YHT Harlem: Laurel And Hardy Museum

YHT Harlem: Interview With Bobby Courtwright (Image 1)

This year is the 25th annual Olive Hardy Festival, which is held every year on the first Saturday in October. All proceeds from it benefit the Laurel and Hardy Museum. It's a place where people from all over the world stop by.

“Oliver Hardy was born here in January 1892 up the street near the old police station, and Stan Laurel was born in our sister city in England,” says Linda Caldwell, of the Laurel and Hardy Museum.

The comedy duo performed in more than 100 movies from the “silent era” to the “talkies”, and fans say the movies were always family-friendly.

“Over in Europe, they are still very famous. They still show their movies and have mini conventions,” Caldwell says.

Here at home, to keep Hardy's legacy alive, city leaders established the Oliver Hardy Festival 25 years ago.  Over the years, fans dropped off Laurel and Hardy memorabilia…everything from paintings to figurines.

“We've got cookie jars, pictures, movies, DVDs, books,” Caldwell says.

Organizers displayed the items at Harlem City Hall, but had to expand to keep up with large collection, so they opened a museum in 2002.

“It brings people from all over the world. We had people from England, Oregon, and South Carolina this morning,” Caldwell says.

Again, the 25th annual Oliver Hardy festival has something for everyone…including pony rides, a look-a-like contest, a tour of the museum, and even movie screenings. Organizers are requesting that you come and enjoy yourself this Saturday for the Oliver Hardy Festival, but they want you to leave your pets at home.

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