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A Classic Movie and A Caring Community

The Blatt Bros. Grand Theatre is pictured. Submitted photo

In 1975, a special film showing of “American Graffiti” courtesy of the Blatt Bros. Grand Theatre was featured as a fundraising event for the Bret D. Smith Memorial Scholarship at WACS, resulting in a collection at the Grand Theatre of $1,130.

Blatt Bros. donated use of the film and theatre for the October 30 event arranged by the late William Gollnitz, Grand Theatre manager and employees. Bret D. Smith, son of the late Robert and Darlene Smith was employed by the Westfield theatre on a part-time basis.

The $1,000 Bret D. Smith Scholarship recipient must meet certain criteria including plans on furthering his or her education, either college or vocational school. The WACS student shall be selected each year by a committee comprised of the manager of the Grand Theatre, the senior guidance counselor and the senior class advisor.

Interesting that the theatre is listed among the committee members who helped select each year’s recipient. In 1975, they had no idea that in 1993 the Grand Theatre would no longer be part of Westfield’s landscape.

The theatre and its ‘grand’ gesture combined with the town’s generosity shows that the community cared for one of its own. The residents of Westfield put their money and their actions where their hearts were in 1975.

The upcoming exhibit at the Lake Shore Center for the Arts, Remember the Grand will feature the Bret D. Smith story along with many other names involved with the history of the Grand Theatre.

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