Magical History Tour: More on Ebell in the Movies

from Phyllis Hansen, Ebell Historian

January 5, 2021

Scene from ‘The Artist’, filmed in the Library at The Ebell

Dear Readers,

Last month, in the Magical History Tour article for our e-Magazine, I wrote about the films and shows using the Ebell as a location site and invited members to share any knowledge of the scenes they might remember. We have a list of 118 such films and shows where the club appeared in the past. I received several messages in response, shedding more light on Ebell as the star.

Two members pointed out that the Oscar-winning film for Best Picture and oodles of other awards, The Artist, made in 2011, shows the club prominently. The Ebell’s Art Salon plays an auction house in this French comedy that mimics a silent-film era black-and-white movie. One of our rooms also becomes legendary movie producer Al Zimmer’s office, played by John Goodman.

In this film the Ebell is also depicted as the interior of a hospital. It is apparently the third time the club has been portrayed as such. The other instances were The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in 2008 and Forrest Gump in 1994, when the Ebell became the “Saigon” hospital.

Coincidentally, our building was cast as the site of another charity auction in The Addams Family, 1991. With further investigating I learned the club’s starring role in Air Force One from 1997 comes when star Harrison Ford gives his Russian speech. Our Lounge is transformed into a bank in the iconic film Ghost, 1990. The Fine Arts Auditorium on the third floor of our campus becomes a University where “Frank Abagnale” (Leonardo diCaprio) recruits his eight young stewardesses in Catch Me if You Can, 2002.

We welcome more clues. If you are watching films from the past during these stay-at-home days, keep your eyes peeled for our Club. You never know when or where she’ll turn up.

We have our own Ebell movies in our Archives, too. These are the Home Movies on 16mm film that are currently being digitized, thanks to the generosity of Ebell members who have donated to this special fund. We would also like to add soundtracks to the digitized footage, so if you would like to support this effort, we will memorialize you on the footage with a $25 or more donation. Please donate through the Ebell website and notify me at so I can have the money earmarked for this purpose.