Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

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Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

PostWed Mar 29, 2017 11:42 am

http://www.recordonline.com/news/20170326/845-life-ellenville-man-is-sheik-of-vintage-movie-collectors

(Click on the link as there are several photos.)

845 Life: Ellenville man is the 'sheik' of vintage movie collectors

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Ray Faiola is a film connoisseur in a world of DVDs – a celluloid man in a digital universe - and he loves to share his treasures with others.

"When I was five years old, my sister gave me an abridgement of 'Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein' as a Christmas present," says Faiola, now 61. "And I was hooked."

Today, he has more than 2,300 feature films and a few thousand shorts, cartoons and trailers stored away in a naturally climate-controlled vault in the basement of a barn near his home.

"I first started collecting Laurel and Hardy films in my teens," says Faiola, of Ellenville. "When I saw 'Way Out West' on the big screen it really got me."

And his passion for 16mm movies in general, and Laurel and Hardy in particular, never waned.

"Now I have prints of every Laurel and Hardy film except 'The Rogue Song' and 'Hats Off' " he says. "They are lost forever."

Faiola is the "Grand Sheik" of the Sons of the Desert, Oasis #281, an international Laurel and Hardy appreciation society founded in 1965 by Orson Bean and Chuck McCann, among others.

Each "tent" or chapter is named after a different Laurel and Hardy movie, and the Ellenville chapter is called "Them Thar Hills" – appropriate for the Catskills.

Every year, the members march in the Ellenville Fourth of July parade.

In real life, Faiola is director of audience services for the CBS Television Network.

"Basically, we handle all communication for the news and entertainment programming and maintain the complete broadcast history, going back to the days of radio," he says.

He also hosts monthly shows for family and friends in a small movie theater on his property.

The theater – named the Chelsea Rialto - seats about 30 and has its own lobby and projection room.

Shows might include movies by The Little Rascals, W.C. Fields, Thelma Todd, Patsy Kelly, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, and other comedians from the Golden Age.

"I also do fundraisers for local organizations such as the Noonday Club, Ellenville Regional Hospital and the Hunt Memorial Building," he says.

And, for the sixth straight season, Faiola is taking his films to downtown Ellenville for the "Matinees at Shadowland" series.

"We'll get upwards of 50-75 people for each show," he says.

"We do it like the matinees of old - with trailers, cartoons, shorts and serial chapters. It's three hours long with intermission."

Upcoming performances include "Gold Rush" with Charlie Chaplin on April 1 and "Shepherd of the Hills" with John Wayne on April 15.

So where does he get all these films?

"In the 1980s and 1990s it was through a film-collector newspaper called The Big Reel, but today it's mostly on eBay," he says.

"The most I've ever paid was $2,000... but the average is right around $100," Faiola says. "And some stuff I have inherited for free."

"Film isn't nearly as valuable as it once was because old collectors are dying and new collectors are buying DVDs and Blue Ray," he says.

"And let's face it, this is 16mm film, which was used for the military, television and non-theatrical performances."

"This is not the 35mm which was shown in big theaters," he says. "If it were, my vault would have to be three times bigger!"

John DeSanto is a freelance photojournalist. Find more of his 845LIFE stories, photos and videos at http://www.recordonline.com. Reach John at jjdesanto(at)gmail.com
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Re: Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

PostThu Mar 30, 2017 7:07 am

That's pretty cool! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

PostThu Mar 30, 2017 8:53 am

Oh jeez, it was a slow news week in the Hudson Valley guys!!!

PS that Stan & Ollie standee was made - and dressed - by our Tent's Sgt-at-Arm/Delegate-at-Large Stan Rubin.
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Re: Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 5:54 am

Very cool! I would love to go to a showing of Our Gang in 16mm!
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Re: Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 8:33 am

Ray Faiola wrote:PS that Stan & Ollie standee was made - and dressed - by our Tent's Sgt-at-Arm/Delegate-at-Large Stan Rubin.


Ray, are you an NYC DESERTer? I've been house managing their meets for a year or so...

-Craig
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Re: Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 11:31 am

Neat!
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Re: Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 12:50 pm

HI Ray,

There are a couple of houses for sale in my neighborhood in case you might be wanting to move south. :-)

Matthew
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Re: Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 1:43 pm

This is just terrific, Ray! Thanks for sharing it. I too am an L & H fan. Also love Fields. The late actress Jean Parker was a friend of mine. She had some wonderful memories of working with the boys, and separately with Oliver Hardy.
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Re: Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 6:00 pm

wich2 wrote:
Ray Faiola wrote:PS that Stan & Ollie standee was made - and dressed - by our Tent's Sgt-at-Arm/Delegate-at-Large Stan Rubin.


Ray, are you an NYC DESERTer? I've been house managing their meets for a year or so...

-Craig


Craig, I joined the Founding Tent in 1972. I was Grand Sheik during much of the 90's. I moved to Ellenville in 2006 and we got our Them Thar Hills charter in 2008. http://www.themtharhills.org

Jack Roth will be the NYC Grand Sheik til doomsday!! :)
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Re: Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 6:02 pm

djv2800 wrote:This is just terrific, Ray! Thanks for sharing it. I too am an L & H fan. Also love Fields. The late actress Jean Parker was a friend of mine. She had some wonderful memories of working with the boys, and separately with Oliver Hardy.


Thank Bruce for sharing it. I wouldn't have DARED! PS I think my late friend Tye Morrow of the NY Sons knew Jean Parker as well.
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Re: Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

PostFri Apr 07, 2017 10:37 am

Congratulations, Ray. What a wonderful story.
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Re: Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

PostTue Apr 11, 2017 4:31 pm

Ray, will you be attending Capitol Fest this year? It's a Fay Wray Fest (I live in Kingston).
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Re: Nitrateville's Ray Faiola in the News

PostThu Apr 13, 2017 4:58 am

I don't know yet, Sally. It depends on what I wind up doing at Shadowland (our main stage season starts rehearsals in May). But if you're in Kingston, you should DEFINITELY and ABSOLUTELY consider joining our Sons tent! Give us a look: http://www.themtharhills.org

We're running BATTLE OF THE CENTURY next month!
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