Archive for August 2012
On Tuesday, I watched a crew of seven workers from Rosedale Attractions setting up a Ferris Wheel by the Greenbelt Community Center.
The truck rolls into the Community Center’s east parking lot at 7:18 p.m.
When first residents moved into Greenbelt in 1937, students attended classes at the Center School (the present day Greenbelt Community Center). Shortly after, in the fall of 1938, a new high school opened in the west part of the town, at Edmonston Road and Greenbelt Road. When Eleanor Roosevelt High School opened in 1976 in Greenbelt East, that old high school became Greenbelt Middle School. For many years, there have been plans to build a new Greenbelt Middle School building. Finally, on August 20, when Prince George’s County Public Schools opened their doors for the new school year, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to open the new $56-million Greenbelt Middle School.
The new Greenbelt Middle School is on Breezewood Drive, just northwest of the old Middle School. Here a sign says “Welcome Back Students.”
Sarah Saviet’s parents are members of Mishkan Torah Synagogue. She studied music at Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore and has just completed her Performance Diploma studies at Indiana University. She has won a number of competitions including Indiana University concerto competition and National Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artists Competition. Recently, she received both a Fulbright Scholarship and a German grant to begin a three year course of study for her masters degree at the University of the Arts in Berlin. Before she leaves for Germany next Wednesday, she gave a recital at Mishkan Torah this past Sunday afternoon.
Jeffrey Rosen, master of ceremonies, opens by saying that for the Jewish culture “the most important of the senses probably is sound.” The prayer Shema Yisrael means “Hear, O Israel,” and the poem Haazinu in the Torah means “Give ear.” “If there is one instrument which really touches the Jewish soul, it’s the violin. I tried to think today but I never, ever heard a musical called French Hornist on the Roof.” He mentions several famous Jewish violinists including Itzhak Perlman, David Oistrakh, Jascha Heifetz, and Nathan Milstein. He then introduces Mishkan Torah’s own prodigy Sarah Saviet.
After five sessions over two days, the Greenbelt 75th Anniversary Symposium culminated in a keynote address by British architect and town planner Dr. Mervyn Miller. The title of his address is “From The British Garden City to Greenbelt and back to the English New Towns.” “The talk will document [the] transatlantic dialogue that connects Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City ideas with the planning of Greenbelt and the design of important New Towns beyond.”
Isabelle Gournay, symposium chair and associate professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland, introduces the speaker. Dr. Mervyn Miller is a renowned authority on Garden Cities. He has written several books including Letchworth: The First Garden City, Raymond Unwin: Garden Cities and Town Planning, Hampstead Garden Suburb, and English Garden Cities. Gournay tells that she and Mary Corbin Sies, another Greenbelt resident and University of Maryland professor, have attended many planning conferences with Dr. Miller, in Helsinki, New Delhi, and London. When they were planning for this symposium, they thought that they must have Dr. Miller speak here. She also thanks GHI for providing Dr. Miller a guest suite.
Greenbelt’s popular summer youth circus camp is taught by Greg May, a former member of Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. At the end of the four-week camp, the campers put on a show in the Greenbelt Community Center gym for family members and the general public.
This year’s show is titled “Cinema” and it begins with a roar from the MGM lion.
On Saturday, after the showing of Little Miss Broadway, I had a chance to go up to the projection booth of the Greenbelt Theatre and observed the breaking down of the film into reels.
A circular iron stairway leads from the lobby level to the projection booth.
Old Greenbelt Theatre in Roosevelt Center opened its doors on September 21, 1938. The film shown that night was “Little Miss Broadway” starring Shirley Temple. Admission was 30 cents for adults and 15 cents for children. This year, as the city celebrates its 75th anniversary, the theatre showed the same movie again last Saturday, this time free of charge.
The theater has a tall curved front with an art deco marquee that says Greenbelt vertically. It operated as a movie theater continuously from 1938 to 1976 when lack of profits forced its closure. From 1980 to 1987, the Greenbelt Cultural Arts Center leased the theater as a performing arts venue. Since 1990, it has been a movie theater again operated by a small theater chain called P&G Theaters. This marquee was renovated in 2000, and in 2002, the city purchased the theater from its landlord while P&G continues to operate it. The movie that is being shown currently here is Hope Springs starring Meryl Streep, Steve Carell and Tommy Lee Jones.