Nobody loved the movies like Ron Haver.
During junior high in Oakland Ron started a film society. He cut class in high school to view Gone with the Wind, which he would see an additional 118 times during his first job as a doorman at the Grand Lake Theatre. By the early 1970s, Ron was director of film programs at the Los Angeles County Museum and bringing audiences the films and the filmmakers that formed an industry. His comprehensive 1980 book David O. Selznick’s Hollywood focused his attention on film preservation. To Ron, preservation wasn't a master's thesis, it was an imperative and an action adventure. He dug through studio vaults, unearthed the long-missing pieces of George Cukor’s 1954 A Star Is Born and in 1983 convinced Warner to re-release the restored movie. His 1988 book on the history of the film and its restoration galvanized a movement.
When Angel City Press was formed a few years later, our first book was about the now-shuttered restaurants of old Hollywood. We knew the recipes and dates were correct, but who knew the details, the ambiance of those places? Uncle Ronnie, of course. Steeped in Hollywood history, Ron effortlessly filled in details of who dined where, on what and with whom. It was his last tribute to the town he loved so much.
We lost Ronnie to AIDS in May 1993, a month before Hollywood du Jour was launched. He lives on through his books, in the memories of those who shared his love for film and in the hearts of all of us who loved him.