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Special Programs at Cinecon 55

Revised August 16, 2019

Cinecon always screens some of the best and rarest feature films available from studios and archives around the country. This year, in addition to these great films, we will be putting together another wonderful and varied assortment of special programs. Some will be in the main theater at the Egyptian (at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard) with a few screening in the smaller Spielberg theater, which is accessed through the lobby of the main theater, and some will be at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. Shows at the hotel and in the Spielberg will be running concurrently with films in the main theater.

For a full list of films and programs with screening times please check out our Cinecon 55 schedule page.

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Programed and hosted by Cinecon President Stan Taffel, each year KINECON AT CINECON has been a treasure trove of rare and one-of-a-kind kinescopes, culled from Stan’s own private collection and from the rare collections of other film collectors. It is a different show every year. For more information about this year's show visit our Kinecon at Cinecon page.

If you’re unfamiliar with kinescopes: during the days of early television, before the invention of videotape, when a viewable record of a live tv show was wanted, a special camera filmed the program off of a television monitor as it was happening. These records are called kinescopes. They were shot on film, so it was expensive, and it was done only rarely and usually for special programs. These films are often one-of-a-kind and are prized by collectors.Ernie Kovacs image

For the last couple of years KINECON AT CINECON, a cornucopia of these programs, has been shown in the smaller Spielberg Theater. It has always sold out with standing room only. Many people had to be turned away. This year because of it's popularity KINECON AT CINECON is being shown in the main theater, so there will be room for everyone! Be sure to join us for this program of rare and exciting films.

For the last two years we have presented a program of rare nitrate films and the shows proved to be very popular. This year's show will feature detective Philo Vance (here played by Grant Richards) in the 1937 film NIGHT OF MYSTERYNight of Mystery lobby card and the 1936 Max Fleischer Color Classic cartoon THE COBWEB HOTEL

It's been said that because nitrate-based films have a higher silver content than modern film stocks the image has richer blacks and a sparkling sheen, with many shadows and highlights all along the grey-scale. Colors, particularly IB-Technicolor, seem richer and sharper, too. Cobweb Hotel opening titleOnly a handful of theaters across the country can screen the rare and volatile nitrate film and, since the recent remodel of their projection booth, the Egyptian theater is one of them. These nitrate screenings give us a chance to step into the past and view these films as they looked when they were shown for the first time.

Nitrate screenings at the Egyptian are made possible through support of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Turner Classic Movies, and The Film Foundation in partnership with the American Cinematheque and the Academy Film Archive.

Nitrate prints courtesy of UCLA Film and Television Archive

Ron Hutchinson imageMotion Picture historian, archivist and restorationist Ron Hutchinson (1951-2019) passed away unexpectedly this past February. He was 67. Ron was always a friend to Cinecon, and more importantly he was the founder of The Vitaphone Project: a world-wide effort to find and match lost shellac Vitaphone soundtrack discs with their orphaned film prints and visa-versa, connecting them for the first time - in many cases – in over 80 years. Cinecon’s tribute to Ron and his work will feature remembrances from friends and family. It will be punctuated by clips and full prints of some of Ron’s most important and entertaining restorations.vitaphone flag image

If you are interested in early 20th century history, motion picture history, film restoration, or how much impact the work and dreams of single person can have, you’ll want to be sure to attend.

On Saturday afternoon, in addition to our films in the main theater, we will be featuring programs in the Steven Spielberg Screening Room. This is a smaller 78 seat theater located inside the Egyptian and is entered through the lobby of the Egyptian. We have two unique programs:

JACK OAKIE PROGRAM   Saturday 3:30
Jack Oakie imageJack Oakie is considered by many to be one of Hollywood's most versatile comic actors. Beginning in the 1920s Jack made over 90 films in a career that spanned 5 decades. Over the years Cinecon has shown many of these films which have proved to be very popular with our audiences. We have also been pleased and honored to have The Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Foundation as one of our sponsors. So we were excited when the foundation offered this program to us.

The concept for this Cinecon special program is rooted in history. Every Sunday Jack and his wife Victoria hosted a box-lunch gathering at Oakridge, their 6000 square foot ranch in Chatsworth, CA. It was a “who’s who” of Hollywood. TheyJack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie image ate, drank and had a ‘swell’ time, according to Mrs. Oakie. It was an Oakie tradition and it went on for many, many years. On Sunday, November 12, 1995 Mrs. Oakie shared some of those memories when she hosted “An Afternoon at Oakridge” at the Magic Castle. Following in that tradition, we hope you will enjoy our special trip back in time with the Oakie’s via this special compilation of home movies. Hosted by David Sonne from The Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Foundation.


RETROFORMAT: RARE SILENT GEMS ON 8mm AND 16mm   Saturday, 4:35 pm
Untameable lobby card imageFor almost ten years, Tom Barnes has been presenting his Retroformat show of rare 8mm and 16mm silent films in the Egyptian Theatre’s Spielberg Screening Room to enthusiastic audiences. Last year as a tribute to our founders, who began Cinecon by sharing their 8mm prints with each other, we invited Tom to bring retroformat to Cinecon. The show was a hit with our members who asked for more.

This year Tom is proud to bring you a special encore presentation of one of Retroformat’s best and rarest: The Untameable (1923). Expertly directed by Herbert Gladys Walton imageBlache, the film features an amazing performance by Gladys Walton (who met her real-life boyfriend, Al Capone, on the set of this film) as Joy, who suffers from split personality disorder, and as Joy’s alter-ego, the sociopathic Edna. Edna is fond of wearing leopard skins and whipping her maid, Ah Ming, played by Etta Lee, whose relationship to Joy has strong lesbian undertones. Handsome Malcolm McGregor co-stars as Chester Arnold, the man who loves Joy. John St. Polis plays the sinister Dr. Copin, who lives to regret his manipulation of Joy/Edna. Don’t miss your chance to see this little-known, ahead-of-its time, suspense-filled thriller. Cliff Retallick provides live musical accompaniment to the film. Special Thanks: NBC Universal


This year we will be featuring two great musical programs at the Loews Hotel. These shows will be in third floor meeting area of the hotel near the memorabilia show rooms.

Nat King Cole imageFor nearly 20 years and over a dozen movies, Nat King Cole was the voice of Hollywood - he sang on the main titles of more films than any other vocalist, and he recorded more movie themes than any other popular artist. This unique presentation by noted jazz and pop music critic Will Friedwald illuminates Cole’s special role in film history. Mr. Friedwald is the author of nine books on jazz and Will Friedwald imagepopular music including the critically-acclaimed Sinatra! The Song is You and his forthcoming book Nat King Cole: Straighten Up & Fly Right is being published in 2020 by Oxford University Press.

We’ll see how as an African American during an unenlightened era, Cole was limited to the extent to which he could participate in the star-making machinery - and also hampered by a lack of training as an actual actor - but Sinatra book imagehow he used his brains as well as voice to create an indelible impact on Tinseltown. With clips from the 1940s we'll see Cole's career from the early appearances of his ground-breaking King Cole Trio, to his starring roles in China Gate and St. Louis Blues, and his triumphal final film, Cat Ballou.

After the show Mr. Friedwald will be signing copies of his book Sinatra! The Song is You which chronicles, critiques, and celebrates Sinatra's five-decade career. This new edition of the book, originally published in 1995, has been revised and expanded and includes a discography and rare photos of recording sessions and performances. The book is an invaluable resource for Sinatra enthusiasts.


Mark Cantor imageMark Cantor returns with another special program of filmed music performances! And while the program title and some of the artists may seem familiar, this is a new program, with clips unseen by the Cinecon audience!

MARK CANTOR’S CELLULOID IMPROVISATIONS MUSIC FILM ARCHIVE is one of the largest 16mm collections of jazz on film to be found worldwide. The Archive also focuses on such related forms of music as blues, folk, county, Western Swing, vaudeville, jazz dance andCount Basie and his orchestra image “pop.”

This year’s program will include newsreel footage, home movies, television kinescopes and feature excerpts. Among the artists in this compilation are Count Basie, Dinah Washington, Benny Goodman, Rene Bloch’s Mambo Orchestra, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, “Cannonball” Adderley, Mel Torme, Erroll Garner and many more!

Programs listed here are subject to change without notice.

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