Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 3, 2013

Merchants decorate windows to welcome Film Fest

BY LAURIE MIHOLER-ZACHRITZ Special to the Record-Eagle
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Fifteen downtown merchants registered for the Traverse City Film Festival’s window display contest, vying for a variety of prizes, including an all-access pass to the State Theatre for a year and other downtown goodies.

Originality and creativity, two of the contest’s judging criteria, are interpreted by merchants in a variety of ways, from Cherry Republic’s miniature State Theatre plastered with movie posters for “Cherry MaGuire” and “When Cherry Met Sally” to Wilson Antique’s slide show of its vintage-style clothing and merchandise seemingly projected onto a vintage screen from a retro film projector.

The images appear to be coming from the projector, but really originate from a hidden BluRay projector.

“People stand outside staring, then come in and ask, ‘How’d you do that?’” said Rebecca Austin, who helped create the display.

Beverly Anderson, co-owner of Diversions, a Front Street hat emporium, said her displays are inspired by childhood memories of holiday windows.

“I grew up with J.L. Hudson and their windows at Christmas,” she said.

In a nod to the Wednesday night showing of “Pirates of the Caribbean” at the Open Space, Anderson devoted one window to the Johnny Depp movie, and the other to dozens of hats from other popular movies.

A chalkboard propped outside the window-lined entry into Katie Grossnickle’s Glitz and Spurs Boutique sports the Marilyn Monroe quote, “I don’t care how rich he is as long as he has a yacht, his own private railroad car, and his own toothpaste,” from the movie “Some Like It Hot,” one of the festival’s outdoor films.

The quote is a hit with female passersby who’ve been overheard commenting, “I agree with her!” and “I love it!” Grossnickle said. She and her employees spent over two days designing windows stuffed with fashionably dressed Hollywood stars.

Becky Thatcher Designs features 1920s-era flapper dresses, pearls, and kid gloves emulating F. Scott Fitzgerald’s glamorous heroines from “The Great Gatsby” and “This Side Paradise.” It’s a sophisticated tribute to the new Bijou By the Bay theater.

A heavily beaded silk dress was borrowed from employee Elizabeth River’s mother, Mary Ann Rivers, who bought it from her grandmother’s friend in Grand Haven years ago.

“It’s a piece of art,” Rivers said, adding that her sister wore it once to a country club dinner. Other pieces of the display in her windows are on loan from the Leelanau Historical Society.