KolbeResnick's Posts

Kolbe Resnick is the Theater Manager of the Dryden Theatre.

Dryden Theatre Renovation Series: Seatless

Posted by on Jan 10 2013 | Motion Pictures

an empty Dryden

If you were to look in the theater today you would never imagine that there was a screening just one week ago. Cinema Paradiso, the final film screened in the old Dryden, tells the story of a young man growing up in Sicily and the central role the local cinema played in his childhood. The cinema was central not only to the young man, Toto, but played a central part in the community he was a part of. Our screening brought in a crowd that filled over half of the theater that night and the sense of wonder was so omnipresent you could feel it in the theater as you entered.

Following the screening we began wrapping equipment in plastic. With the construction dust and concrete that will stirred up with the construction everything that could potentially be damaged, or was too arduous or near impossible to move, needed to be securely covered over. This includes the four projectors, the equipment in the projection booth, and the equipment left in the preservation work room, such as the Steenbeck flatbed.

The large curtain rolled up tight for safe keeping

The following morning the hard work began. At 7:00 am the volunteers and workers showed up, set up tents in the parking lot, and began tearing out seats. Taking the seats out of the theater was no small task. They were removed in sets of two, three, and four. Between the sets there were individual seats that would be used for spare parts in the seat sale and ensured that those who bought seats would have arm rests on both sides. First, the bolts holding the chairs into the floor were removed and the row was carried forward (by three or four people) and laid on its back. Once the row was flat on the ground it was much easier to remove the seat cushions and take the sets apart. The cushions were “friction set,” meaning they were not bolted or fastened onto the seat but were simply placed between the armrests where two hooks underneath fit snugly into holes on opposite sides of the seat. Following 60 years of people sitting in these seats they were pretty well, if not more than pretty well, secure and it took multiple hits with a hammer to dislodge them, sometimes more, and it was near impossible to do this with the seats in their upright position. Every seat was removed in those first two days and brought out to tents in the parking lot where they were picked up by those who had reserved them. By the end of the week the carpet, which had been glued to the floor, was torn up and the theater was completely bare.

The removal of the seats and the care for the equipment, on top of the sense of community involvement those first days was reminiscent of the images from Cinema Paradiso that we had seen just the night before, without the tears. Every person picking up their seats seemed thrilled to be taking a piece of Dryden history home with them. Much to our excitement many of the people who purchased them intended to use them for home theaters. Others were simply going to put them on their porch or in their mud room. Either way we were glad to see that they were finding a home where they would be cared for and used on a regular basis.

For those of you wondering about our iconic curtain, the drapery company came in and removed it on the first morning of the renovations. As seats were being forcefully removed and hammering could be heard throughout the theater, they gracefully constructed their ladder and scaled the height of the theater to remove it from its pulley system. When it was completely rolled up and ready to travel back to their storage facility it looked no bigger than any of the seats being removed from the floor. Truly a beautiful sight.

None of this could have been accomplished without the enthusiastic and generous help of the volunteers those first two days.

 
More on the Dryden Theatre Renovation:
Part I, The Curtain Stays
Part III, Cement, Lighting, and Accessibility
Part IV, Painting, Listening System and Digital Projection
 
 
 

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Dryden Theatre Renovation Series: The Curtain Stays

Posted by on Dec 21 2012 | Motion Pictures


Kolbe inspects the curtain

In this series, Theatre Manager, Kolbe Resnick will keep us up to date on the renovation each week with everything related to the Dryden Theatre makeover from the seats to the projection booth.

 
If there is one question I have been asked more than any other in the past few months it is “Will the curtain stay after the theater is reopened?”. The answer to that question is a resounding “Yes.” Our unique gold curtain will absolutely be there on March 2nd. Nothing could ever possibly replace the excitement evoked from the raising of the curtain and the slow fade out of the music. It is a truly unique experience. An experience you only get at the Dryden. Taking the curtain down, storing it, and reinstalling it is no small task, however. Curtain specialists at Reynold’s Drapery in Newport will be coming in the morning of January 2 to safely remove it from the theater and bring it to an off-site storage location before the major part of the restoration begins.

Another question I’ve been asked repeatedly is: “Two months? That seems like a long time!” Actually, two months is the perfect amount of time. January will be the month for the cosmetic renovations, which includes the new seats, carpeting, paint, and lighting. February will be when the renovations of the projection booth take place, including our exciting new addition: the digital projector. As we want everything to be perfect for our reopening, we aren’t willing to take
any chances on time.

If you’ve come to the Dryden in the past week you may or may not have noticed the first steps of the renovation process. During the day electricians have been hard at work in the theater preparing for the full on restoration. Beginning with familiarizing themselves with the theater they’ve been locating circuits, rerouting cables that run through the theater, and preparing the aisle lighting that will run along the edge of the seats. You may have noticed the slow clearing
out of the box office. By January 1st, the box office will be empty. And when you come on January 1st for our final screening (Cinema Paradiso) in the old Dryden you will notice that the lobby furniture and the piano will be gone. Following that screening everything will be plasticated in the booth, in the offices, and in the closets surrounding the theater. The following morning the seats will be taken out and loaded into a truck to be distributed to those of you who reserved them.

The historic Heywood-Wakefield seats we are removing sold out in a matter of days, but you can still get on the waiting list here.  City Newspaper ran an excellent story about the theater in last week and today we had two news crews in here.

There is roughly one more week of screenings in the old Dryden! The last chance to see the theater the way it is there are a wide variety of films playing that appeal to everyone.

Come celebrate the moving image!

More on the Dryden Theatre Renovation:
Part II, Seatless
Part III, Cement, Lighting, and Accessibility
Part IV, Painting, Listening System and Digital Projection
Part V, Stage and Carpet

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Film Scores: A Tradition Carried on by Few

Posted by on Nov 14 2012 | Motion Pictures


(Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton, US 1926)

Live film accompaniment is a rare thing these days. Before the onset of sound on film almost every film was accompanied by a piano player, an organist, or even a small orchestra or jazz band. Today, we often forget this lost art and take film scores for granted. The scores for silent films were sometimes written and improvised by the accompanist. Accompanists were recognizable and part of the film-going experience and seeing your favorite accompanist perform for a new film and was billed as an added attraction. The tradition is carried on by few. Accompanists such as Philip Carli—who performs every Tuesday night for our Silent Tuesdays series—exist, but it requires a breadth of technique, a wide repertory and an understanding of not only music and improvisation but the rhythms and structure of silent films.

This week, we’re excited to welcome back the Alloy Orchestra who will provide their distinctive sound live to our screening of Buster Keaton’s The General. Their music creates a unique experience that will expand your understanding of what film accompaniment is capable of. They have been performing along side silent films for 22 year and are continuously finding ways to breathe new life into the century-old films they are accompanying – often utilizing the sounds from objects we wouldn’t normally consider to be instruments. We’re honored to once again have them joining us at the Dryden Theatre.

Although it bombed when it was originally released in 1926, Buster Keaton’s The General is now widely considered a crowning achievement of not only Buster Keaton’s career but of silent comedy. Standing on its own, it represents everything that a silent comedy can be: Keaton makes us laugh, cry, and even wince with his antics. Come see the deadpan comic’s film in all its 35mm glory.

 
 
 

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Trash Dance, and Lovely Garbage

Posted by on Sep 04 2012 | Motion Pictures, Other

I am excited to announce that the Dryden Theatre will be doing its first ever Skype Q&A on September 7, 2012 following the screening of Trash Dance at 8 p.m. Andrew Garrison, via Skype, will be projected on screen (he will be on his laptop in Austin, TX) and will be interacting with the audience as they ask questions and discuss the film.

This is a very exciting opportunity and will open many doors in the future for visiting artists and communication between artists and Dryden audiences.

For more information about the film please visit Trashdancemovie.com.

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