Thoughts about Broadway Treasures


My husband and I were finally able to watch your film this evening and I wanted to let you know how much we both enjoyed it. Such a beautiful and educational project! We drive down Broadway often but now I’ll see it through a new lens, as it was in its glory days.  - Connie Ashton

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Lovely job with lots of interesting people featured. Too bad many are gone. And sad that had circumstances been different, your years on the film could have chronicled a major transformation of Broadway... I think Broadway will continue to improve but it will be by fits and starts. Much of the street isn't really any better than it was 10 years ago. But it's a major victory we haven't had any demolitions. The theatres abide. - Bill Counter

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I can't imagine anyone seeing this film who wouldn't be inspired to cheer on the restoration efforts. Haeyong's own passion is well represented,  infectious and acknowledged by those appear in it. - Larry Gottheim

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Many people casually use the term “labor of love” but Haeyong’s film is the true embodiment of this term in action.  She took on a huge task that has been talked about over the years and no one else has ever done.  And instead of making a dry documentary with a recitation of facts she decided to focus on the human aspect - the people who care about Broadway and how each of their individual contributions have ensured that not a single historic theater has been demolished along Broadway in the last thirty years.  In fact the film is so good at spotlighting the myriad of individuals she has interviewed that one could almost lose sight of the fact that Haeyong herself is one of the key unsung heroes of Broadway.  Bravo! - Ed Kelsey

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A visual, personal and collective love letter to Los Angeles' irreplaceable collection of magnificent walk-in jewel boxes.  Come in and be dazzled! - John Koerber

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Some six years ago, I got a message from a young lady living in LA. She had found an article on my blog where I talked about some old cinemas in Paris. As she had planned a visit to Paris, she kindly wondered if we could meet. We did… and we made a walk to find a few old Paris cinemas, existing … and, especially, disappeared, now transformed into shops or whatever. What I really remember from the walk we made together is the pleasure of meeting a charming young lady, named Haeyong. I don’t know how much she learnt from me, I’m not really the expert she may have looked for, but… She anyhow interviewed me … and she obviously thought it was worth to include it in her film. What an honour!

Since then, we have kept contact now and then, she has told me about the progress with her film and she has surprised me by now and then writing a few words in my native language, Swedish! Yes, I’m a Swede, but I have been living in Paris now since some 45 years!

I’m so happy that the film is now ready and being screened!  - Peter Olson

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How to make a 67-minute history of Broadway theatres and cinemas? Haeyong worked out the answer: Don’t. What she made instead is a poignant plea to rescue the future by holding fast to the past. Had she made this movie in the 1950’s or 1960’s, it would have been laughed out of existence. In the 1950’s and especially in the 1960’s, the ideology was to bulldoze the old and replace it with space-age parking structures. Now, as we approach 2020, people are more receptive to Haeyong’s message, as, time and again, the value of the restorationists’ approach has been demonstrated. In Chicago and Toronto and elsewhere, we have seen that magnificent theatres, once rehabilitated, bring decrepit neighborhoods back to life as if by magic. There are other cities in which such is, sadly, impossible. For instance, there is Utica, New York. When I drove through, I was puzzled that I could not find downtown. After a day at the library, I realized that I had driven right through downtown, which was all empty lots with rubble and weeds. Utica’s downtown will never come back to life.
 
When I first passed through downtown Los Ángeles in 1987, I was surprised to see that it was vibrant, busy, filled with pedestrians, about as lively as it would have been in 1920. When I passed through it a second time in 2003, I was surprised to see that it was a ghost town. In more recent years, downtown has begun to come back, and the only reason it was able to come back was that many of the buildings almost miraculously still remained standing. Had Los Ángeles consummated its love affair with the bulldozer, anything historic in downtown would now be gone, and the place would have forever remained a grave. Fortunately, many stunning edifices survived and are now being revived. The good work that has been done is only the bare beginning. It would require far more work than I can comprehend to turn downtown LÁ into a seductive-yet-affordable magnet, but it can be done, and if it is, it could serve as a model for the rest of the world.
 
Haeyong’s point is that there is no viable future without the past, and she paints a loving portrait of that past and of the selfless people who are devoting their lives to preserving it.
 
Since she is a joyous person, filled with optimism and joie de vivre, Haeyong ensured that her entreaty would be a playful one. The lovely silliness enhances the seriousness of her plea.
 
May this movie inspire the city and beyond. May it make a difference. - Ranjit Sandhu

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Good film. Ten Years of hard work. - Wally Shidler

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The film turned out great, and made me feel good inside many times.  Thank you for inviting me, and most of all, for making the film. - Brian Tabor

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