest.


Frank Sinatra was prominently featured on the cover of the Autumn Edition.25bdc07864a39b4dcd0afbaca7a47cdc

Also joining us will be Chicago’s Formost Organist – Jay Warren of the Silent Film Society of Chicago. He will be playing some of our favorite Sinatra songs on the Pickwick’s Mighty Wurlitzer. Then he will be in the lobby where you can pick up your own copy of his Christmas  CD – “Organ and Chimes.”

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But we are nowhere near done. We also will be giving away a copy of the brand new documentary “All Or Nothing At All.” But in order to get this great DVD you MUST have a ticket. Pick up your FREE ticket at the table in the lobby.

On the Town (1949)

December 10, 2015
Feature at 7:30 p.m. (98 Minutes)

The Pickwick Theater
5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL

Regular – Day of $10 / Advanced $8
Seniors – Day of $7 / Advanced $6



So… who’s ready to hear the King of Rock n’ Roll and who wants to see lovely Ann-Margret? They sizzle together in Viva Las Vegas and the Pickwick Theater is proud to bring it to the big screen for your enjoyment. Made in 1964 it is considered by many to be one of the King’s best films. Though it didn’t walk away with any first place prizes it did received second place as a musical and third place for both Elvis and Ann-Margret for their musical performances in the Golden Laurel category which is not surprising when you realize that there are no fewer than 10 songs.

In a very few days this film will open on the big screen and you and your family can experience the magic of Vegas with all its pomp and ceremony. See the casino’s, the girls and experience the clubs as only two men on the search for one girl can bring you.

Please be advised that our last show was nearly 800 people in a theater that seats 950. If you want to get a good seat (and there really are no bad seats) come early and make your claim. Also, know that the line for the popcorn gets long fast as well. Advance tickets are still being sold at the box office or online. Those will stop being sold on the day of the show.

For more information please visit Park Ridge Classic Film.


Viva Las Vegas (1964)
Starring Elvis Presley & Ann-Margaret
November 13, 2015
Feature at 7:30 p.m. (85 Minutes)
The Pickwick Theater
5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL

Regular – Day of $10 / Advanced $8
Seniors – Day of $7 / Advanced $6


What does it take for the stars to align correctly and a box office hit to occur? The answer is one director born 1899 (Alfred Hitchcock – London England), one male lead born 1904 (Cary Grant – Bristol England) and one female lead born 1924 (Eva Marie Saint – Newark, New Jersey.) Released July 28, 1959 North By Northwest became an instant classic. With a screenplay by Ernest Lehman and a score by Bernard Herrman how could it go wrong? The answer – it couldn’t and it didn’t. And so, it has stood the test of time.

As with Hitchcock’s earlier successes there was a misunderstood man who must fight to prove who he is and in the end discovers that there’s more to himself than even he knew. It’s a classic tale of misunderstanding but with lots of monkey wrenches thrown in. when you’re in trouble shouldn’t it be a trouble worth being in trouble for?

Cary Grant’s character Roger O. Thornhill is an advertising executive who’s used to twisting the truth around to sell a product. In his world that is a normal practice but in the real world doing what he’s used to can have some very big consequences. He soon finds this out when he is misidentified as George Kaplan. Without knowing it, he is now seen as a government agent.

At first Thornhill denies being Kaplan and tries to prove his true identity. Unbelieved, the spies who’ve kidnapped him attempt to kill him. By luck he gets away and in order to get himself out of the hot-seat he sets out to prove himself and find out who exactly, ‘this cap Kaplan is.’ Caught again and escaping again he must take on the identity of Kaplan in order to survive. Soon one of the greatest adventures ever to come to the big screen ensues but I won’t tell you any more. You’ll have to come to the Pickwick and see what happens for yourself.

The only other thing I’ll tell you is there is a beautiful blond who’s not exactly who you think she is and that the chase involves some breathtakingly scenic views of our great United States.

Other Notable Film Facts:

  • Budget = $4,326,000

  • Box Office = $9.8 Million

  • 1st Film to use Kinetic Typography (Opening Credits)

Script by Ernest Lehman

Lehman had 25 screenplays to his credit in which he amassed many awards including 6 Writers Guild of America Awards, 2 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, a Golden Globe and an honorary Academy Award in 2001 for his varied and enduring works. Among these works where such classics as:

  • The King and I (1956)

  • North By Northwest (1959)

  • West Side Story (1961)

  • The Sound of Music (1965) & wrote the soundtrack

  • Hello Dolly! (1969) & produced

Score by Bernard Herrmann

Herrmann worked a great deal for two men, Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Wells. Starting with radio he regularly wrote scores for the Mercury Theater On The Air and was the one man Wells trusted when it came to what would become one of both men’s outstanding legacies, the 1938 radio drama – The War of the Worlds. For film Herrmann teamed up many times with Hitchcock and amassed quite the repertoire. Later he would work on several Ray Harryhausen films and in television he’d do the score for The Twilight Zone and Have Gun Will Travel. As of 2005 this versatile composer has two of his works (Psycho #4 & Vertigo #12) in the top 25 Greatest Film Scores by the American Film Institute.

  • Citizen Kane (1941) Salary $10,000

  • The Ghost And Mrs. Muir (1947)

  • The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1953)

  • The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

  • Vertigo (1958)

  • The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

  • North By Northwest (1959)

  • Psycho (1960 & 1998) Salary $34,500 –1960 Version

  • Cape Fear (1962 & 1991)

  • Jason And The Argonauts (1963)

  • Taxi Driver (1976)


North By Northwest (1959) Starring Cary Grant



The Pickwick Theater

5 S. Prospect Ave, Park Ridge, IL 60068



September 17th, 2015

Live Organ music by Famed Organist Jay Warren at 7 PM

North By Northwest at 7:30 PM (136 Minutes)


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