For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development


Film screening, panel discussion, literary salon, and more planned for day-long library celebration of great American novelist and short story writer

PHILADELPHIA August 15—In honor of the 120th birthday of F. Scott Fitzgerald, considered one of the nation’s pre-eminent modern novelists and short story writers, the Free Library of Philadelphia will host a day-long celebration on September 22, 2016—just two days before his 120th birthday—at Parkway Central Library. Fitzgerald at 120 will include a literary salon; a screening of the 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby; a panel discussion on Fitzgerald’s life and legacy; an intimate conversation with members of the Elevator Repair Service who produce and perform the world-famous Gatz; and a community birthday toast with special guest Cecilia Ross, Fitzgerald’s granddaughter. All events are free and open to the public.

Fitzgerald, best known for his literary depictions of the American Dream in the 1920s, passed away before his classic short novel The Great Gatsby gained the fame—and classroom exposure—it has today.  This celebration will both honor and analyze his literary contributions and impact, highlighting the man and the trove of stories behind Gatsby.

The Free Library of Philadelphia is proud to advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity through literary celebrations like the Year of the Bard, Pride and Prejudice at 200, Year of Dickens 2012, and now Fitzgerald at 120. For more information on the day’s activities, visit

Fitzgerald at 120 events and happenings include:

  • Lunchtime Literary Salon
    Skyline Room, 12:30 p.m.
    Bring your lunch and a copy of Fitzgerald’s famous short story “Bernice Bobs Her Hair” (1920) or read it online at, and participate in our Literary Salon. Open to long-time Fitzgerald fans and newcomers alike!
  • The Great Gatsby Film Screening
    Skyline Room, 2:00 p.m.
    Join us for a screening of the 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby by Baz Luhrmann. Munch on popcorn while you play movie bingo, color in 1920s-themed images, and work on some Fitzgerald Mad Libs!  
  • A Birthday Toast
    Lobby, 5:00 p.m.
    Join us and special guest Cecilia Ross, Fitzgerald’s granddaughter, for cupcakes and sparkling cider as we toast Fitzgerald’s 120th with live jazz music and a 1920s-themed Instagram photo station!
  • Behind the Scenes with Gatz
    Montgomery Auditorium, 6:00 p.m.
    Enjoy a conversation between Elevator Repair Service artistic director John Collins and actor/producer Lindsay Hockaday who will give the audience a “behind the scenes” look at the world famous production of Gatz—a six-hour enactment of The Great Gatsby that took New York by storm in 2010—featuring exclusive video excerpts of the play.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: Life and Legacy
    Montgomery Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
    Moderated by University of Pennsylvania Professor and Fitzgerald specialist Rafael Walker, this panel about Fitzgerald’s life and legacy will feature authors Maureen Corrigan and Jackson Bryer and Gatz artistic director John Collins. The panel will be followed by an audience Q&A.
  • Social Media Content
    September 2016
    Follow the Free Library on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for Fitzgerald-related fun throughout the month of September!

Fitzgerald at 120 is made possible with generous support from the Robert and Ann Newburger Foundation.

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system, with 54 locations and The Rosenbach, advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi; and rich special collections, including those at Parkway Central Library and at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia. The combined holdings of these renowned collections—which include hundreds of thousands of rare books, manuscripts, and ephemera—inspire unique exhibitions and programs throughout the year. With more than 6 million in-person and millions more online visits annually, the Free Library and The Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850