James “Jim” Selvidge

James Norman Selvidge
died at his home in Burlington, WA.
at the age of 85.
James Norman Selvidge died at his home in Burlington, WA. at the age of 85. His wife of 34 years, Trillis Ann Parker/Selvidge was by his side. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in late February and was cared for by Dr. Eric Stark, MD., who Jim knew was the very best. By May he was in the loving and expert care of Hospice of the Northwest.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his son Daniel Lee Selvidge, his father-in-law Eddie George Evans, mother-in-law Vida Leona Evans along with uncles, aunts & nephews of the Nelson, Mitchell, Kordal, & Schoon families.

He is survived by his wife Trillis Ann, Brother-In Law Nelson (Jo) Evans; step sons Eddie Lee (Ariane) Parker, Marc Evan Parker, step grand children Evan Lee Parker, Aleah Rianne Parker, and a very special favorite step Aunt Donna Mitchell, many many cousins and a huge Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints family of friends – a faith he and Trillis enthusiastically embraced later in life.

Raised in Olympia, Washington, during the Great Depression – the only son of Lew Selvidge (founder of Allied Daily Newspaper) and Ella Faith Mell Selvidge. He was a veteran of the Korean War. As a graduate of the University of Washington with multiple degrees, he believed in having a foundation for many career paths. During his working life Jim headed seven companies in three industries.

Teacher, Mensa, author, and friend, Jim was initially a teacher of language arts (high school) and psychology (Bakersfield Junior College), but his life encompassed many diverse occupations. In 1953 he joined a small group striving to bring foreign language films to America. This was a time that followers of Senator Joseph McCarthy and the John Birch Society alleged that all such were part of the “Communist Conspiracy”.

Selvidge founded the first Pacific N.W foreign film venues, and soon launched thirty-years in the motion picture industry. His Ridgemont Theatre in Seattle was a mecca for all the arts. After a decade fighting film censorship, he and attorney/friend William L. Dwyer, challenged the constitutionality of the four statutes that created the Seattle Board of Theater Supervisors. The case was a precedent. In 1966, when the Washington State Supreme Court unanimously upheld their victory, Selvidge was subsequently credited with the downfall of film censorship in America. Jim’s belief in the court system and the foundations of democracy continued throughout his life. With a deep love of America, he argued for the importance of a Constitutional Convention as the best solution to restore our top spot in the world of nations.

Growing up in the worlds of journalism, politics, and Hollywood celebrity, he had many interests – movies (32,000 viewed), all music with a particular interest in jazz, 15 years racing high performance cars, and horse racing. With his beloved wife Trillis, they created TRULINE, a compendium of information and knowledge that made betting on horses an investment, not a reckless gamble. He authored non-fiction books on many topics, completing his memoir in his last months of his life.

With perhaps some influences from legendary Don Quixote, Jim spent his last years as “the letter doctor”, exposing Internet scams and seeking restitution. He left with two frustrations: (1) failing to take down an infamous “Ponzi” scheme in Canada, preying on Senior Citizens and other trusting victims, and (2) failing to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for most movies viewed. Jim’s movie viewing spanned 7 decades and encompassed 32,000 films but he was unable to provide the Guinness organization with the full documentation they required.

His authorship included: “Hold Your Horses” (and three other books on the Thoroughbred industry), “Bergman, Fellini and Kurosawa: The Foreign Film in America” (combining a detailed history of the “Golden Age of Foreign Films” and the battle for a “free screen”), his memoirs unpublished, (“An Old Dude Remembers: My Father’s Son”), also an unpublished manuscript “Treason, Treachery & Tricks: News Never Known” (addressing the decline of “Freedom of the Press”).

Our Sincere thanks goes out for the prayers and assistance to those that have helped us endure to the end, to Dr. Eric Stark, and to Hospice of the Northwest.

Services for Jim will be held on Saturday, August 9th at 4 pm at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sedro Woolley, WA. – 1122 McGarigle Rd. – A light dinner will follow.

In lieu of flowers, Jim requests donations be made to: Hospice of the Northwest, 227 Freeway Drive, Suite A. Mt. Vernon, WA. 98273 or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Skagit 1st Ward – Missionaries – 1122 McGarigle Rd. – Sedro Woolley, WA 9828 or the Charity of your Choice.

Items Featuring James “Jim” Selvidge

The Friendship with the mother of Barack Obama No ratings yet.

Stanley Ann Dunham Her info.

James set out to form his own art theater circuit in Seattle, which soon became the national battle field for film censorship. The battle went from challenging the Seattle City Council and Board of Theater Supervisors all the way up to the Supreme Court. The first third of this book is a detailed history of these two decades, while the remainder profiles the 330 greatest films of this era (200 of which are currently available on DVD) — each with a color photo of the poster. Additionally there are three indices: general, director and film. As an aside, I spoke with James by phone a while back, and he told me an interesting story about a frequent patron of one of his Seattle theaters. She was a young college-age white woman who had developed a strong attraction to a black foreign actor in the films, and often talked to James about this. Years later Stanley Ann Dunham became the mother of our first black President, Barack Obama.

Tom Elliott

Read here.
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Truly amazing.
He is a remarkable man.

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Foreign Film In America

James N. Selvidge is one of the last survivors intimate with the history of the foreign film in America circa early 1950’s through early 1970’s. The author is the former owner and operator of the Ridgemont Theatre in Seattle, Washington.

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