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The Nitrate Picture Show returns to the George Eastman Museum in 2016

The museum will present the second edition of the world’s first Festival of Film Conservation April 29 through May 1 next year

Rochester, N.Y., November 23, 2015—The George Eastman Museum officially announced today that it will be presenting the 2nd Nitrate Picture Show this coming spring. The festival will be held April 29–May 1, 2016 at the Dryden Theatre, the George Eastman Museum’s historic venue for film exhibition in Rochester, NY. The Dryden Theatre—one of only a few archival venues in the world that can project nitrate film—is home to the museum’s ongoing program of past and present cinematic works from all countries.

Nitrate Picture Show logo

The world’s first archival festival of film conservation is back for its sophomore year after an overwhelming success in 2015. With hundreds of pass holders from sixteen countries, the inaugural festival showcased nine vintage 35mm nitrate film prints made from the beginnings of cinema to the early 1950s, including Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, US 1942), Portrait of Jennie (William Dieterle, US 1948), Black Narcissus (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, UK 1948), and The Fallen Idol (Carol Reed, UK 1948). In addition to nitrate screenings, the festival program included other film screenings related to the nitrate film experience; three book lectures presentations by Roger Smither, David Bordwell, and Kevin Brownlow; and workshops showcasing the actual manufacture of 35mm nitrate film.

“Delegates from all over the world were able to experience the true ‘aura’ of moving images made on nitrate stock at the first Nitrate Picture Show,” said Paolo Cherchi Usai, Senior Curator, Moving Image Department, George Eastman Museum. “The enthusiastic response from the audience and the media to the inaugural program at the Dryden Theatre has encouraged us to continue this unique cinematic adventure. Other film museums have already offered nitrate prints from their collection for future screenings at our annual event, a tangible sign that the Nitrate Picture Show has struck a chord in the public imagination.”

The 2nd Nitrate Picture Show will continue in the tradition of exhibiting pristine archival films on flammable stock from the Eastman Museum collection and from fellow archives and museums in the United States and abroad. The museum holds one of the country’s largest collections of nitrate prints, preserved at the Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center, a state-of-the-art facility located 12 miles southwest of Rochester. The George Eastman Museum is also a member of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), the world’s leading group in the field of film conservation and preservation, and the museum’s collection of over 28,000 titles covers the entire history of cinema, from Edison and the Lumière brothers to contemporary works by Peter Greenaway and Tacita Dean.

“The key message in the subtitle 'festival of film conservation' is simple,” Cherchi Usai continued, “If preserved, handled, and projected with care, a vintage print can reveal a distinctive beauty that cannot be reproduced in any other medium. If you want to see 'the reel thing,’ come to the Nitrate Picture Show."

Festival passes for the 2nd Nitrate Picture Show will be available for purchase in January 2016, online at eastman.org, at the Dryden Theatre box office, and the Lipson Welcome Center at the museum. Visit eastman.org/nitratepictureshow for more information. Passes will range in price from $125 to $250, and include admission to screenings, talks, workshops, and projection booth tours over the course of the three-day festival.

Can’t wait until April to see nitrate on the big screen? The George Eastman Museum is screening The Man Who Knew Too Much (Hitchcock, UK 1934), a 2015 festival favorite, on Saturday, January 9, 8 p.m. Tickets will be available at the Dryden Theatre box office, beginning at 7:15 p.m. on January 9.

About the George Eastman Museum Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 450,000 photographs; 28,000 motion picture films; the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology; one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema; and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program and, through its two joint master’s degree programs with the University of Rochester, makes critical contributions in the fields of film preservation and photographic conservation. For more information, visit eastman.org.