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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Cinema is an Event

Posted by on Dec 07 2012 | Motion Pictures

We are excited to announce the Dryden Theatre renovation! We’ll be talking lots more and giving updates in the coming days…




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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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Silent Tuesdays!

Posted by on Sep 18 2012 | Motion Pictures

The White Rose (D. W. Griffith, US 1923, 100 min.)

The Artist’s massive commercial success may have brought silent film into prominence again, but at Eastman House, it has always been one of the cornerstones of our programs. If you desire more of this wonderful art form, come and see the originals this fall as the Dryden Theatre presents an exciting series of silents in collaboration with the University of Rochester, featuring the expressive talents of stars like Gloria Swanson, Douglas Fairbanks, and John Gilbert and the artistic mastery of directors such as Cecil B. DeMille, D. W. Griffith, and King Vidor.

There will be battles of the sexes, Japanese volcanoes, requited and unrequited love, religious and irreligious maniacs, the French Revolution and World War I, and plenty of laughter, tears, and astonishment.

We hope you can join us for this collection of films, many of which will screen in new restorations courtesy of Eastman House — and some of which will be screening for the first time since their original release! And of course, because silent films were never truly silent, all screenings (except on Oct. 16) will feature live musical accompaniment by Philip C. Carli.

Tuesday, Sept. 18, 8 p.m.
The Wrath of the Gods
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 8 p.m.
The White Rose

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 8 p.m.
Mr. Fix-It

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 8 p.m.
The Big Parade

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 8 p.m.
Trapped by the Mormons

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 8 p.m.
Behind the Door

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