Event preview by Charles Cassady, Jr.
Memorial Day is, of course, a holiday weekend set aside by the nation to honor those who perished violently on blood-drenched battlefields of a world gone maaaaaaaad! What better milieu, among the grief for the losses and terrible waste of human lives…to contemplate the movie industry?
And an Ohio Memorial Day tradition to do so is CinEvent, an annual Columbus tradition for 44 years now, taking place in 2012 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Columbus.
Oriented toward the classics of Hollywood’s golden age (sorry, BATTLESHIP doesn’t count), CinEvent is the state’s oldest and best established movie-nostalgia expo, and unlike other “cons” it’s less focused on celebrity guests than on memorabilia and relics. At CinEvent one can browse at more than 170 tables of dealer tables full of movie merchandise. Everything from autographed star portraits to animation cels to rare tie-in paperbacks to eminently affordable old posters and lobby cards. Then there are the ultimate movie collectibles - movies. I'm not talking VHS or digital discs (there will be those as well), but actual 8mm, 16mm and 35mm reels of celluloid film, tons of it.
CinEvent tends to bring the serious film fanatics, the ones who have home theaters that are the real thing, with projectors, Dolby stereo, tiered seats and popcorn. Since you don't exactly see several cans of JAWS celluloid on the sale racks at Wal-Mart, fan conventions like CinEvent are the primary marketplace for buffs to come together and shop for footage.
With so much film in one place, it inevitably gets shown. During CinEvent hours, morning to midnight, there will be nearly continuous movies being screened, all of them oldies, most of them rare, some silent with live piano accompaniment. Treats this year include a 1922 non-Tim Burton takeoff on the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow, starring Will Rogers; the first screen rendering of Perry Mason (1934’s THE CASE OF THE HOWLING DOG) and 1944’s Technicolor comedy THE PRINCESS AND THE PIRATE, with Bob Hope in his prime.
And a sneak preview of the ANCHORMAN sequel! Okay, just kidding about that last part. Life’s been bad.
Let's not forget the centerpiece of CinEvent, the Vintage Poster Art Auction. Put together with help of eminent Cleveland-area collector and archivist Morris Everett Jr., this sale will have lots consisting of beautiful and rare old movie posters, display hangings and lobby cards from all over the world. Even if you don't bid on anything (prices tend to start around $200 for these elite relics), just watching the auction is a drama in itself.
CinEvent opens Friday at 9 a.m. and runs through Monday, Memorial Day, closing at about lunchtime as well (some of the Out-of-state dealers make an early start home, some don't). Registration for the whole convention is $40, with special one-day admissions to dealers areas and all films, and admission to those under 18 is free. Show them that cinema did exist before STAR WARS.
For more information log onto www.cinevent.com.