Happy birthday, #TCMParty!

Some of you may know that I run #TCMParty, a live tweet of movies shown on TCM, but you may not know that today, September 3, 2012, is the one year anniversary of the first-ever TCM Party.

TCMP-feat-imgWhile I wasn’t present on that occasion, I did start tweeting along soon afterwards, on September 11, 2011. The film was Casablanca. I remember my first ever #TCMParty tweet was something like, “Bring out the private stock,” or words to that effect.

#TCMParty was actually the brainchild of Kathleen Callaway, aka @hockmangirl. A group of her friends on Twitter were tweeting along to classic movies, so she figured, why not use a hashtag so everyone could see everyone else’s tweets. She began “hosting,” i.e. picking a specific movie from the TCM schedule, promoting the date and time it would be on to get as many people together as possible, and tweeting information about it during the air time.

I started hosting TCM Parties sometime in October, and soon after decided we needed a separate Twitter account, so we wouldn’t blow up our followers’ feeds while we were feverishly tweeting about a movie some of them might not care about at all. If you’ve ever wondered why there’s an underscore in @TCM_Party, it’s because @tcmparty was taken. We also started a Facebook page and a tumblr, which are still going strong.

I guess it was destiny…I have this poster in my office at work
I guess it was destiny…I have this poster in my office at work

In March 2012, Kathleen decided to concentrate on her handcrafts and animal rescue work. My nickname for her is “Wonder Woman” for all the stuff she gets done. I had persuaded silent film connoisseur Trevor Jost, aka @tpjost, to guest host Sunrise (1927), and he offered to help with TCM Party on the regular. I am glad that he did, because I have a huge gap in my knowledge of both silents and most films made before “the magic year” 1939. (Actually…if you look carefully enough…there’s tweets and Examiner movie columns around in which I declare my dislike of silent films. What can I say…at least I have the courage to admit publicly that I was wrong.)

From CASABLANCA to TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, Humphrey Bogart is a recurring TCM Party theme
From CASABLANCA to TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, Humphrey Bogart is a recurring TCM Party theme

TCMP has less to do with Trevor and I than it does with everybody who shows up and tweets. In the year that people have been gathering around #TCMParty, we’ve trended nationally a few times and brought countless new fans to TCM and classic films. By “we,” I mean all the TCM Party people. I’ve learned so much from everyone and had a ton of fun along the way. I hope it will continue to make more people aware of how really great most classic films are. (I’d be shirking my duties if I didn’t mention that our next #TCMParty is Wednesday, September 5 at 8 p.m. Eastern, To Have and Have Not, starring TCM’s Star of the Month, Lauren Bacall. Make sure to follow @TCM_Party for further updates.)

I’d like to thank everyone who has “attended” our virtual shindigs, helped get the word out, and/or guest-hosted over the past year.

So…what’s your favorite #TCMParty memory?


28 thoughts on “Happy birthday, #TCMParty!

  1. Paula, although I’m fairly new to the #TCMParty fun and frolic, Team Bartilucci and I have been enjoying checking out the ones you guys have had so far, and beaucoup congratulations on your 1st Blogaversary! Here’s to many more of them to come! 😀

  2. Of course I’m partial, but I really enjoyed #TCMParty’s tweeting during “Boomerang!” starring Dana Andrews. It’s rarely on TCM and it’s one of Andrews’s best performances in a rather demanding role. He’s practically in every frame of the movie and his scenes in court were pretty amazing. Thanks for hosting; TCMParty’s are always fun.

    1. You’re welcome and thanks Steve for tweeting along. He really is great in Boomerang!. (Shameless plug: I wrote all about why I think that here.) thank you for inviting me to participate in the Dana Andrews Blogathon as I might not have written about it otherwise. He is one of the actors I’ve come to really admire 🙂

  3. Brilliant idea and tons of fun!! Not only does it promote TCM and classic film, it’s helped strengthened the classic film fan community on twitter and beyond. I can’t choose a specific day or film I’ve enjoyed more than others although I’m lucky to have been asked to host a few times so THANK YOU, Paula for the opportunity. I will add that sometimes the worst the movie is the more fun the tweet-a-long is. We have snark experts that are a riot. Finally, perhaps what shows how great the TCMparty idea was, is that although it’s great to have a formal host, it is now a daily ritual where we all know we can go to to discuss any movie that’s being shown on TCM at any time. This is particularly significant since not all coordinated parties fit international film fans’ schedules. So there! I’m a huge fan, join in as often as possible so a KUDOS to you, Paula and the community this brings together. It’s here to stay now!


    1. Thanks Aurora! I very much appreciate all your help & support with TCMP. I’ve learned a ton from you, you are a fabulous TCM Partier and even better guest host. I love that #TCMParty has a life of its own now and I hope it does go on forever 🙂

  4. I had no idea TCM Party and I shared a birthday. How Fabulous!!

    I love TCM Party so much. It’s my favorite way to watch movies. I really don’t remember my first time….But it was fun at last years TCMFF to have people introduce me to others as EliseCD, from twitter.

    Hope to spend many more TCM Parties with all of you.


    1. Thanks so much Elise, hope to see you at many more TCMPs! I also hope to meet you and a lot of other people at the 2013 TCMFF…I’m saving my pennies 🙂

  5. Happy Birthday TCMP!! I would love to join in on the fun at some point, I always see the hashtags on Twitter and you guys seem to have a lot of fun. Well done Paula!

    1. Thanks Ruth! I hope you do join us some time. It really is a lot of fun…I’ll have to find a Gregory Peck movie to lure you in 😉

  6. #TCMParty has changed the way I watch TCM. In past years, if the channel was airing a film I had seen many times, I might not tune in. Now I will, because I know there will likely be a fun and engaging dialogue going on about it under the #TCMParty hashtag. And I love that, at pretty much any hour of the day or night, there’s usually somebody tweeting. I also appreciate that there are no “rules” or expectations from participants. In other fan communities there can be litmus tests – if you haven’t seen (blank), or if you don’t know (blank), you’re not a REAL fan. No such thing here. The person watching CASABLANCA for the first time is just as welcome as the buff who has seen it 100 times. This is a witty, informed, welcoming group. And I’m happy to be part of it.

    1. We do say “boo” to litmus tests! Thanks Will for your kind words and for your help and patience over the past year. You are one of the TCM Party essentials…fabulous Partier and super-knowledgeable guest host.

    2. “And I love that, at pretty much any hour of the day or night, there’s usually somebody tweeting.”

      I’m going to go ahead and take at least partial credit for that. 🙂 After discovering the TCM party I started using the hashtag whenever I was watching TCM, whether there was an “official” party or not. I told folks it was like throwing up a Bat-signal to see who else was out there. It eventually caught on, and soon other folks began copying my rebel ways. (heh)

      Of course there wouldn’t have been a hashtag to tweet at all hours of the day and night if you hadn’t created the party in the first place. It’s been fun, educational, given me an outlet for my “class clown” tendencies, and introduced me to a bunch of fellow movie fans I probably never would have met otherwise. Thanks for a great year and here’s to many more!

      Oh…and may the #zithers be with you. 😀

      — Kristen

      1. Thanks Kristen! I very much appreciate your many contributions to TCM Party. Meeting other movie fans is the reason I do TCM Party. May we both have many more years. Zithers…? DRINK 😉

  7. Overall, I just appreciate that TCMParty is always there to share movies with. But I think my proudest, most astonished moments were when TCMParty gathered for the Ishiro Honda and Toshiro Mifune screenings–and seeing both Godzilla and Rodan trend.

    1. Thanks Carol! That was an amazing evening for sure, I couldn’t keep up with all the tweets! We feel likewise about Drive In Mob, we love you guys! TCMP wouldn’t be as much fun or as popular, and I wouldn’t have learned as much about new-to-me films. Looking forward to further collaborations 🙂

  8. Hooray! Happy birthday!

    One of my fave memories, well, I have 2.

    Watching The Adventures of Robin Hood and everyone talking about Maid Marion’s hair and outfits. LOL.

    and then, watching Life with Father…the whole film was just so much fun to watch with everyone else.

    1. Thanks T! I’m so glad you enjoyed and hope you can stop back by soon 🙂 To be fair, there was a lot of discussion of Errol Flynn as well 😉 I definitely enjoy watching my faves with others…even a movie I’ve seen many times 🙂 Thanks again T!

  9. Happy Birthday to TCM Party! Been alot of fun seeing you guys celebrating the classics. I hope you continue to keep the TCM love going! All the best.

  10. My favorite #TCMParty moment was when I guest-hosted my first every #TCMParty. The movie was The Third Man. A great post-war drama with terrific cast including Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles.

    I was a little anxious about guest-hosting and Paula told me to just have some material prepared to fill in the gaps. So I diligently prepared a few days ahead some nuggets about the lead actors, the setting, the plot, etc.

    Then, almost from the opening credits all the tweets were focused on two things: the zither music that pervades the movie and the dutch angles (which also pervade.) At first I thought fellow partiers would get these tweets out of their system and move on to the beauty of this great film. Alas, it was not to be…I tried interjecting my prepared material but the mob (er…party) continued with their zither-rific commentary.

    Paula asked me the next day how it went…and I cried on her shoulder a little. She reassured me that sometimes that just happens.

    I look back on that now and laugh…because I’ve realized it’s a group thing, not an individual thing. I have great joy guest-hosting and tweeting along as a ‘participant’. I love to see new faces popup, or folks tweet “I’m so glad I found the #TCMParty hashtag.” That’s great that new people continue to ‘find’ the party and tweet along.

    1. Joel, I’m so happy that your first guest-hosting gig wasn’t your last, I can’t imagine TCMP without you 🙂 One time I was hosting Der blaue Engel and I had all sorts of info and historical context ready. It was quite early on and I remember being really crushed when people just wanted to complain about the subtitles. (I cried on Kathleen’s shoulder and she reassured me sometimes that just happens :))

      I don’t think I can really say it any better than your last paragraph 🙂

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