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Crowd turns out for SCV premiere of documentary

Posted: August 2, 2014 10:09 p.m.
Updated: August 2, 2014 10:09 p.m.

Dan Watson/The Signal Katrina Parks, right, director, writer and executive producer takes questions from the crowd after the local premiere of her historical documentary entitled 'Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound' presented by the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society at Newhall Library on Saturday.

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About 150 people turned out to the Newhall Library Saturday for the Santa Clarita premiere of a documentary highlighting the exploits, experiences and history of the “Harvey Girls.”

The documentary, screened Saturday, was “The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound,” and Katrina Parks, the director, writer and executive producer of the film, was in attendance to talk about her work and answer questions from the audience.

“Harvey Girls” was a name given to the estimated more than 100,000 young women who, starting around the 1880s, made the decision to leave their homes and work as waitresses along the rail lines that snaked across the country.

Parks’ film included interviews with former Harvey Girls.

“Being a Harvey Girl was kind of like belonging to a sorority, so it was something that these women really treasured,” Parks said. “It was a very important aspect of their lives.”

The screening was one of two sponsored by the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society on Saturday. The other was the 1946 musical “The Harvey Girls,” starring Judy Garland.

Events like the ones Saturday are meant to help provide a historical perspective, said Historical Society President Alan Pollack.

“It gives us an idea that we’re not just part of Santa Clarita history, we’re part of American history,” he said.

The film was followed by a question-and-answer period, where attendees not only asked Parks about her film, but discussed their own experiences learning about the history of the Harvey Girls.

“We often find at screenings that Harvey Girls and Harvey Girl families come out of the woodwork,” Parks said.

For more information on the documentary, visit www.HarveyGirlsDocumentary.com.

 

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