Wednesday, June 1, 2016

CinEvent in Columbus, June 2-5

Why go all the way down to Columbus for a movie convention and expo? Isn't this the CLEVELAND movie blog? Shouldn't Columbus get a movie-blog website of its own?

Well, let's face it. The Republican National Convention is coming to Cleveland next month to determine the nominee for president, and while City Hall is putting a brave face on things, let's just assume for sake of argument that Cleveland is about to be destroyed. Completely. Riots, disorder, protests, dogs and cats living together, all our worst nightmares. You've seen those photos of Stalingrad after the Soviets beat back the Germans? Cleveland will end up being kind of like that.

So it would behoove local residents to get used to going to other cities for their movie conventions, is all we're saying, in case Cleveland is just a pile of smoldering ruins.

There's a second reason, of course. Going downstate to the 50th annual CinEvent Classic Film Convention is simply worth it.

Oriented to the greats and the unsung curios of Hollywood's golden age (sorry, THE FORCE AWAKENS 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 (although a few VIP authors and actors do show up) than on memorabilia and relics of a cherished bygone era in film. 

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, to the ultimate movie collectibles - movies. We're 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 one does not 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.

Uncommon sights include a virtually forgotten 1934 Best Picture nominee THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD, a heroic depiction of the Jewish banking family's origins as five close-knit brothers, whose financial machinations behind the scenes help keep England and other fair-minded European independent states going throughout the ravaging conquests of Napoleon Bonaparte. George Arliss, revered by Depression-era audiences for his portrayal of Benjamin Disraeli, stars as the misunderstood Nathan Rothschild. And yes, that's Boris Karloff as a villainous Prussian ambassador and arch anti-Semite.

Just remember that not only did THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD come to screens in the same period that Hitler was rising to ultimate power in Germany, but that it arose from the only big Hollywood studio led by a non-Jew - Darryl F. Zanuck's 20th-Century Fox. I've heard that none of the other studios in that era had the guts to take on this material, nay, not with a ten-foot Torah scroll.

(And just remember that if you mention the Rothschilds at the RNC in any sort of favorable, Darryl F. Zanuck context, you're likely to have your car overturned in a Cleveland street riot by vigilantes opposing the One-World-Government-Conspiracy-of-the-International-Eastern-Bankers. Who ironically, only trust one source for all their news other than Alex Jones, and it is also Fox.)

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. It takes place Saturday at 1 p.m.

CinEvent 2016 happens at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel, 50 North 3rd St. in Columbus. It opens Thursday at 9 a.m. and runs through Sunday, at 6 p.m.

Registration for the whole convention is $50, with special one-day admissions
to dealers areas and all films, and admission to those under 18 is free. Walk-ins are perfectly welcome.

For more information call the hotel at 800-417-1057 or go online to Sorry in advance about Cleveland being destroyed.

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