Tom’s Risky Business // Dryden Trivia

Posted by on Jun 28 2013 | contest, Motion Pictures

risky business

It’s been 30 (?!) years, and some Risky Business is happening tomorrow night (June 29) at the Dryden Theatre at 8 p.m.

Win a pair of tickets! First person to guess at least two of the follow three questions wins…

Winner announced this evening

1. When Tom Cruise showed up to audition for the part of Joel Goodsen he had greasy hair, a make-up tattoo, and smelled, because he’d just come off the set of what movie?

2. More than one Porsche 928 were used in the filming of Risky Business. How many were used?

3. True of False?: Tom Cruise improvised the underwear dancing scene.

Leave your answers in the comment section

 

 

*thanks to Kolbe Resnick for thinking these up!  

 

 

 

 

 

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The Roberto Pallme Collection and One Mystery Object

Posted by on May 31 2013 | Motion Pictures, Student Work

Guest post from Heather Harkins, a second year graduate student in the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation at George Eastman House

My gloved hand holds a can as I inspect a Pallme film

My gloved hand holds a can as I inspect a Pallme film

The Roberto Pallme Collection consists of over five hundred reels of 35mm nitrate film and 9.5mm acetate film, initially acquired by a private collector in Italy and now part of the motion picture holdings here at the George Eastman House.

Some of the titles in the collection, like the Douglas Fairbanks comedy Mr. Fix-It (dir. Allan Dwan, 1918), are rare treasures that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. In the Selznick program, each student is given the opportunity to pursue a personal project, and I wanted to work independently with a collection of nitrate films that would allow me to look at beautiful images– and the Pallme Collection satisfied all of my requirements.

Revue with more dancing

I spent several weeks at the Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center working under the supervision of brilliant Film Preservation Officer Anthony L’Abbate, and alongside my clever classmate Emily Wall (whose personal project tackled audition footage from Gone With The Wind).

In these first few months, I inspected reels of film, updated our database of information, and added hundreds of titles to the George Eastman House catalog. Twelve reels in the collection were completely unlabeled, so I devoted much of my time to identifying the material on those reels. It was an especially challenging task because each reel had a number of short films or fragments of longer films, and I wanted to identify every single one. One of these fragments was a short excerpt from the film La Revue des Revues (dir. Joe Francis, 1928) that was especially charming because each frame was colored using the Pathecolor stencil process, an early system for applying color to film prints.

Revue with dancing ladies

By the end of the year, I was able to identify fifty-four titles, and add them to our catalog, but a few still have me baffled. Perhaps one of the blog readers can identify the Technicolor cartoon that features this mysterious cupcake king presiding over a candy kingdom. What film is this, and who made it?

unknown

Unknown Technicolor

In my second year of study, I decided to continue my work with the collection and make it the focus of the master’s essay (offered in partnership with the U of R).

I have been researching the history of the collection, and tracing its journey from a small community outside Naples, Italy, to Rochester, NY, by way of the Netherlands. I have spoken with incredibly helpful sources, including Oscar Pallme (a relative of Roberto Pallme) as well as freelance film historian Roland Cosandey, and continued to inspect prints from the collection by hand. It has been a joy to study this collection of films, and I appreciate this incredibly rare experience which could only be possible here at George Eastman House.

 

 

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Meetup at Eastman House

Posted by on Mar 19 2013 | House & Gardens, Photography, Technology

instameetup roc eastman house

If you’re an instagrammer in Rochester we’re hosting the next meetup this weekend. Our curator of photographs, Jessica Johnston will give the group a gallery tour of our current exhibit Silver and Water. RSVP to @rocinstagram and come hang out!

 

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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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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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