Cinefest Ending

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roger P

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Cinefest Ending

PostMon Sep 29, 2014 3:56 pm

Sad news: I got a letter from the Boys and Girls of Syracuse stating, for various reasons, that the next Cinefest will be the last. The end of an era. I've been an attendee for many years and have had a wonderful time each year. Friendships were made with like minded strangers from far and wide. I hope that many of the Cinefest attendees will subsequently join us in Rome in August for Capitolfest.
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Agnes

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostMon Sep 29, 2014 6:58 pm

How sad!
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Last edited by Agnes on Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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rudyfan

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostMon Sep 29, 2014 7:34 pm

Very sad news, indeed. Will see if I can finally make it next year since I won't have another chance.
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westegg

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 5:35 am

I only attended once, in 1990. Wish I could have done it far more.
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s.w.a.c.

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 7:19 am

There goes the highlight of my year. (Not just Cinefest, but the whole road trip to Syracuse with visits to Dinosaur BBQ, Sound Garden Records, Heid's Hot Dog Stand and so on ... I really get into the Syracuse groove when I'm there!)

Now how am I going to get to see more of El Brendel's home movies?

Hope they can bring back 35mm for the 35th anniversary/finale, I'm guessing they want to go out in a big way next year.

Unfortunately for me, Capitolfest and the Toronto Film Society weekend at Eastman House in Rochester come at a time that's quite busy for me at home (the last three years there's been a big family wedding the same weekend as Capitolfest, plus our annual Halifax Scooter Rally in the Valley ... and my girlfriend's birthday is Aug. 8 ), but I've been wanting to go for ages. Hopefully I can support those events in the future.
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s.w.a.c.

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 7:32 am

Aside from the technical issues and securing rare films,
"other factors such as increased costs, aging film prints and projection equipment and the impending, well-deserved retirement from the organization of several key staff members have resulted in the Syracuse Cinephile Society's Board of Directors deciding that the upcoming Cinefest 35 (March 19-22) will be our final convention."
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Holmes

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 7:34 am

Very sad news indeed. I'll be sure to block out that weekend on my calendar for next year.
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s.w.a.c.

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Syracuse Cinefest ending in 2015

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 7:38 am

This was posted in Silent News, but it probably warrants a mention here as well. Got a letter in the mail from the Boys & Girls of Syracuse that Cinefest is calling it a day after its 35th anniversary edition in 2015.

"Factors such as increased costs, aging film prints and projection equipment and the impending, well-deserved retirement from the organization of several key staff members have resulted in the Syracuse Cinephile Society's Board of Directors deciding that the upcoming Cinefest 35 (March 19-22) will be our final convention."


The letter goes on to say that they'd rather go out on a high note than suffer a dwindling decline, so the 35th anniversary edition would be the way to do it with with a weekend to remember. Hopefully 35th anniversary also means the return of 35mm screenings for one last go-round, but we'll see when more details are announced in the new year.
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maliejandra

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 7:46 am

I have never been before but since it is the last year I'm going to try my best to go in 2015. I am trying to price how much it will cost. I'll be coming from Ohio, likely driving in. About how much is the hotel stay for the entire show and how much do attendees estimate they spend on food when they go? Are there a lot of restaurants in the area? Are there any additional fees during the show besides the price of admission and the cost of buying memorabilia?
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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 8:20 am

I received my letter yesterday from the Syracuse Cinephile Board of Directors with sadness. I started attending the year Mr. Serling passed away and have not missed too many since. The march of time is not our friend in this case. A film festival is as much about the people involved as it is about the films shown. I don’t want to wait until the final Cinefest in 2015 to express my gratitude to all the “Boys and girls from Syracuse” for their excellent commitment over the years.
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s.w.a.c.

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 8:21 am

maliejandra wrote:I have never been before but since it is the last year I'm going to try my best to go in 2015. I am trying to price how much it will cost. I'll be coming from Ohio, likely driving in. About how much is the hotel stay for the entire show and how much do attendees estimate they spend on food when they go? Are there a lot of restaurants in the area? Are there any additional fees during the show besides the price of admission and the cost of buying memorabilia?

Cinefest attendees get a special rate which is quite reasonable, just under $100 a night or so, but you might look into sharing a room with someone, I know there's often a party from Montreal that comes each year and is often looking for roomies to cut costs. The only other fee would be an extra charge for the 35mm screenings, but those didn't happen this year. I imagine they'll try to bring them back for the 35th and final year, only seems fitting. Also, if you buy your pass early, you get a discount there as well.

Food wise, the hotel has a restaurant, but there are a variety of fast food options around, from Denny's to a KFC/Taco Bell outlet across the street, and a pizza/sub shop in the gas station next to the KFC. I usually put any notions of healthy eating on hold when I'm in Syracuse (you'll need a car to get to Dinosaur BBQ or the vintage Heid's Hot Dog stand, but they're worth a visit).
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Re: Syracuse Cinefest ending in 2015

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 10:07 am

As one who has gone to film conventions since 1976, I hope Columbus Cinevent won't go this route any time soon.

The costs to produce these events, the few film collectors left and proliferation of online sales all are taking their toll.
I have often found the prices for items at the convention dealers' rooms are far more than online prices, too.
Posters are a good example: there are dealers that seem to bring the same large stacks of posters to every show, but refuse any reasonable offers rather than their high prices.

Right now it's a buyer's market for movie collectibles such as posters, DVDs, etc.
I got out of film many years ago due to high costs. With DVD transfers ever sharper and digital projection ever cheaper,
there is a huge difference of cost between the two media types.

I no longer tolerate screening rooms at these conventions showing dim, fuzzy 16mm projection. 35mm is SO much better and worth the effort to find prints and a venue to showcase them at a convention!
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Michael O'Regan

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 12:51 pm

Geez, that's sad to hear.

I always hoped that one day, I'd get there.

Sorry to hear it.
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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 1:46 pm

maliejandra wrote:I have never been before but since it is the last year I'm going to try my best to go in 2015. I am trying to price how much it will cost. I'll be coming from Ohio, likely driving in. About how much is the hotel stay for the entire show and how much do attendees estimate they spend on food when they go? Are there a lot of restaurants in the area? Are there any additional fees during the show besides the price of admission and the cost of buying memorabilia?


Yes, please come for the last one, you won't regret it. I suggest trying to get a room with one or even two (they do supply cots at I think $10 extra a night, but they go quick).

For the whole weekend, I'll be highly surprised if I spend $125 on food, plenty of places to eat, plenty cheap, too. I probably spend more on my bar tab!

Admission is the only cost for Cinefest now. They used to charge extra for the 35mm show but they are not having it anymore.

I will be contacting you on FB, too!
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s.w.a.c.

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Re: Syracuse Cinefest ending in 2015

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 3:04 pm

Marr&Colton wrote:I no longer tolerate screening rooms at these conventions showing dim, fuzzy 16mm projection. 35mm is SO much better and worth the effort to find prints and a venue to showcase them at a convention!

To be fair, I've found the 16mm projection offered by the crew at Cinefest to be generally exemplary, and they were very picky about the prints they chose to run. Only in cases of extreme rarity would anything obviously dupey get shown, from my experience.

But I hear you about the posters, I think I saw the same Joe E. Brown poster at the same four-figure price for nearly a decade, year after year, in the Cinefest dealer room. I'd think the value of that would be declining at this point, I can't imagine the Joe E. Brown audience is growing by leaps and bounds.
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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 4:36 pm

I think my first Cinefest was in 1985 and I owed a lot to Phil Serling and his gang for welcoming a newcomer and making me (and later Amy -- Cinefest 1989 was the first time we traveled together) feel like part of the family. I met so many of my close friends and mentors there. I went for over 20 years before my work with Milestone and AMIA forced me to make travel decisions. I will definitely try to make it for the last year to thank everyone for keeping Cinefest alive and burning bright for so long.

Oh, my god, the memories....
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 5:48 pm

FYI, I merged the two threads about this topic, there doesn't need to be separate silent and sound versions of a topic, just makes following the thread more confusing.

"For $40 I could get a two-reeler!"
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
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milefilms

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 9:10 pm

Mike, to be fair, I heard it was $50 and it was the lobby of the Hollywood Roosevelt. :lol:
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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostTue Sep 30, 2014 10:12 pm

How about a Cinefest for the 21st century? They could do an online showing and you could buy your ticket online
and view the films from the convenience of home with family or friends. :D
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s.w.a.c.

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostWed Oct 01, 2014 6:02 am

Mike Gebert wrote:FYI, I merged the two threads about this topic, there doesn't need to be separate silent and sound versions of a topic, just makes following the thread more confusing.

"For $40 I could get a two-reeler!"

Sorry about that Mike, that was my fault, hate to make more work for you. In future, when there's a topic that straddles both silent and talkie interests, I'll default to silent at the top of the board.

I'm just glad I got to Cinefest in time to catch some of Herb Graff's wonderful presentations of shorts reclaimed from all manner of locations. "If you want to know how this two-reeler ends, try looking in the dumpster behind the Warner Bros. building in Brooklyn!"
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s.w.a.c.

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostWed Oct 01, 2014 6:42 am

Also, don't lollygag about booking a room, I just called the Holiday Inn Liverpool, and they're already getting a number of calls to make reservations, so if you're sure about going, don't wait until that Cinefest brochure arrives in the mail in December.
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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostWed Oct 01, 2014 8:23 am

My memory is that Herb's line in the late 1970's was "For $25, I could get a two reeler"
First heard it at Columbus or the 1979 Syracuse Cinecon
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s.w.a.c.

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostWed Oct 01, 2014 8:36 am

shecky465 wrote:My memory is that Herb's line in the late 1970's was "For $25, I could get a two reeler"
First heard it at Columbus or the 1979 Syracuse Cinecon

BTW, I've never heard a Herb story that I didn't love. Like recommending a restaurant because it had "the last Art Deco urinal in Brooklyn". Keep 'em coming!
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Cinefest 2015

PostWed Oct 15, 2014 11:16 pm

Catching up on a blog I read once a month and was shocked to learn that Cinefest is closing doors after the March 2015 event. Details can be found here.

http://martingrams.blogspot.com/2014/10 ... f-era.html
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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostWed Nov 26, 2014 10:53 am

Next year will be my third year in a row to attend the Syracuse Cinefest. It takes me almost three days drive from Galveston, Texas but it is well worth it. I will be attending the show in Columbus Ohio for the first time next year as well. look forward to seeing friends and making new ones at both shows.
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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostThu Nov 27, 2014 12:58 pm

In addition to the junk food spots that Stephen suggests, there are MANY good, reasonably priced restaurants in the hotel area -- but most do require a car. However, often you can catch a ride with a group of friendly cinephiles for a fun (and usually hurried) dinner break. I expect to come again with my minivan and lead a few of these excursions, so anyone interested, feel free to look me up!

Dinosaur Barbecue is probably Syracuse's most famous restaurant and well worth a visit, but always has a wait to get in. That's why I always go there late (10:00 pm-ish) on Wednesday night, after the dealer's room is done setting up. Another option is getting their take-out.

I find the Cinefest lunch breaks too rushed to do anything but take advantage of the bargain sandwich platter offered just outside the screening room. The whole meal costs $6, I think.

Among other things I regret about Cinefest ending, is the loss of a way to apply all of my hard-won knowledge about nearby dining options! I already miss the now-closed Mother's and that turkey farm restaurant, but now I wonder when else I'll have opportunity to visit Dinosaur or The Retreat. Maybe driving home from Capitolfest!
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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostFri Nov 28, 2014 2:15 pm

It's very sad to hear Cinefest is ending. I've never been, but learned so much from many of you, about a lot of famous and rare silent films shown there. :(
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s.w.a.c.

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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostSat Nov 29, 2014 1:08 pm

There's some good old-school Italian fare around Syracuse as well, I forget the names of any of the restaurants, but it wouldn't be hard to find them. We also found a decent pub/bar not too far from the hotel, near Heid's that had decent beers and hearty grub.

Sadly, I have yet to get to Funk 'n' Waffles.
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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostSat Nov 29, 2014 2:07 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:Sadly, I have yet to get to Funk 'n' Waffles.


Went last year; it was pretty interesting! But have not been to the record store.

One of the Italian places is Santangelo's:

http://www.santangelosrestaurant.com

I'm fond of an Indian buffet restaurant that is very close to the hotel and works well for the all-important fast (self-)service.
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Re: Cinefest Ending

PostSat Nov 29, 2014 3:32 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:There's some good old-school Italian fare around Syracuse as well, I forget the names of any of the restaurants, but it wouldn't be hard to find them. We also found a decent pub/bar not too far from the hotel, near Heid's that had decent beers and hearty grub.

Sadly, I have yet to get to Funk 'n' Waffles.

The Limp Lizard is a nice bar and grill near the Holiday Inn and a little ways past Heid's. I was there two years ago and found it to be a nice friendly place. The Syracuse University basketball team is always in the playoffs that time of year so the sports bars get pretty crowded. Last year I just stayed at the hotel the entire time because the snow was relentless. Nice lobby bar at the Holiday inn for drinks before and after the movie shows. Can't wait to get back; just three and a half months.
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