Several documentaries prepared by communication students at Hope College and featuring area history, events and people will be shown at the Knickerbocker Theatre on Tuesday and Thursday, Dec. 2 and 4, from noon to 1:30 p.m.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

"My students have worked diligently this semester and this is an opportunity for them to offer their labors to a larger audience," said Dr. David Schock, associate professor of communication. "Each student has made two in-depth documentaries and I've asked them to pick their favorites so that we can share them with the community. That, after all, is the purpose of making these films."

A total of six programs have been scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 2, and five for Thursday, Dec. 4. The documentaries run from eight to 24 minutes in length. Audience members may come and go as they wish.

The films being shown on Tuesday, Dec. 2, are: "Discovery of the H.C. Akeley," "Philip Phelps: Hope's Father?," "A Silent Vigil," "The Western Machine Tool Works Building," "A Pioneer Woman" and "Van Raalte's Desk." The films on Thursday, Dec. 4, will be: "Ray Smith," "Dr. Fred Johnson," "The History of Trains in Holland," "The Things That Matter Most" and "Barbara Timmer."

"Discovery of the H.C. Akeley" discusses the discovery of the wreck of the "H.C. Akeley" in Lake Michigan. The producer is junior Tyler Basler of Auburn.

"Philip Phelps: Hope's Father?" features an interview with historian Elton Bruins concerning the role of Philip Phelps, Hope's first president, in founding the college. The producer is junior Amber Ross of Schiller Park, Ill.

"A Silent Vigil" features reflections by 1968 Hope graduate Floyd Brady, who led a march from campus to Centennial Park following the death of Martin Luther King Jr. The producer is junior Olim Alimov of Tajikistan.

"The Western Machine Tool Works Building" chronicles the history of the former factory, which stands northeast of Kollen Park. The producer is junior Kyle Shepherd of Oak Forest, Ill.

"A Pioneer Woman" tells the story of Arvilla Almira Smith, the first female settler to the Holland area. The producer is junior Amy Schlusler of Lapeer.

"Van Raalte's Desk" considers the destruction of the Van Raalte homestead and how Van Raalte's papers and desk came to Calvin College. The producer is junior Jonathan Johnson of Fremont.

"Ray Smith" focuses on Smith, who is a long-time member of the Hope kinesiology faculty and former head football coach, and his call to serve at the college. Johnson is the producer.

"Dr. Fred Johnson" examines how history faculty member Fred Johnson's experiences as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps have shaped his perspective. The producer is junior Sarah Hartman of Richmond, Ind.

"The History of Trains in Holland" features an interview with Holland historian Paul Trapp concerning rail service in the community. The producer is junior Wes Hollendonner of Akron, Ohio.

"The Things That Matter Most" focuses on Kathleen Verduin, a long-time member of the Hope English faculty and scholar in medievalism, and the role of family, friends and mentors in her life. Schlusler is the producer.

"Barbara Timmer" explores the Hope years of Barbara Timmer, a 1943 Hope graduate whose experiences included performing in the first Hope College Christmas Vespers - on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, 1941 - as well as her life since graduation. Ross is the producer.

"These are all individual projects," Schock said. "However, the class is working on a joint project, 'Who Killed Janet Chandler,' and we hope to show this as well at the Knickerbocker. We're still in production and we're fighting to have this completed by the 25th anniversary of her abduction and murder... the 31st of January."

Schock noted that those involved in the video project are interested in speaking with anyone who knew Chandler, a Hope student who was murdered in 1979. The crime remains unsolved. Schock's office phone number is (616) 395-7361.

The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. 8th St. Free popcorn will be available, and the concession stand will be open for those interested in purchasing drinks and candy. Those attending may also bring sack lunches.