The Beech Grove Public Library formally dedicated its new Steve McQueen Birthplace Collection on March 16th at 6:00 p.m. The event opened with 4 nights of free showings of the ‘birth’ of the famous television and motion picture star’s performing career.
The local commemoration of the 80th anniversary of McQueen’s birth on March 24, 1930, involved free film showings on March 16, 18, 22, and 23, 2010, at 6:00 pm each evening at the Library. The initial program consisted of McQueen’s key live television drama appearance in 1957 on Studio One, then 3 nights of 3 episodes each from his ‘breakthrough’ Western television series Wanted Dead or Alive (1958 to 1961).
Local resident Steve Nontell was the host for these events. As the host, he shared information about the programs being viewed and about Steve McQueen’s life. The large display case in the front lobby showcases the Steve McQueen Birthplace Collection.
The Collection, available for viewing and use at the Library as a special Reserved section within its Historical Room, honors McQueen as being the most notable world-famous celebrity to have ever been born in Beech Grove. McQueen grew up in other locations in Indiana, Missouri, and California, after he was moved in infancy with his family away from the city.
The Collection initially consists of authorized DVD’s of all available McQueen motion pictures; authorized DVD’s of many McQueen television appearances, including all 3 seasons of Wanted Dead Or Alive; and several published biographies and books on him. The Library would welcome future donations to the Collection of other books, articles, and artifacts on his life and career.
The Library hopes to offer more free public showings of the movies and TV appearances, as well as to make the Collection available for viewing and reading by students, researchers, journalists, and other members of the public.