I've decided to make a project out of Bela Lugosi. As I mentioned in an earlier post, few people in Lugoj know about the horror-film actor, even though this is his hometown. In my opinion, Lugoj should do something to commemorate him, not only for the sake of local history, but also for the sake of tourism. After all, Lugoj prides itself as a cultural center. That being the case, the town should do everything it can to emphasize its cultural heritage.
Ideally, I'd like to put a plaque on the house where Lugosi was born, and I may eventually get that done. However, for the time being, my primary goal is to raise public awareness about Bela Lugosi. My first effort in this vein was writing an article for the local newspaper entitled, "Do you know Bela Lugosi?" The next thing I'd like to do is put together some sort of Lugosi exhibit for the town art gallery. I'm hoping to gather materials and memorabilia from collectors so that I can create some sort of visual exposition (perhaps combined with a film screening). I've already talked with the curator of the art gallery and the manager of the history museum, and they both support the idea. In fact, the manager of the museum said she'd like to devote a whole room to Lugosi when the museum renovations are complete.
I've also established a connection with Gary D. Rhodes, a professor of film and the foremost Lugosi biographer. He said he'd be happy to do what he can to donate materials. However, I figured I'd also put out a public request here on my blog. Perhaps some of you out there are film buffs or collectors of film memorabilia (or perhaps you know someone else who is). In any case, if you'd like to help this effort, please leave a comment here.
Here are some examples of the sort of things I'm looking for:
1. Photos of Lugosi from various stages throughout his career. It'd be nice to have a good cross-section of his life so we don't end up with just a Dracula expo. I envision displaying the photos chronologically and including a description for each. That way, as the viewer goes from picture to picture, the descriptions will read sort of like a mini biography.
2. Video materials, so we can do a screening or something. Of course, a copy of "Dracula" would be nice. But, it would be even cooler to have something representing his early film career in Europe (if anything is still surviving).
3.Books on Lugosi
4. Film posters