1984 at the Loew's Jersey
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” So begins the story of an unlikely revolutionary: the doomed hero of George Orwell’s dystopian classic, 1984. On April 4, 2017, the Jersey City Free Public Library (JCFPL) and the Friends of the Loew’s (FOL) teamed up to present a screening of the film adaptation of Orwell’s novel at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre. When the film was released in its namesake year of 1984, the story of everyman Winston Smith – and his “thoughtcrimes” against the totalitarian state – had for a generation been a symbol of resistance against censorship, surveillance, and unquestioning submission to authority.
The JCFPL and FOL joint screening was part of a nationwide event on April 4, with over 200 independent and art house cinemas presenting the film in honor of the first date inscribed in Winston Smith’s diary: April 4, 1984. The goal of the national event was to raise awareness and advocate for freedom of expression, particularly in support of the National Endowment for the Arts and other federally funded programs, such as the Institute of Museum and Library Services. We were also very proud to distribute 100 free copies of the novel to the first guests who arrived, compliments of the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation.