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Documentary on luxury NJ train of 1930s - screening at Alexander Library, Thurs. Dec. 15th

Poster for Doumentary

Deluxe: The Tale of the Blue Comet, a documentary film about the iconic New Jersey train of the 1930s, will be shown at the Alexander Library in New Brunswick on Thursday December 15th, at 4:30 pm. The film is being screened in conjunction with the exhibition All Aboard: Railroads and New Jersey, 1812-1930, on display at the Special Collections and University Archives Gallery in the Alexander Library until January 6, 2012.

New Jersey documentary filmmaker Robert A. Emmons Jr. brings to life a lost but fascinating piece of Garden State history and culture in Deluxe: The Tale of the Blue Comet. From 1929 to 1941, the Central Railroad of New Jersey train, the Blue Comet, captivated onlookers and riders from Jersey City to Atlantic City. The locomotive and its distinctive blue and cream passenger cars were the pinnacle of travel to the Jersey shore at the time. With the development of new modes of transportation, the expansion of highways, competition from the Pennsylvania Railroad, and a horrific crash in 1939, the mighty Blue Comet was authorized for abandonment on September 28, 1941.

From the individuals who remember seeing the train as children to its inclusion in The Sopranos, the Blue Comet still blazes a trail. Emmons presents the distinct train not only as the Central Railroad's most famous flyer, but also as one of Lionel toy train's most memorable models. Interviews feature Blue Comet historians Paul W. Schopp, Joel Rosenbaum, and Frank T. Reilly, and Lionel expert and author Ron Hollander.

Robert A. Emmons Jr. is a digital documentary filmmaker focusing on American popular culture and history. His films include: Enthusiast: The 9th Art, Smalltown USA, Wolf at the Door, YARDSALE! and the award-winning Goodwill: The Flight of Emilio Carranza (2007). Emmons teaches film, new media, and comics history at Rutgers University-Camden where he is also the Associate Director of the Honors College. He is currently working on a new documentary about Fredric Wertham and comic books in the 1950s called Diagram for Delinquents: Fredric Wertham and the Evolution of Comic Books.

Deluxe: The Tale of the Blue Comet will be shown in the Scholarly Communication Center Teleconference Lecture Hall on the fourth floor of the Archibald S. Alexander Library at 169 College Avenue in New Brunswick. For more information about the film, the exhibition, or assistance with parking, please contact Fernanda Perrone at hperrone@rulmail.rutgers.edu or 732-932-7006 x363.

Posted November 16, 2011