The New Dryden

Posted by on Feb 28 2013 | Motion Pictures, Other

DSC_1714

The newly renovated Dryden Theatre opens this weekend with a completely new look – darker walls, new seats, carpeting on all floor areas, along with new ceiling and aisle lighting that is reminiscent of the great cinema houses of the past. These updates significantly enhance the viewing experience by improving sound absorption and minimizing reflection on the screen.
DSC_1701

In addition, the Dryden remains one of only four theaters in the world equipped for the projection of original nitrate film (manufactured before 1951) as well as every major film format in the medium’s history. The renovation’s installation of a Barco digital projector now allows Eastman House to present the wealth of contemporary digital cinema and the installation of automated masking allows the screen to optimally accommodate all cinematic formats.

DSC_1732

Both enhancements further support the Museum’s commitment to honor the aesthetic choices of filmmakers of all eras. Additionally, a new loop system for the hard-of-hearing further assures the accommodation and comfort of all patrons. The newly-renovated Dryden will provide today’s—and generations of tomorrow’s— movie-goers with an exceptional cinematic experience by combining the ambience of the classic movie house of the 1950s with the comfort and technology of 2013 and beyond.

DSC_1721

See you at the movies!

 

 

More on the Dryden Theatre Renovation:
Part I, The Curtain Stays
Part II, Seatless
Part III, Cement, Lighting, and Accessibility
Part IV, Painting, Listening System and Digital Projection
Part V, Stage and Carpet
Part VI, Seats and Projection Booth
 
 

Comments Off for now

Eastman House Giveaway: Two Tickets to the Dryden Theatre Reopening with Alexander Payne

Posted by on Feb 22 2013 | Motion Pictures

down to the wire, the Dryden one week before reopening

The day has almost come. The Dryden Theatre will reopen its doors Saturday March 2, 2013 for a fresh cinematic experience and new chapter in film and digital technology.

We are thrilled to give away a pair of tickets for our opening night celebration. The evening will  feature a screening of the “comic, tragic, and deeply empathetic” film, SIDEWAYS followed by a Q&A with special guest and Academy Award® winning writer-director Alexander Payne.
Want your chance at being a part of this historical evening? Just follow these simple steps:

1. Become a fan of our Dryden Theatre Facebook page:

2. Then, do one of the following:

-Retweet this post (include both @eastmanhouse and @drydentheatre)

-Or leave us a comment below telling us why you should be the winner!

 

Contest starts today – we’ll pick a winner and announce Thursday February 28, at 7:30 p.m. EST.

Or take no chances and buy your tickets today.

 

We’ve been talking about the renovation and upgrades all along the way – check out our series, via Theatre Manager, Kolbe Resnick.

 

21 comments for now

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

Comments Off for now

The Tale of the Tapes

Posted by on Nov 29 2012 | Student Work

The climate-controlled vaults in the George Eastman House archive and the Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center are home to the Motion Picture Department’s collection of over 24,000 films.

But there is one shelving unit that holds important moving images in a non-film format: analog tape.

The department holds over 200 videocassettes in varying standards, with most of them in the obsolete three-quarter-inch (or “U-Matic”) format. The tapes contain things such as television recordings from the 1970s to the 1980s, interviews with filmmakers and actors, archival footage, and early video transfers of films from the collection. While not ultimately as critical to the collection as film material, there is still an urgent need to examine the content on these tapes and digitally preserve what is deemed important.

This urgency stems largely from risks to the physical materials themselves; most of the tapes are at least twenty years old and suffer from increasing levels of decay due to the shedding of the magnetic oxide recording layer on the surface of the tapes over time. Also, the obsolete broadcast-quality decks required to play the cassettes are becoming scarce and more difficult to properly maintain. Time, technology, and the looming potential for a zombie apocalypse are therefore driving the need to preserve the analog tapes.

The students of the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation are assisting with this ongoing project. As part of their training in digital preservation, students are using the video capture equipment in the department’s digital lab to convert many of these tapes into lossless digital video files. These “digital masters” will then be tagged with metadata, cataloged, and stored in the vaults on archival-quality LTO-5 tapes.

One interesting subset of tapes – the original BetaMax cassettes of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation raw footage – are on extended loan to George Eastman House by the filmmakers and have recently been digitally preserved. This process will be examined more in an upcoming post by the Selznick students who preserved the materials.

 

 

Comments Off for now