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Marilyn Ackerman, 81, passed away quietly at her home in Mamaroneck on January 24, 2012, surrounded by her loving family. She was born Marilyn Weingarten, in Brooklyn on August 1, 1930 and was raised in Beacon, NY, and attended New York University. She was introduced to Meyer Ackerman in 1950 (by their life-long friend Sidney Bernstein, who later introduced the Beatles to the US) and they were married in the Bronx in 1951. They moved to Westchester in 1963, where they raised three children, living in Ardsley, then Harrison, and more recently in Mamaroneck. For many years she volunteered and worked with special needs children. She was deeply involved in the world of film, along with her husband, who operated art theatres in Manhattan and Westchester, including the Fine Arts Cinema in Scarsdale. In 1982, with Beth Kochen, Marilyn began the innovative Westchester Cinema Club, where film-lovers could gather to view new films from all over the world—without knowing what they were to see, and before they opened in the US—followed by a discussion with film critics and scholars. It became a model for film clubs nationwide, and the Westchester Cinema Club has remained oversubscribed for all of its 30 years. She and Meyer spent many years traveling to international film festivals, and she immensely enjoyed their years in the heart of the film industry. In 2003, the couple was given a Special Honorary Award For Their Contribution To Film by the County of Westchester.
She is survived by her husband, Meyer, their three children, Farrell, of La Jolla, CA, Harriet, of Hastings-on-Hudson, and Brian, of Croton-on-Hudson, and her five grandchildren, Jordan, Molly, Ariana, Owen and Miles.
Donations to the Marilyn Ackerman Scholarship Fund for Children and Film can be made to the Jacob Burns Film Center by contacting Melissa Tepe at firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling her at (914) 773-7663 x 436.
Published in the The Journal News on Feb. 5, 2012