Today, September 3rd, marks the two-year anniversary of #TCMparty, a twitter hashtag many people follow while watching movies on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). #TCMparty is not affiliated with TCM, but it has been acknowledged by several notables on the network, including host Ben Mankiewicz @BenMank77 who made mention of the forum at this year’s Turner Classic Movies Film Festival (TCMFF).
During the festival Mr. Mankiewicz mentioned the fact that TCM has taken notice of the growing popularity and importance of #TCMparty as a way TCM fans strengthen the brand of the network, which is what brings us together to share our love of classic film. It’s not far-fetched to say that #TCMparty has become our own version of an online, mini TCMFF through which we converge and connect all year round. Through the forum we make connections that proved quite real as we encountered each other at the TCMFF this past April. Friends united by a love of classic film, a strong circle of passionate cinephiles that always recognizes its source – the unique, classic programming of TCM.
It’s worthy noting that aside from Ben Mankiewicz, who is known to comment using the #TCMparty hashtag now and again, #TCMparty has had its share of celebrity “sightings.” Most entertaining by my estimation was when actress, producer and TCM guest programmer, Illeana Douglas joined #TCMparty every Friday this past April as the films she’d chosen and hosted on TCM aired. Ms. Douglas is funny, engaging and proved to be as big a classic film fan as the rest of us who followed her commentary on #TCMparty as @Illeanarama. Also very exciting have been the times when Stephen Bogart, son of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall joined the party to tweet along to films starring Bogart and Bacall. Stephen Bogart is just one of the people who tweet on behalf of The Humphrey Bogart Estate as @HumphreyBogart and he has expressed his appreciation to those who through #TCMparty are so appreciative of the films his parents starred in. Although tweeting is far from meeting these people, it’s still exciting to read how touched they are by the enthusiasm and love we show via 140 characters for the great movies and movie stars that graced the silver screen and so affected our lives – like the Bogarts.
#TCMparty is an open forum, which means negativity can (and does) seep through once in a while, which is inevitable on social media. However, the majority of #TCMparty participants are film fans who sign on and follow along to share their love of film, trivia and humorous and touching anecdotes with other like-minded individuals from all parts of the world. I’m grateful to #TCMparty for the community it’s introduced me to. As such, I extend my congratulations to Paula Guthat, founder and co-creator of TCMparty and to Trevor Jost, who along with Paula manages the TCMparty account @TCM_party. I look forward to many more years of shared TCM movie watching with them and the many others who make this a unique and positive experience that has made a huge difference to many.
If you’re interested in joining the party, simply follow the #TCMparty hashtag on Twitter as you watch movies on TCM. Originally, the concept was geared toward sharing commentary along with specific, hosted events scheduled in conjunction with specific TCM film screenings. But – although these “official” hosted parties continue – you can now find #TCMparty commentary 24 hours a day – as long as TCM airs classics, people watch and tweet along using the #TCMparty hashtag.
Here’s to many more years to a welcoming community many of us have an affection for – a great way for us to share our love of TCM and the movies – in real time.