Well, sort of. The ghosts are people with white sheets over their heads and holes cut out for eyes and the “Ghosbusters” are four well known improvisational actors. The main branch of the New York Public Library on 42nd street was invaded by sketch artists re-creating the ubiquitous first scene of the much adored movie, Ghostbusters.
“We’re obviously facing a very difficult budget situation,” explains president and CEO of the NYPL, Paul LeClerc. “so the question was how do we let people know about what we’re facing and what the consequences will be, because this is the people’s library.”
When you’re facing difficulties like that, who ya gonna call? The viral video gurus Improv Everywhere, of course. Alex Scordelis, is one the group’s senior agents. He plays Dr. Egon Spengler in the re-creation and says it was a dream come true for the troupe.
“We’re big fans of the library. We all use it a lot and we’re also big fans of Ghostbusters, so it was a perfect match. We were able to have fun and help them out at the same time so we were happy to do it.”
As of late Tuesday night the video had almost 30,000 views on You tube, after only being released earlier that day. Most of the group's missions, like the “No Pants Subway Ride” reach views in the millions. Scordelis believes this one has the same online potential.
“It’s popping up on twitter like crazy and people are emailing it to me a lot. So, I’m pretty sure numbers are going to be big with this video.”
LeClerc is hoping all the fun pays off, saying “you get all this entertainment but then you get the sense that this library is for everybody. It’s for the people. Anyone can get to work and if we're not open then we're depriving countless numbers of people from information”.
New York City’s whole library system is facing a funding cut of $37,000,000 in Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget. If the Budget passes then the Library stands to lose more than 700 employees, may close 10 branches, and go from being open an average of six days a week to four days.