Movie premiere to raise funds for Richland library

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"Nanny McPhee Returns," the new movie starring Emma Thompson and Maggie Gyllenhaal, will make its U.S. premiere in New York City, Los Angeles and Richland. Wait, Richland? Yes, the Aug. 15 premiere will benefit Northern Tier Regional Library on Dickey Road in Richland.

The premiere has been made possible through the efforts of the movie's producer, Lindsay Doran, and her husband, Rodney Kemerer. Mr. Kemerer grew up in Richland, and his late mother, Betty Kemerer, was a supporter of the library. The library has a reading room named to honor Mrs. Kemerer, who passed away in 2001.

The premiere came about when Mr. Kemerer, also a longtime contributor to the library, received a letter from Diane Illis, the librarian. "I thought it would be easy to write a check. But why not something fun?" said Mr. Kemerer from his Beverly Hills, Calif., home. He and his wife, who has produced such films as "Nanny McPhee" and "Stranger Than Fiction," came up with the movie premiere. It was an idea that warmed her heart.

"I grew up reading children's books at the library in North Hollywood, where I grew up, and since the movie is based on a children's book, it was perfect. It felt like a natural link," Ms. Doran said.

Early last spring, Mr. Kemerer approached Ms. Illis about the event. "When he called me with the idea, I was thrilled," Ms. Illis said.

Mr. Kemerer then reached out to Universal Pictures, the movie's production company, for its assistance.

"They have been great. They set it all up with the theaters [all three premieres are fundraisers for various causes] and are providing goodie bags," he said. "It is really a win-win situation for everyone, because [the movie studio] generates interest in the movie, and the library raises much-needed funds."

Ms. Illis said that with all the cutbacks libraries have faced, the fundraiser comes at the perfect time. "All the money will go toward the library. Universal Pictures made the arrangements with the theater, so there are no costs to us."

The movie is based on the Nurse Matilda children's books by Christianna Brand, and the script was written by Ms.Thompson, who stars as Nanny McPhee. The movie is a family-based comedy full of magic and fun, Ms. Doran said.

The film opens at theaters across the country Aug. 20, but the premiere for the library will be held at 1 p.m. Aug. 15 at RC Pittsburgh North 11, formerly Showcase Cinemas North. Before the showing, there will be games and giveaways at the theater.

Tickets may be purchased at the library or on its website at www.northertierlibrary.org or by calling 724-449-2665. Basic tickets are $8; VIP Tickets with reserved seating are $15. Advance ticket purchase is encouraged. Tickets will be sold at screening time, if available.


Kathleen Ganster: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com


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