Tag Archives: Ron Robinson Theater

RIP Ron Robinson

News has broken that longtime Little Rock ad man Ron Robinson has died.

His contributions to the advertising profession in Arkansas would be worthy of note in and of themselves. But Ron was much more than that.  He was a collector — of stamps, of movie posters, of sheet music, of many things.

If Arkansas was included in a piece of music or a film, Ron Robinson wanted it represented in his collection. The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) houses and is in the process of cataloging Robinson’s vast collection of sheet music, film posters, and other memorabilia connecting those industries with Arkansas’s history and culture.

The Ron Robinson Theater in the Arcade Building on the Library Square campus, the newest performance space in the River Market district bears Robinson’s name. Programming in the 325-seat multi-purpose event venue is designed for all ages and includes films, music performances, lectures, and children’s activities.

The Ron Robinson Collection includes a large number of pieces of sheet music of songs about Arkansas or with the state’s name in the song’s title, containing everything from Tin Pan Alley tunes describing the state to hits by Arkansas musicians such as Patsy Montana and the Browns to would-be state songs. The collection also includes a number of vintage recordings-including Edison disks of the “Arkansas Traveler”-and other materials depicting the state’s music. It will include Robinson’s huge collection of Arkansas-related movie posters, from which the Butler Center co-produced with him an exhibition last year called “Ark in the Dark,” as well as a vast number of pieces of Arkansas political memorabilia.

A native of Little Rock, Robinson has been an avid collector of all things Arkansas for the past fifty years. He is past chairman and chief executive officer of Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, a full-service advertising, marketing, and public relations firm. He has served on numerous boards and committees including the Friends of Central Arkansas Libraries (FOCAL), Arthritis Foundation, United Way, American Red Cross Public Information Committee, Arkansas Arts Center, and Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

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Terror Tuesdays Film Series at CALS Ron Robinson Theater – DEAD MEN WALK

The Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) Ron Robinson Theater continues the $2 horror movies tonight with the 1943 film DEAD MEN WALK as part of the Terror Tuesday Summer Series. All showings are open to the public and start at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are available at ronrobinsontheater.org.  They cost $2.00.

Shot in only six days, DEAD MEN WALK tells the story of twin brothers.  One a kindly physician, the other a sinister, Satanic-worshiper.  Concerned about his brother’s impact on society, the physician kills him.  But the dead brother returns from the dead to avenge his death and terrorize the town.

Terror Tuesdays Film Series at CALS: DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE

The Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) Ron Robinson Theater continues the $2 horror movies tonight with Adolph Zukor’s 1920 DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE as part of the Terror Tuesday Summer Series. All showings are open to the public and start at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are available at ronrobinsontheater.org.

Tonight you pay $1 for Dr. Jekyll and $1 for Mr. Hyde.

Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.  John Barrymore was acclaimed for his dual performance in this film. Among the taglines used to promote the film was: The world’s greatest actor in a tremendous story of man at his best and worst!

Terror Tuesdays Film Series at CALS: METROPOLIS

The Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) Ron Robinson Theater has $2 horror movies starting June 5 as part of the Terror Tuesday Summer Series. All showings are open to the public and start at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are available at ronrobinsontheater.org.

First up is the 1927 masterpiece, METROPOLIS.

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

CALS renames Ark Studies Institute for former Director Bobby Roberts

The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) has renamed the Arkansas Studies Institute (ASI) the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History and Art in honor of the former CALS executive director who served in the position for more than twenty years before retiring in 2016. CALS Board of Trustees approved the motion in December.

“Bobby established a new normal at CALS by creating new concepts of what the public library could offer the community and by constructing unique spaces to make the library more appealing and accessible to all sorts of groups with varied interests in learning, enrichment, and entertainment,” said Nate Coulter, CALS executive director. “The library’s primary purpose has always been to provide access to information, but Bobby transformed and expanded what it means to be a library by placing a particular emphasis on Arkansas history and culture.”

Since the early 1990s, CALS has undergone several changes and expansions, now consisting of fourteen library locations in Little Rock, Perryville, and throughout Pulaski County. The Main Library moved from its original location at 7th and Louisiana to its current home in the River Market District, which helped trigger the revitalization of downtown Little Rock. That Main Library is now the centerpiece of a campus that includes the Ron Robinson Theater, the Cox Creative Center, and the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History and Art (formerly ASI). Former CALS Board members spoke of Roberts’s leadership and his vision for the library system. Susan Fleming and Sheila Wright, former board vice-president and president, respectively, said Roberts’s vision and commitment to excellence are reflected in the building that will be displaying his name. Former CALS board member Frederick Ursery expanded on their thoughts:

“Our library system has been fortunate throughout its history to have strong leadership from numerous members of our community,” said Ursery. “However, I am not aware of any single person who has done more than Bobby Roberts to make CALS the dynamic asset that it is today. He deserves to be recognized for his achievement.”

Roberts’s efforts in building striking library structures, in ecologically sustainable construction, and in adaptive reuse have been recognized by local, state, national, and international organizations. That includes the newly named Roberts Library. Opened in 2009, as the Arkansas Studies Institute, the structure houses the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, CALS’s Arkansas history department, and five galleries that feature art depicting the state or created by artists living in or from Arkansas.

“This complex of buildings certainly wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for Bobby Roberts. It is truly fitting for this edifice to be named in his honor,” said David Stricklin, director of the Butler Center.

Roberts’s special interests in Arkansas history and art and CALS’s long-held practice of collecting materials for the benefit of patrons interested in those topics helped inspire the conception of the ASI, which also houses the UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture. The university’s Arkansas-related documents and photographs were moved to the facility and are available for public use under an arrangement Roberts developed with former UA Little Rock Chancellor Joel Anderson. The building is also home to the Arkansas Humanities Council’s headquarters and classrooms and offices for the Clinton School of Public Service.

100 Years of the Pulitzer celebrated tonight by Arkansas Humanities Council lecture with Ray Moseley

Tonight, ahc-pulitzer-100-moseleyTuesday, October 4 at 7PM, at Ron Robinson Theater,  the Arkansas Humanities Council will present the 3rd in a series of lectures honoring the Pulitzer Prize in Arkansas. This lecture will honor the Arkansas Gazette which won two Pulitzer Prizes in 1958 for Meritorious Service and Editorial Writing.

Ray Mosely, who was the lead reporter for the Gazette’s coverage of the Central High integration crisis in 1957, will give the lecture.  This event is free and open to the public.

Moseley was  later was a United Press International foreign correspondent, bureau chief and then editor for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. For many years after that he was chief European correspondent of the Chicago Tribune based in London. In a 59-year career, he covered such stories as the 1967 Six-Day War, the first Indo-Pakistan war, the Greek-Turkish war in Cyprus, the Rhodesian civil war, the Iranian revolution, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the death of Princess Diana.

He was a Pulitzer finalist in 1981 for a series of articles about Africa and in 2003 was awarded an honorary MBE (Member of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for services to journalism, the first American correspondent in two decades to receive that honor. He is also the author of three books including a journalistic memoir, In Foreign Fields, and of two forthcoming books, one on the war correspondents of World War II and the other on the black American soldiers of that war. Moseley will share reminiscences about coverage of the 57 crisis, his personal experiences afterward, the end of the Gazette and the future of newspapers.

Following Moseley’s remarks Ernie Dumas will moderate a panel discussion featuring former Gazette reporters.

Today at noon – Legacies and Lunch with Bobby Roberts

robertsThe Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and Clinton School of Public Service present today’s Legacies and Lunch program which features a conversation with Bobby Roberts.

Roberts has been the director of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) since 1989. During his tenure at CALS, it has been recognized as one of the premier library systems in the United States, noted for outstanding public service and innovative programming. Roberts is retiring from CALS on March 4. On March 2, he will talk with Clinton School of Public Service Dean Skip Rutherford at the Butler Center’s monthly Legacies & Lunch presentation series.

A native of Helena, Ark., Roberts became a historian and archivist, a writer of Civil War history, a university faculty member, and a member of Governor Bill Clinton’s staff before taking leadership at CALS. At Legacies & Lunch, Rutherford will interview Roberts about his interest in history and politics, the transformation of CALS, and what he sees for the future of the library system, the city of Little Rock, and the state of Arkansas. This special program is sponsored in part by the Arkansas Humanities Council.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 12:00 Noon
CALS Ron Robinson Theater