Brian Cox 2 Todd Carey Tico Romao
Brian Cox Todd Carey Tico Romao


Year 14 Anniversary Party

The Atlantic City Free Public Library Film Society had its Year 14 Anniversary Party on Zoom on July 25, 2020, & we had so much fun with our special guests, Tico Romao, Nicole & Brian Cox and Todd Carey! (The images above are from the Zoom meeting).

Tico Romao is a film scholar based in Canada, who has more than 13,000 Twitter followers. He has joined our virtual meetings several times & always offers wonderful insight on films. Follow him on Twitter: @TicoRomao

Nicole Ansari-Cox is an actress, producer & yoga instructor, who started out as a child star in her native Germany. Follow her on Instagram at @nicole_ansari.

Recording artist Todd Carey sang songs from movies and played some of his own tunes, including his new summer hit "Matthew McConaughey," which had more than 121,000 streams on Spotify after only five weeks on the charts! You can listen to his music & watch his videos on his website or YouTube.

@toddcarey - Twitter, Instagram, YouTube & Facebook
ToddCareyStore - Etsy - official website

Also, we were beyond thrilled with a surprise appearance from Brian Cox! Brian was nominated for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work on the HBO hit "Succession," and he was kind enough to wish us a happy anniversary & tell us his top 3 fav films! Follow him on Instagram: @coxusa

 Film Society Zoom with Alec BaldwinThe Atlantic City Free Public Library’s Film Society met Dec. 5 via Zoom to discuss the career of acting legend Sean Connery. Much to the group’s surprise, one of Connery’s former co-stars made a special appearance.
Actor Alec Baldwin, who starred with Connery in the 1990 thriller “The Hunt for Red October,” joined the Film Society’s virtual class. Baldwin talked about working with Connery and other actors that he has looked up to, and he answered questions from the group.
“The members were totally in shock when Alec showed up on screen,” said Theresa Hawkins, coordinator of the library’s Film Society. “When it was time for them to ask questions, there was a stretch of silence because they couldn’t believe they were on a Zoom meeting with Alec Baldwin.”
Not only does Hawkins appreciate Baldwin’s visit, she says he played a big part in the Film Society’s creation.
Hawkins first met Baldwin when she attended Hunter College (NY), where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Film Production, and the two developed a friendship. In 2006, Hawkins visited New York to watch Baldwin perform in an off-Broadway production. The two met up after the play, when Hawkins mentioned to Baldwin her idea of creating the Film Society.
“There would be no Film Society without Alec Baldwin,” she said. “When I ran the idea by him many years ago, he was so encouraging about it that I had to start the program. It was his idea to offer classes on filmmaking and film history, in addition to just doing screenings and discussions.”
It’s not the Film Society’s first interaction with talent from the industry. This past summer, Golden Globe-winning actor Brian Cox, film scholar Tico Romao, actress Nicole Ansari-Cox and performing artist Todd Carey attended the group’s anniversary celebration via Zoom. In-person guests have visited the library in recent years, including actor Brian Dennehy; entertainment publicist Gary Springer, head of New York City-based Springer Associates PR; Ed McGinty, an actor and historical consultant for HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and Diane Raver, founder of the Garden State Film Festival.
“The members love being able to hear stories and learn about films from great actors and industry professionals,” Hawkins said. “It gives me immense satisfaction to be in a position to give them these opportunities talk with them. We’ll continue to do this in the future, so we encourage adult library cardholders who love movies to join the Film Society.”
Adult Atlantic City Library members (18 years of age and older) in good standing are invited to join the Film Society. To learn more, call Hawkins at (609) 345-2269 or visit
Theresa Hawkins and Brian Dennehy2The Atlantic City Free Public Library welcomed a very special guest – award-winning actor Brian Dennehy – to the Main Library for its Film Society program held Sept. 29.
Dennehy spoke to the group after it watched a movie that he starred in, “The Belly of an Architect,” earlier in the day. Dennehy, who won Best Actor at the Chicago Film Festival for that performance, discussed his career and answered questions from the Film Society members.
(Click here to see clips from this program).
“We’re grateful that he took the time out of his busy schedule to visit the Atlantic City Library,” Library Director Robert Rynkiewicz said. “It was a wonderful opportunity for our Film Society members to gain insight about the industry from such an accomplished actor.”
Library Film Society coordinator Theresa Hawkins arranged Dennehy’s visit. She met Dennehy while attending Hunter College (NY), where she earned a bachelor's degree in Film Production.
“Brian had wanted to meet the members ever since he spoke with them via phone during our screening and discussion of his film ‘First Blood’ two years ago,” Hawkins said.
The Film Society has met other industry experts in recent years: entertainment publicist Gary Springer, head of New York City-based Springer Associates PR; Ed McGinty, an actor and historical consultant for HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and Diane Raver, founder of the Garden State Film Festival.
Adult Atlantic City Library members (18 years of age and older) in good standing are invited to join the Film Society. The Film Society meets twice every month: first to watch a movie and discuss it, and a second time to discuss a particular aspect related to the film that it just viewed.

Brian Dennehy talking to Atlantic City Library Film Society
Theresa Hawkins and Brian Dennehy6 Theresa Hawkins and Brian Dennehy9
Brian Dennehy Film Society members4
Brian Dennehy with Film Society members2 Theresa Hawkins Brian Dennehy and Robert Rynkiewicz2

Atlantic City film society links local movie lovers together

Create a hardcopy of this page
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Previous Next

Movie mission Theresa Hawkins, coordinator of the Atlantic City Free Public Library Film Society, stands by the rack of films recommended by the society on display at the library, Monday August 10 2015. The Atlantic City Free Public Library Film Society celebrates its 10th anniversary next year. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

Related YouTube Videos

The Dark Knight (2008) Official Trailer #1 - Christopher Nolan Movie HD read more

Related Stories

Click here!

Posted: Friday, August 21, 2015 7:00 am


Not every city the size of Atlantic City has an active film society. But then, not every city has Theresa Hawkins.

It was nine years ago that Hawkins, who works at the Atlantic City Free Public Library, noticed that the most popular libray items with the public seemed to be DVD rentals.

Hawkins saw a void. And, because she has a degree in film production from Hunter College in New York, she had the skills to fill it. The library had no continuing programs for adults, so Hawkins started the Atlantic City Free Public Library's Film Society. At the time, it was believed to be the first film society in this state run by a library.

Since then, Hawkins has shown more than 100 movies. The films are shown on Saturday afternoons and then discussed in a Monday-evening classroom session. But she's just scratched the surface.

"There are so many films to show, so many classes to teach, so many subjects to teach things about. I have a list of future topics that runs two pages long," Hawkins said.

Hawkins, whose title is film society coordinator, has shown movies and taught classes dealing with such subjects as neorealist cinema, Soviet cinema, film noir, film criticism, film remakes, French New Wave, film language and structure, directors Ernst Lubitsch and Stanley Kubrick, film editing, costume design, storyboards, voice-over narration and theme, story and plot.

"I knew it would be a success before I even started it," Hawkins said. "We had so much programming at the time for all ages, except for your regular average adult."

Hawkins usually picks films that are not in the library's collection. She orders a new copy, and after it is screened, the DVD joins the film society's rack of movies on the library's first floor and receives a sticker that indicates it was a film society selection.

The library's website - - lists the movies screened and the lessons taught. There also is a separate list of books and DVDs about specific actors, films and filmmakers studied by the society.

Like other members of film society, Hawkins is still learning. Sometimes, when she's researching by rewatching a film she thought highly of, she'll find that she lowers her assessment of it and realizes she can't teach anything from it.

The film society works because Hawkins takes time beyond her official library work hours to watch and research films. But she gives the credit to the society's members.

"I really have to commend the members because without them coming every month, there would be no reason to have the program. The core members are not just the ones that have been with me since day one, but also the ones that have been loyally coming month after month after month and really, truly enjoy it," Hawkins said. "I'm humbled and flattered by the words they say to me. I get thank you cards. Just hearing someone say, 'I look at movies differently now because of coming to this program,' that's just a wonderful feeling.'"

City resident Doug Collins, 72, has been a film society member from the beginning. Collins said he has already seen 80 percent of the movies shown, but he keeps coming back because he will learn something new about a film.

"I have a son who lives in Rochester, N.Y., who would be in seventh heaven if there was a film society in Rochester. He is awed by the fact that we have it," Collins said.

"It's a blessing. I think of Theresa as a movie angel because she created this in Atlantic City. It's not just that we have casinos. We now have the film society. It's like an oasis in America that we have a film society. There are not many places places in America that have it."

In the beginning, film society membership was sporadic because people didn't understand that it was a commitment, Hawkins said. The regulars now number around 30 people. From this month until the end of this year, a recruitment drive will be held to bring new blood to the society, Hawkins said.

"People always say something during the discussion that I have never thought of before. I tell them I learn as much from them as they learn from me. It sounds cliche, but it's the God's honest truth because everybody is seeing things from their own perspective, coming with their own history, and they will say something about a film, and you will stop and think, 'Oh yeah, that's actually a good point,'" said Hawkins.

The next film that will be shown is "Wings" from 1927 in the first part of a two-part discussion of Academy Award movies.

Contact: 609-272-7202

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A film society flourishes in Atlantic City

© 2015 Press of Atlantic City. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.