Fans of Grace Kelly, an iconic American actress, former East Falls resident and Princess of Monaco, will enjoy the trio of events hosted this month by the East Falls Historical Society (EFHS). The events lead up to the official dedication of a state marker that will honor the entire Kelly family.
A screening of one of Kelly’s movies, “To Catch a Thief” will be held this Saturday, Oct. 6, at Philadelphia University. Ellen Sheehan, president of the EFHS, says the group chose to show this particular movie because of its connection to Grace’s mother, Margaret Kelly.
“When the movie premiered in Philadelphia in 1955, it was held at the Fox Theater as a benefit for the Women’s Medical College of East Falls. Grace’s mother was president of the school’s board of directors and a longtime fundraiser for the school. She saved the college when it was about to go into bankruptcy,” said Sheehan.
Sheehan says that the movie was filmed in the French Riviera, where Grace met her future husband, Rainier III, Prince of Monaco.
An array of photos from the archives at Drexel Medical College will be on display at the event which feature shots of Grace Kelly and Carey Grant at the premier of the movie.
“We will have plenty of Grace Kelly memorabilia,” said Sheehan. “We have original movie posters, dolls that are dressed in fashion designs from her movies. We also have linens and scarves that she designed. We even have photos of Grace dancing with Pennsylvania Governor George Leader at the premier,” said Sheehan.
She says attendees will be given a small keepsake to remember the event.
“We have 1956 stamps that were issued in Monaco that have her name on them,” said Sheehan. “We’ve placed them on a small card in an envelope as a little token for guests to keep.”
The movie screening, made possible in part by the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, is free and open to the public. Attendees should arrive by 8 p.m. at the Tuttleman Center on Philadelphia University’s campus, located at the intersection of School House Lane and Vaux Street.
Sheehan says Grace Kelly fans should also keep Saturday, Oct. 13, and Saturday, Oct. 27, on their calendars.The Oct. 13 event is a limousine tour that will take attendees to places that relate to the Kelly family including Penn Charter, Ravenhill Mansion, Old Academy Players, St. Bridget Church and the Vesper Boat Club. The limo will leave at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. from the 3200 block of Coulter Street. Those interested should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to set up their trip.
The Oct. 27 event will be held at McMichael Park at 1 p.m. and feature guest speakers like Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. and John B. Kelly, III, who will speak on behalf of the Kelly family. The event will include bagpipe music and a marker dedication ceremony.