THE FILM FOUNDATION, THE HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION, AND TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES BRING NITRATE PROJECTION BACK TO HOLLYWOOD AT THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE’S HISTORIC 1922 EGYPTIAN THEATRE
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
THE FILM FOUNDATION, THE HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION,
AND TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES
BRING NITRATE PROJECTION BACK TO HOLLYWOOD
AT THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE’S HISTORIC 1922 EGYPTIAN THEATRE
Hollywood, Calif. (July 26, 2016) – The Film Foundation, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), and Turner Classic Movies (TCM), in conjunction with the American Cinematheque and the Academy Film Archive, today announced a partnership to ensure that the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood has the capability to screen 35mm nitrate film prints. This powerhouse collaboration to retrofit the projection booth will make the Egyptian Theatre one of the few public venues in the country with the ability to project these rare and fragile prints.
“When I was told that one of the most beautiful movie theaters in the country could be retrofitted for nitrate projection, I was overjoyed, moved, and excited by the potential,” said Martin Scorsese, founder and chair of The Film Foundation. “I hope that this is the beginning of a trend. The art of cinema developed with nitrate from its beginnings to the early ‘50s, and the silver content gave us a luminosity and a richness that was never quite matched by the safer stocks that followed or their digital reproductions. I’d like to thank all the partners that came together with The Film Foundation—the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Turner Classic Movies, the Academy Film Archive and the American Cinematheque itself—to make this happen. Needless to say, I’m eager for the completion of the necessary work so that I can see those glorious images projected in that one-of-a-kind theater.”
“As actual film disappears from most of the world’s eyes, we should be screening our existing nitrate prints as much as we safely can,” said Alexander Payne, director and board member of The Film Foundation. “Nothing in theaters or on television today matches the thrill of seeing films on nitrate, and we should take full advantage of our being, sadly, among the last humans able to screen them."
“The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has long been a supporter of preserving the integrity and history of the art of filmmaking for generations to come,” said HFPA President Lorenzo Soria. “We are proud to partner with organizations whose values are in line with those of the HFPA, and together we will bring to the historic Egyptian Theatre film the way it was intended to be experienced.”
Cellulose nitrate was the standard film stock in commercial use from the earliest days of cinema until it was discontinued in 1951. Widely agreed to possess a uniquely beautiful image quality, the stock is highly flammable and was replaced by cellulose acetate “safety film.” Nitrate prints, some nearly a century old, still survive in carefully controlled vault environments, but are rarely seen because only a handful of theaters are equipped to screen them.
“Film preservation and the ability to share and celebrate all aspects of film history are central to the mission of TCM,” said Genevieve McGillicuddy, vice president of partnerships and brand activation, TCM. “We're thrilled to be part of this partnership in order to bring film fans a truly unique opportunity to experience nitrate films.”
American Cinematheque chairman Rick Nicita says, “This exciting project will truly make it possible for the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre to show every film format possible. A state-of-the-art digital projector will sit side-by-side with our 35mm/70mm machines – representing the rich history of cinema, as well as the future of the art form.”
The new nitrate-safe projection booth at the Egyptian Theatre was designed by BAR Architects, the firm behind the new Packard Humanities Institute film archive and screening facility in Santa Clarita, Calif., and the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus in Culpeper, Va. Contractor KCS West has begun construction, and the retrofit is scheduled for completion in fall of 2016.
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For more information, please contact:
The Film Foundation
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Michael Samonte / Alyssa Furnari
Turner Classic Movies
Marketing & Publicity
323.461-2020, ext. 115
About The Film Foundation (TFF)
The Film Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by Martin Scorsese in 1990 dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history. By working in partnership with archives and studios, the foundation has helped to restore nearly 700 films, which are made accessible to the public through programming at festivals, museums, and educational institutions around the world. The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project has restored 28 films from 20 different countries representing the rich diversity of world cinema. The foundation’s free educational curriculum, The Story of Movies, teaches young people - over 10 million to date - about film language and history. For more information visit: www.film-foundation.org
About The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)
Founded in the 1940s during World War II, the HFPA was originally comprised of a handful of L.A.-based overseas journalists who sought to bridge the international community with Hollywood, and to provide distraction from the hardships of war through film. Seventy years later, members of the HFPA represent 56 countries with a combined readership of 250 million in some of the world’s most respected publications. Each year, the organization holds the third most watched awards show on television, the Golden Globe® Awards, which has enabled the organization to donate more than $25 million to entertainment-related charities and scholarship programs. For more information, please visit www.GoldenGlobes.com and follow us on Twitter (@GoldenGlobes) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/GoldenGlobes).
About Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a two-time Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world highlighting the entire spectrum of film history. TCM, which is available in more than 85 million homes, features the insights of hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests and serves as the ultimate movie lover destination. Currently in its 22nd year as a leading authority in classic film, TCM offers critically acclaimed series like The Essentials, along with annual programming events like 31 Days of Oscar® in February and Summer Under the Stars in August. TCM also directly connects with movie fans through events as the annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the TCM Classic Cruise, as well as through the TCM Classic Film Tour in New York City and Los Angeles. In addition, TCM produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs, and hosts a wealth of material online at tcm.com and through the Watch TCM mobile app.
TCM is part of Turner, a Time Warner company. Turner creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
About American Cinematheque
Established in 1981, the American Cinematheque is a 501 C 3 non-profit viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all of its forms. At the Egyptian Theatre, the Cinematheque presents daily film and video programming which ranges from the classics of American and international cinema to new independent films and digital work. Exhibition of rare works, special and rare prints, etc., combined with fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work, are a Cinematheque tradition that keep audiences coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences. The American Cinematheque renovated and reopened (on Dec. 4, 1998) the historic 1922 Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. This includes a state-of-the-art 616-seat theatre housed within Sid Grauman's first grand movie palace on Hollywood Boulevard. The exotic courtyard is fully restored to its 1922 grandeur. The Egyptian was the home of the very first Hollywood movie premiere in 1922. In January 2005 the American Cinematheque expanded its programming to the 1940 Aero Theatre on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.