Laurel and Hardy

Laurel & Hardy short films to be screened Jan. 28

The Rehoboth Beach Public Library will present a winter laugh fest from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28, in the second-floor special events room at 226 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach.

There was a time when local television stations ran classic comedies as afternoon kiddie programs, enshrining in audiences’ hearts performers like the great comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Their short films from the 1920s and ‘30s achieved international fame that has endured for nearly a century. And although there has always been a devoted fan base for Laurel & Hardy, there haven’t been as many opportunities to view their films in recent years.

The public screening will contain a selection of their funniest short subjects. Rehoboth resident Bob Ackerman, a local film buff and lifelong Laurel & Hardy film collector, has selected four of the duo’s best uncut shorts, jam-packed with laughs. Included is one of their critically acclaimed silent comedies along with three sound shorts. Ackerman has also included a surprise “Our Gang” comedy, another series produced by Hal Roach Pictures that started 100 years ago.

Ackerman is a member of the Sons of the Desert, the international organization of Laurel & Hardy aficionados that fosters screenings of their films throughout the world. Ackerman hopes the winter event may generate interest in forming a local chapter of the organization.

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