The majority of motion pictures produced before 1952 were filmed and printed on nitrate stock. Praised for its stunning image quality, nitrate film is, at the same time, subject to chemical decomposition, it is highly flammable, and its improper storage has led to several fires – some of them deadly.
The George Eastman Museum stores more than 24,000 reels of nitrate-based film prints and negatives, including the original camera negatives for The Big Parade (1925), The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Gone with the Wind (1939); David O. Selznick’s personal prints of Rebecca (1940); a collection of Cecil B. DeMille’s prints; and much more.
The Eastman Museum is also one of the very few institutions to project nitrate prints, some of them more than a hundred years old, and the only one to hold a festival entirely dedicated to this beautiful and sparce medium.
Join Senior Curator of the Moving Image Department Peter Bagrov and Collection Manager Deborah Stoiber in a conversation about the Eastman Museum’s nitrate film collection.
Free; please register ahead of time for the Zoom link.
Assuring Public Access to and Safety of the Nitrate Film Heritage is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.