fbpx A rare nitrate film screening of Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet (1948) ushers in the 4th Nitrate Picture Show | George Eastman Museum

The museum grounds will be closed nightly from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday, July 14 through Sunday, July 21. We apologize for any inconvenience. The museum remains open during normal daytime hours and for scheduled film screenings. 

A rare nitrate film screening of Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet (1948) ushers in the 4th Nitrate Picture Show

A beautiful 35mm nitrate print of the Academy Award–winning film will be screened on Thursday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Rochester, N.Y., February 14, 2018—In anticipation of the 4th Nitrate Picture Show, the George Eastman Museum will host a special pre-festival event with a screening of a rare nitrate print of Hamlet (Laurence Olivier, UK 1948) on Thursday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. The film is on loan from the Library of Congress. The 4th Nitrate Picture Show will officially begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 4, when the full program of film titles to be shown at the festival will be announced. 

Tickets for the Thursday night screening of Hamlet are $20 general, $18 members & students, $5 ages 17 & under, and are available at eastman.org/nps or the Dryden Theatre Box Office.

Sir Laurence Olivier directs and acts in this definitive cinematic version of Shakespeare’s tragedy, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor. A New York Times 1948 review stated that Olivier’s Hamlet gave “something of a rude shock to the theatre’s traditionalists to discover that the tragedies of Shakespeare can be eloquently presented on the screen.”

“The George Eastman Museum is one of only a handful of venues worldwide equipped to project nitrate prints,” said Jared Case, festival director. “This special event leading up to the internationally recognized festival gives people the chance to experience the richness of this medium and see film like they’ve never seen it before.”

Passes to the 4th Nitrate Picture Show are available for purchase at eastman.org/nps. Passes include admission to all of the weekend’s screenings and lectures, tours of the projection booth, a reception, plus complimentary entrance to the George Eastman Museum during the run of the festival. (Passes do not include admission to Hamlet on Thursday.) Patrons will receive a special gift and recognition on-site and in print.

  • Patron Pass: $250
  • Festival Pass: $150
  • Student/Eastman Museum Member: $125

About the George Eastman Museum Nitrate Collection
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.

About the Dryden Theatre
The 500-seat Dryden Theatre is an exhibition space for the art of cinema as championed and interpreted by the George Eastman Museum. The Dryden Theatre is devoted to screening films in their original formats—whether 35mm or 16mm, video or digital—and is one of the very few theaters in the world equipped for the projection of original nitrate film. Since its curtain was raised in 1951, the Dryden Theatre has supported the growth of the museum’s cinema collection, provided a forum for discussion on the history of the medium, and screened more than 16,000 titles.