Movie Magic at Blaine and Birch Bay

Free Classic Films at Semiahmoo.

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Ron’s programs are free, entertaining and informative.
They are supported by Semiahmoo Resort. Come from 7-9 PM Wed night in the Discovery Theater at Semiahmoo.

          Your host is the former syndicated entertainment columnist and author who spent several decades covering movies and television for the Knight-Ridder News Syndicate and national magazines like TV Guide.

Ron Miller Film Lecture Series for Semiahmoo Winter Season

Wednesday nights, 7-9 PM, Discovery Theater


Those who saw the recent Masterpiece Theatre drama The Chaperone about the youthful rise of beautiful teenager Louise “Lulu” Brooks to worldwide silent screen stardom should enjoy seeing the rest of her story, including her early Hollywood films, followed by her immortal German classics Pandora’s Box and Diary of A Lost Girl; and finallyher decline after returning to Hollywood in the talkie era, ending her career as leading lady to John Wayne in a cheap 1936 “B” movie western..


Ron showcases the work of the screen’s great characters actors, best remembered for their supporting roles. Among them: Walter Brennan, Thomas Mitchell, Jane Darwell and many he talked with in person, like Andy Devine, Iris Adrian, John Lithgow, Barnard Hughes, Keye Luke, Lou Gossett Jr., Norman Lloyd, Karl Malden and Mary Steenburgen.


One of today’s most talked about current films is 1917, a drama about World War One, which just won the Golden Globe for Best Film of 2019. Tonight’s program covers a wide variety of films about the First World War, made over a span of nearly 90 years, among them the silent classics The Big Parade, Lilac Time, Shoulder Arms, The Strong Man and Wings and such unforgettable sound films as All Quiet on the Western Front, Hell’s Angels, Sergeant York, The African Queen, Paths of Glory, Flyboys, War Horse and They Shall Not Grow Old.


The post-war era in which Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) tried to root out the communists in Hollywood is now regarded as one of the darkest periods in film history; Tonight we show some of the work done by major filmmakers both before and after they were blacklisted, including members of the notorious Hollywood Ten that Ron met and talked with in their later years. With scenes from Blockade, Five Came Back, Sahara, Naked City, Never on Sunday, Rififi, Born Free, Spartacus and many more.


Controversial films have rattled the movie industry ever since the silent days, prompting waves of censorship of various kinds. Tonight’s program examines films originally reviled by some, but are widely regarded as classics today. Featured are the grotesque 1930s horror movie Freaks, which was banned in England for a generation; the scandalous Story of Temple Drake, based on William Faulkner’s best-seller Sanctuary; the Czech film Ecstasy, which introduced actress Hedy Lamarr; Howard Hughes’ oft-banned western The Outlaw, which introduced Jane Russell; Otto Preminger’s comedy The Moon is Blue, which earned a “condemned” rating from the Catholic Legion of Decency; and the grim independent films Native Son, Christ in Concrete and Salt of the Earth, which were attacked as communist propaganda in their day..

          The program takes place in the refurbished Discovery Theater with a large screen, stereo sound and comfortable reclining seats. Free refreshments will be provided by the resort management.

          There is no admission charge, but seating is limited, so plan to arrive before the 7 P.M. start of the evening’s program.

Patricia and I will meet friends at the Packers for dinner. Feel free to join us.
Patrick Alesse

Let Micah Mullen Who is the Rooms Divison Manager at Semiahmoo Resort know what you think about Ron Miller presenting Movie Magic at Semiahmoo.
e-mail Micah Mullen at

Come to the Semiahmoo Hotel. Have dinner then spend the evening with Ron Miller and his wife. Ron will step you back in history. You will witness some film clips that have made a difference in our lives.

Pat & Pat almost got to watch The Graduate again, with her brother Jeff. We took him to see it when he was 15. It was a mistake. It was also a great and memorable movie.

You are invited to share some movies that have influenced you by posting them at the bottom of this page.

4 thoughts on “Movie Magic at Blaine and Birch Bay

  1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Gone with the Wind,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My Dad liked to say, “In like Flin.” when he had succeeded in driving a nail into wood. He also used it when he was setting a screw in a cablet. Thanks to Ron I now know what he was talking about.


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