Ephemera: Premiere of Oliver Stone's World Trade Center

  • July 15, 2022
A document with a blue PARAMOUNT logo at the top and black text
Courtesy Michael Ragsdale

Michael Ragsdale has been amassing New York City event-specific ephemera and autographs since 1997, having taken up collecting as while working as a cameraman for C-SPAN, Columbia University, the Manhattan Institute, and the New York-Presbyterian Hospitals of Columbia and Cornell. In the wake of September 11, he began focusing on items pertaining to the attacks and their aftermath. Here, he recalls attending the premiere of the film World Trade Center and the autograph he acquired there. 

The world premiere of the film World Trade Center occurred in New York City on August 3, 2006. I was there to witness the Hollywood-style festivities. The film’s actors, director, and writers were there as well as former city and state leaders. The film was viewed in the magnificent Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan and a tent was constructed on the street in front of the theatre where photographers could take pictures of the celebrities. I saw the continuous flashes from cameras and heard the dialogue between the photographers and actors through openings in the tent. The film starred Nicolas Cage, Michael Peña, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Stephen Dorff, Sofia Coppola, and Maria Bello, and was directed by Oliver Stone. Also in attendance were George Pataki, Rudy Giuliani, and many of the retired Port Authority police officers portrayed in the film. While there, I gathered an official press kit and got U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY), then the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, to autograph an official press release. 

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