ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Fourteen years. That’s the time that has passed since “Antiques Roadshow” has come to the Duke City.
The PBS series is returning to the city in July and the show has become a hot ticket.
“It’s been never ending learning in a fun way,” says Marsha Bemko, executive producer. “I know a dangerous amount of things about antiques.”
Bemko has been executive producer of the long-running series for 10 years. Before that, she worked with the show as a producer.
“Antiques Roadshow” is on its 17th season and is hosted by Mark L. Wahlberg. The show has specialists from the country’s leading auction houses – Bonhams and Butterfields, Christie’s, Doyle New York, Skinner and Sotheby’s. And independent dealers from across the nation offer free appraisals of antiques and collectibles.
It also focuses on the tales of family heirlooms, yard-sale bargains and long-lost items salvaged from attics and basements, while experts reveal the fascinating truths about these finds.
Bemko says coming back to Albuquerque has always been on the show’s radar and she is happy the city is on the eight-city tour this season.
“I have grown to love and adore the people that we meet when we record the show,” she says. “Whether the people are 8 or 80, life has taught me that we all share the same hope and we share the same sadness. People are bringing their most precious things for us to see.”
While July is some time away, those interested in attending the show will be selected by a lottery. The deadline to apply for tickets is April 7 at pbs.org/antiques.
Bemko says at the appraisal event approximately 6,000 ticketed guests will receive free valuations of their antiques and collectibles. Each guest is invited to bring two items for appraisal.
“There’s a lot of work that is going on,” she says. “This is why we choose the best of the best as far as our specialists. We need those people who know what they are doing and notice that in an instant.”
Wahlberg, who has been the host for eight years, says he’s been to 55 cities over the course of his hosting duties.
“I’ve seen great stuff and great places,” Wahlberg says. “There are about 5,000 people that come through. And you are allowed to bring two items. So that’s about 10,000 items seen. It’s always entertaining and educational to see all of these items.”
Bemko says during part of the visit the show will film field segments in and around Albuquerque, highlighting local history and places of interest.
She said when filming is completed, there will be three episodes that will feature Albuquerque.
“The last time we were there, we found some amazing items,” she says. “I’m looking forward to seeing what comes up next.”
Franz Joachim, New Mexico PBS general manager and CEO, said as the sixth city to be included in 1996 – in the series’ inaugural season – and again in 2002, he’s very pleased that the producers of “Antiques Roadshow” have chosen to return to New Mexico.
“New Mexicans have historically brought interesting objects and fascinating stories to share with the nation,” Joachim says. “We are all eager to see what they’ll bring this time.”
FREE MOVIE NIGHT: The National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 Fourth SW, will screen “Pa Negre/Pan Negro” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 27 at the Bank of America Theatre.
The film takes place in the war-ravaged Catalan countryside of the early 1940s. Andreu, 11, stumbles upon a crushed wagon in the underbrush beneath a high cliff, and he witnesses the deaths of the man and boy inside.
When his father is accused of their murder and goes into hiding, Andreu is sent to live with relatives. There, he creates a fantasy life, but is forced to confront a world of adult deception, festering hatreds, and the monstrous consequences of the war in this 2010 film by director Agustí Villaronga.
Free tickets are available outside the theater one hour before the show.