Barry M. Meyer, Chair and CEO of Warner Bros. Pictures summed it up: "I think I can safely say that this is the first time Warner Bros. has had a world premier in Montpelier, Vermont." Raucous applause followed from the sold out audience in the second theater as the anticipation continued growing for the nation's first public viewing of The Dark Knight, this summer's blockbuster Batman film. What followed was nearly two and one-half hours of gripping special effects, dialogue, acting and audience engagement that confirmed the other pithy comment made by Meyer, "I guarantee you have never seen anything like this." All this took place to benefit the Kellogg-Hubbard Children's Library in Montpelier.
It began a couple months ago when Warner Bros. approached Senator Leahy to ask if they could do this for him, knowing of his great affection for the library. The Senator is known for taking his original tattered library card from his wallet to make the point that he attributes any success or civic or national contributions, to his early experiences in the Children's Library. It was during those early years when he became a Batman comic fan. Through an interesting story we will not elaborate here, he made his way into earlier flicks and landed a cameo appearance in this one. He has worked through the years to ensure that other youngsters have opportunities to become avid readers and envision a productive future for themselves and others.
We began planning a special meeting of The Dark Knight Comics Club and Super Girls Comics Club, which were established by KHL's own Ben T. Matchstick. That happened on the afternoon of July 12. Great exchange between the club members and the Senator.
Corporate sponsors from Vermont and around the country contributed to support this event and other supporters from the area made a generous gift to attend a special reception at the Capitol Plaza Hotel prior to the watching the movie. Let's salute the Capitol Plaza Hotel staff and the Capitol Theatre for a little "above and beyond" effort adding to this successful evening.
Of course the entire Library Staff was involved for several weeks, while still working on their primary mission of patron service.
The Library, Montpelier, central Vermont and the State received a lot of national attention in the press. A number of the folks and VIPs we spoke with were so impressed with the area, that they plan to return for a longer visit.
As for the movie itself? It officially premiers July 18, and you should experience it yourself. Meanwhile, KHL and the Children's Library are here to welcome your many visits. Come!