Premiere Screening of Documentary Film on Pioneering Journalist Lowell Thomas

Marist College

April 6, 2018 — The first full-length documentary on pioneering journalist Lowell Thomas will have its premiere screening at Marist College, home to Thomas’s papers and photographs. Voice of America: Lowell Thomas and the Rise of Broadcast News will be screened on Saturday, April 21, in the Nelly Goletti Theater in the Murray Student Center. 

The event will kick-off with a reception at 5:30pm and a question and answer session with the film's producer and director, Rick Moulton, and the executive producer, Anne Thomas Donaghy (granddaughter of Lowell Thomas), at 6:30pm. The screening will begin at 7:00pm.  Admission is free but advanced registration is required; register by clicking here or calling (845) 575-3364. Parking will be available in the Donnelly Hall parking lot. 

Lowell Thomas was a renowned radio broadcaster during the golden age of radio. Today, little is recalled of his groundbreaking work as a commentator or as a world traveler. In the early 1920s, he launched his career presenting lectures concerning his travels in the Middle East.  A three-month stint in England turned into a four year world tour.  During this time over four million people came to experience the multi-media extravaganza, The Lowell Thomas Travelogues. In recalling his travels and encounters in Arabia, Thomas made T.E. Lawrence known worldwide as Lawrence of Arabia and established himself as one of the great public speakers of his day.   

In the 1930s, Thomas continued his pioneer work in the broadcasting industry.  He was the first person to air a simulcast and he became the voice of Fox Movietone Newsreels.  In 1949, Thomas and his son were invited to visit Tibet and recorded the last film, photos, and audio before Tibet was overrun by communist China in 1950. In the 1950s, he co-created Cinerama and his movie This Is Cinerama broke every known record for income and total audience when it showed on Broadway in New York City in 1952. Later that decade he founded Capital Cities, a major broadcasting group which is now part of the Walt Disney Company.  He created his very popular High Adventure television series in the 1950s, and continued his world travels.  In 1977, Thomas retired from his radio news program, which had been on the air for forty-six continuous years.  Thomas returned to radio in 1978.  National Public Radio aired his series “The Best Years” until just before his death on August 29, 1981.  

Thomas’s vast collection of research materials contains over one million documents, 40,000 images, hundreds of objects, thousands of hours of audio and film footage, and is valued at more than $10 million.  The collection is housed in Marist’s Archives and Special Collections, which can be found on the ground floor of the James A. Cannavino Library.  A special Lowell Thomas exhibit is currently on display in the Lowell Thomas Communications Center, located in the heart of the Marist campus.

This event is sponsored by the Archives and Special Collections and the James A. Cannavino Library.

About Marist

 Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist is consistently recognized for excellence by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures and The Best 381 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (9th Best Regional University/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. Though now independent, Marist remains committed to the ideals handed down from its founders, the Marist Brothers: excellence in education, a sense of community, and a commitment to service. Marist educates approximately 5,000 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees. www.marist.edu

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