Cinecon memories

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
User avatar
silentstar5
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:28 pm
Location: TORONTO

Cinecon memories

Unread post by silentstar5 » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:03 pm

Hello NitrateVillians,

I would like to start a thread about the community sharing their memories of past Cinecon classic film festivals in preparation for the next one which starts in just about three weeks. September 3 - 7 to be precise. I would like your thoughts about seeing particular films, meeting celebrity guests, etc. You name it.
I'll start. At my first Cinecon about 8 years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Kevin Brownlow. I, like many, was entralled with the Hollywood: The Pioneers series which at the age of 16 (1980) fuelled my desire to see the films presented and learn more about the silent film era. Mr. Brownlow turned out to be very approachable for conversation and insight about the efforts of film preservation and restoration.
I love talking with Diana Cary, better known as Baby Peggy. If anyone knows how I can get a copy of her interview with Joyce Davidson for Canadian television from the 1980s I would greatly appreciate it.

For those of us who live outside LA it is a kick to see classic films at Grauman's Egyptian theatre. I can imagine what it was like when it opened with Fairbanks in Robin Hood in 1922. I feel the sense of history sitting in those seats and marvel that so many years later we meet to celebrate those films and performers from the past in the city where many were created.

I look forward to catching up with the friends made at Cinecon over the years. Some are NitrateVillians. I enjoy learning about who other people collect on. I keep "discovering" new performers and film makers from their enthusiasm. Rumor has it that there is a dedicated Rudolph Valentino representation at Cinecon. Just a rumor at this point.

Looking forward to hearing your stories so....

User avatar
Harlett O'Dowd
Posts: 2113
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:57 am

Re: Cinecon memories

Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:03 am

My top 10 - some of which I have shared here in the past:

1) Meeting Heffner. I somehow managed to be with a small gorup of guys - Miles Kreuger - maybe EB and Mike S were there too. Anyway, Heff invited us all to the Mansion that night as he was screening Citizen Kane. everyone respectfully declined as they wanted to stay and watch the Cinecon films they had never seen before. I was mad. I wanted to see the mansion but was not pushy enough to accept the invitation by myself from someone I had just met!

2) In a similar vein - meeting Toby Wing. Toby by herself would have been wonderful enough, but Heff was there too, as was Mel Torme. It was absolutely fascinating to watch them. They were *comepletely* starstuck by Toby. She had been their pin-up girl when they were 13 or so and they *acted* as though they were awkward 13 year-olds in her presence. Really really charming.

3) sharing an elevator ride with Mary Wickes

4) sitting behind Burgess Meredith during a screening of Winterset and hearing him critique the film, his performance - and the limitations of the Blossom Room.

5) Seeing the restored/Davis-scored 4 Horsemen on the big screen. Perhaps my single favorite film-going experience.

6) Watching our own Frederica turn into a weepy mess at the end of Sorrell and Son.

7) taking a field trip to Grauman's to see a nitrate grandeur print of The Bat Whispers - my one and only time inside the Chinese Theatre.

8) getting to chat with past guest Betty Garrett about her performance in the 2001 Broadway revival of Follies.

and my two favorite memories:

9) taking a bus to UCLA to see - in beautiful Nitrate - Trail of the Lonsome Pine with über-guest Sylvia Sidney. I know her appearance remains controversial - but she was sharp, opinionated and completely honest. Some guests give a nice PA performance and I appreciate their taking the time to come out and do it, but I really felt as I spent time *with* Ms. Sidney.

10) Anita Page. I don't think any guest ever had a greater time. Dressed to the nines, she gave a nice Q&A and went out into the lobby to sign and then was having such a good time, she didn't want to leave. About a dozen men stayed behind when the next feature started and chatted with her and posed for pictures with her.

My biggest Cinecon regrets:

1 - booking a flight back too early on Sunday and missing Louise Rainer
2 - being introduced to Bill Everson and being too green and shy not to run out and pick up one of his books so I could get him to sign it, and, more inportantly, bend his ear about my own projects, ask his advice and see what I could have learned from him.

User avatar
LouieD
Posts: 1540
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:57 pm

Re: Cinecon memories

Unread post by LouieD » Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:11 am

Harlett O'Dowd wrote:9) taking a bus to UCLA to see - in beautiful Nitrate - Trail of the Lonsome Pine with über-guest Sylvia Sidney. I know her appearance remains controversial - but she was sharp, opinionated and completely honest. Some guests give a nice PA performance and I appreciate their taking the time to come out and do it, but I really felt as I spent time *with* Ms. Sidney.
I have never made it to Cinecon, hope to someday, but why was Sylvia Sidney's appearance controversial??

gjohnson
Posts: 653
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:56 pm
Contact:

Unread post by gjohnson » Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:45 am

My first Cinecon was in the mid 70's when it appeared in my hometown of Minneapolis. I remember I would hop a bus downtown everyday after school and head to the Niccolet Hotel and watch movies into the evening. Back then viewing rooms would be in small banquet rooms about the size of the dealers rooms nowadays. You sat on fold out chairs and there would be multiple showings going on at the same time so you had to pick and choose what you were going to miss. I remember I did a lot of running back and forth during screenings to see as much as possible but it played havoc on any sort of continuity.

It was all rather informal - sort of like attending a Sons of the Desert meeting. All of the adults would chat outside of the rooms like they knew each other forever talking about films that I would of killed to see at the time as I would stand quietly by eavedropping - pretty much what I still do at these events. I can't recall exactly what I saw....I know I took in a lot of comedy shorts - it was the first time that I saw a foreign language version of Laurel & Hardy. I need to try to find my original program. It's buried somewhere in my stuff. Are there folks out there who have every program ever printed?

Gary J.

User avatar
Harlett O'Dowd
Posts: 2113
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:57 am

Re: Cinecon memories

Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:05 am

LouieD wrote:
I have never made it to Cinecon, hope to someday, but why was Sylvia Sidney's appearance controversial??
Some here will have a better recollection than I. IIRC, she asked for no flash pictures and they were taken anyway and I believe she wanted to smoke badly and could not inside the building (with a nitrate print nearby.) I believe the last is what contributed the most to her having a less than wonderful Cinecon experience.

She was crusty and did not suffer folks gladly. One person asked her about working with Fritz Lang. He pronounced Lang's surname in the germanic style (Lahng) while Ms. Sidney americanized it ('a' as in "apple" or "hanger.") The questioner corrected her pronunciation, but she insisted on the americanized pronunciation.

"It was Lahng in Germany." the questioner insisted.

"I didn't KNOW Fritz in Germany!" she spat back.

But she was also very honest. She talked about losing her son and that she was up for a role in a film and how nervous she was about it (she got it - Mars Attacks!)

Anyway, she was displeased to the point that she refused to stay and sign anything, but as she was leaving the stage of the auditorium she stopped, turned around, went back to the mike and spat, "I have one more thing to add. Getting old SUCKS!" and she marched out of the room with regal bearing.

User avatar
LouieD
Posts: 1540
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:57 pm

Re: Cinecon memories

Unread post by LouieD » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:43 am

Harlett O'Dowd wrote:
LouieD wrote:
I have never made it to Cinecon, hope to someday, but why was Sylvia Sidney's appearance controversial??
Some here will have a better recollection than I. IIRC, she asked for no flash pictures and they were taken anyway and I believe she wanted to smoke badly and could not inside the building (with a nitrate print nearby.) I believe the last is what contributed the most to her having a less than wonderful Cinecon experience.

She was crusty and did not suffer folks gladly. One person asked her about working with Fritz Lang. He pronounced Lang's surname in the germanic style (Lahng) while Ms. Sidney americanized it ('a' as in "apple" or "hanger.") The questioner corrected her pronunciation, but she insisted on the americanized pronunciation.

"It was Lahng in Germany." the questioner insisted.

"I didn't KNOW Fritz in Germany!" she spat back.

But she was also very honest. She talked about losing her son and that she was up for a role in a film and how nervous she was about it (she got it - Mars Attacks!)

Anyway, she was displeased to the point that she refused to stay and sign anything, but as she was leaving the stage of the auditorium she stopped, turned around, went back to the mike and spat, "I have one more thing to add. Getting old SUCKS!" and she marched out of the room with regal bearing.
She sounds pretty ****** GREAT to me!!!

[edit - let's avoid posting f-bombs, please - we have folks here who have been offended by this in the past - DB]

User avatar
Jim Reid
Posts: 1546
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:16 am
Location: Dallas, Texas
Contact:

Unread post by Jim Reid » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:59 am

Harlett, I'm very envious of your Cinecon experiences. A friend of mine was a student of Bill Eversons and I got to meet him a couple of times. I was too in awe to really get much out of the meetings. Will you be at Cinecon this year?

User avatar
Harlett O'Dowd
Posts: 2113
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:57 am

Re: Cinecon memories

Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:08 am

LouieD wrote:
She sounds pretty ****** GREAT to me!!!
yea, that was pretty much my assessment (disappointment over not having her sign aside) but others were less impressed.

User avatar
Harlett O'Dowd
Posts: 2113
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:57 am

Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:25 am

Jim Reid wrote:Harlett, I'm very envious of your Cinecon experiences. A friend of mine was a student of Bill Eversons and I got to meet him a couple of times. I was too in awe to really get much out of the meetings. Will you be at Cinecon this year?
sadly, no. Jim just had his knee operated on and is advised to avoid long flights for the next couple of weeks. Hopefully next year.

BTW - would anyone be willing to get Ms Stevens to sign something for me? If so, PM me.

now who was it got to have beers with George O'Brien in the early days of Cinecon. That's who I'm envious of. But I probably would have made a fool of myself had I ever had the chance (being under age at the time of thart fabled Cinecon would have stood in my way as well.)

User avatar
rudyfan
Posts: 1848
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:48 am
Location: San Fwancisco
Contact:

Unread post by rudyfan » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:26 am

Well, my most memorable Cinecon weekend was the year I saw about 20 films (1994? When Photoplay ran Four Horsemen and it started at something like 11:45PM and Patrick Stanbury was manning the projector).

I also remember meeting Leni Riefenstahl, which was a thrill. Olympia remains one of my favorite films and to meet her, speak to her, she looked like she did not understand one word of my babble and yet she smiled graciously (which was very nice). She had to have been tired as I had been standing in line for about 2 hours to get her signature I marveled at her impeccable handwriting. How did she not get writer's cramps? She was 96 or something like that and I was very impressed with her stamina. There were also plenty of people in the line b*tching and moaning about how horrible she was, terrible N*zi and yet, they had ample items signed by her for resale later. Quelle Scandale this caused!

I'm regretting not getting back there sooner than next year, since I am at least in the same state. Next year, I shall. Good group of people and good socializing and some damned interesting films, too.
Last edited by rudyfan on Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.rudolph-valentino.com" target="_blank" target="_blank
http://nitanaldi.com" target="_blank" target="_blank
http://www.dorothy-gish.com" target="_blank" target="_blank

User avatar
Harlett O'Dowd
Posts: 2113
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:57 am

Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:44 am

rudyfan wrote:Well, my most memorable Cinecon weekend was the year I saw about 20 films (1994? When Photoplay ran Four Horsemen and it started at something like 11:45 and Patrick Stanbury was manning the projector).
I wanna say it was 95 - it was my last Cinecon at the Roosevelt and I didn't start going back until 2001.

I didn't know it was Patrick manning the projector. That's cool! But I never talked to him until last year, so I wouldn't have known him then if I had tripped over him.

I also remember easels up in the room that year with photos and some information on Rudy and his life/career. That was very nice. Was that you or Patrick or someone else?

I know it's a lot of work, but it would be nice to see stuff like those easels again - even if it had to be in the dealer's rooms and not in the lobby at the Egyptian.

User avatar
rudyfan
Posts: 1848
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:48 am
Location: San Fwancisco
Contact:

Unread post by rudyfan » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:54 am

Harlett O'Dowd wrote:
rudyfan wrote:Well, my most memorable Cinecon weekend was the year I saw about 20 films (1994? When Photoplay ran Four Horsemen and it started at something like 11:45 and Patrick Stanbury was manning the projector).
I didn't know it was Patrick manning the projector. That's cool! But I never talked to him until last year, so I wouldn't have known him then if I had tripped over him.

I also remember easels up in the room that year with photos and some information on Rudy and his life/career. That was very nice. Was that you or Patrick or someone else?

I know it's a lot of work, but it would be nice to see stuff like those easels again - even if it had to be in the dealer's rooms and not in the lobby at the Egyptian.
Nope, none of the Rudy display was me. No idea who put it together. And yes, I neglected to add, the film began at 11:45 PM. It was Patrick and the Blossom Room was pretty packed with die hards.

On and I envy you sharing an elevator with Mary Wickes. I enjoyed meeting Fay Wray (who was deaf as a post, but still gorgeous and gracious).
http://www.rudolph-valentino.com" target="_blank" target="_blank
http://nitanaldi.com" target="_blank" target="_blank
http://www.dorothy-gish.com" target="_blank" target="_blank

User avatar
Jim Reid
Posts: 1546
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:16 am
Location: Dallas, Texas
Contact:

Unread post by Jim Reid » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:03 am

Harlett O'Dowd wrote: now who was it got to have beers with George O'Brien in the early days of Cinecon. That's who I'm envious of. But I probably would have made a fool of myself had I ever had the chance (being under age at the time of thart fabled Cinecon would have stood in my way as well.)
I almost got to meet George O'Brien. He was living with his son in my home town of Tulsa in the late 70s. The TV station I was working at was doing a documentary for the 100th birthday of Will Rogers. O'Brien was one of their options to host it, but it turned out his mind was not as sharp as they had hoped. I did get to meet Joel McCrea and Will Jr. They went to California and interviewed Fifi D'Orsay and Hal Roach. I wish I knew what happened the footage they shot.

User avatar
rudyfan
Posts: 1848
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:48 am
Location: San Fwancisco
Contact:

Unread post by rudyfan » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:04 am

Harlett O'Dowd wrote: now who was it got to have beers with George O'Brien in the early days of Cinecon. That's who I'm envious of. But I probably would have made a fool of myself had I ever had the chance (being under age at the time of thart fabled Cinecon would have stood in my way as well.)
Jon Mirsalis posted years back about sitting next to O'Brien during a Cinecon screening of Sunrise. Which has to have been pretty damned special.

Maybe it was he?
http://www.rudolph-valentino.com" target="_blank" target="_blank
http://nitanaldi.com" target="_blank" target="_blank
http://www.dorothy-gish.com" target="_blank" target="_blank

User avatar
Harlett O'Dowd
Posts: 2113
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:57 am

Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:11 am

Jim Reid wrote:They went to California and interviewed Fifi D'Orsay and Hal Roach. I wish I knew what happened the footage they shot.
I'd love to see *any* interview footage with Ms. D'Orsay.

And any Roach footage where he talks about the early days of flying and/or Arthur Loew Sr.

User avatar
Frederica
Posts: 4853
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:00 pm
Location: Kowea Town, Los Angeles

Unread post by Frederica » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:24 am

I'm a relative newbie at Cinecons, I think I'm just going on my 9th or 10th year? So I don't have the lengthy Cinecon memories others do. But off the top of my head, here are my favorite moments:

1. Meeting people I'd been interacting with online, some of whom are now good friends. Seeing people you only see once a year, squealing and giving hugs, talking to people about their kids/cats/dogs, drinks, dinners, lunches, late night gab-fests. Ooohing and Ahhhing over treasures purchased in the Dealer's Room.

2. My first George O'Brien experience, Photoplay Productions' The Iron Horse. Harlett and I made embarrassing drooly noises through the whole film. I second Harlett's envy of those people who shared a beer with Mr. O'Brien (although of course I now have a different motive).

3. Developing a terrible phobia of Vitaphone Shorts. I still haven't recovered.

4. Sitting at the same table with Jane Russell at the Cinecon banquet and realizing that she was in her 80s and she still looked better than me. That's just not fair.

5. Having a morning latte at Starbucks with Jon Mirsalis and having him explain the sad story of A Kiss for Cinderella.

6. Sniveling all over Harlett during Sorrell and Son.

7. Hearing isolated pockets of laughter every time an instance of bird-kissing takes place on the screen.

8. Sunday night dinner at Taix's. A really late night schmoozefest at the Pantry downtown, with Richard Roberts, Chris Snowdon, Phil Carli, and David Totheroh.

9. Seeing Punch of the Irish on the big screen.

10. The Barker. Chicago. Sorrell and Son. The Eagle. Trail of the Vigilantes. The Iron Horse. And sometimes the disappointments: The Fighting Blade. Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall. The Patent Leather Kid. I'm still glad to have seen them.

11. Linda Wada's presentation on Edna Purviance.

12. Chris and Jim's wedding.

Fred
Fred
"Screw the men. I've got the horse."
Helen B. (Penny) Chenery
http://www.nitanaldi.com" target="_blank"
http://www.facebook.com/NitaNaldiSilentVamp" target="_blank"

User avatar
Harlett O'Dowd
Posts: 2113
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:57 am

Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:31 am

Frederica wrote: 12. Chris and Jim's wedding.

Fred
Awwwww

User avatar
LouieD
Posts: 1540
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:57 pm

Unread post by LouieD » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:33 am

Frederica wrote:3. Developing a terrible phobia of Vitaphone Shorts. I still haven't recovered.
WOW, really??? Which short caused this??

User avatar
rudyfan
Posts: 1848
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:48 am
Location: San Fwancisco
Contact:

Unread post by rudyfan » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:39 am

LouieD wrote:
Frederica wrote:3. Developing a terrible phobia of Vitaphone Shorts. I still haven't recovered.
WOW, really??? Which short caused this??
Sometimes all it can take is one. :-)

Trixie Friganza scared (and scarred) me for life. Not that there are not worthy Vitaphones, some of the opera one's are really very wonderful.
http://www.rudolph-valentino.com" target="_blank" target="_blank
http://nitanaldi.com" target="_blank" target="_blank
http://www.dorothy-gish.com" target="_blank" target="_blank

User avatar
Frederica
Posts: 4853
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:00 pm
Location: Kowea Town, Los Angeles

Unread post by Frederica » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:48 am

LouieD wrote:
Frederica wrote:3. Developing a terrible phobia of Vitaphone Shorts. I still haven't recovered.
WOW, really??? Which short caused this??
It wasn't one single short. It was the ten they ran back to back that did me in. I ran screaming from the theater at #5 (or something like that).

Fred
Fred
"Screw the men. I've got the horse."
Helen B. (Penny) Chenery
http://www.nitanaldi.com" target="_blank"
http://www.facebook.com/NitaNaldiSilentVamp" target="_blank"

User avatar
Harlett O'Dowd
Posts: 2113
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:57 am

Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:54 am

rudyfan wrote: Sometimes all it can take is one. :-)

Trixie Friganza scared (and scarred) me for life.
Is she the one who did the phone call to her grilfriend where she spelled out all the stuff she didn't want her child to understand?

That's actually one of my more favorite ones.

My only problem with all-Vitaphone programs is that two hours is too long to be watching one-reelers one right after the other.

With Vitaphone, less is definitely more. Six or seven shorts arranged as if it were a stage vaudeville program would be great. Two or three shorts before a feature - even better.

User avatar
LouieD
Posts: 1540
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:57 pm

Unread post by LouieD » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:55 am

Frederica wrote:It wasn't one single short. It was the ten they ran back to back that did me in. I ran screaming from the theater at #5 (or something like that).

Fred
To run that many back to back is a poor programming choice. That many would have driven me crazy too!

rollot24
Posts: 806
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:16 pm
Location: Bellevue WA

Unread post by rollot24 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:30 am

Reading all of these sounds like I need to get over my aversion-to-L.A.-in-September and attend sometime. (FYI I was born in Pasadena in a September many moons ago.)

User avatar
rudyfan
Posts: 1848
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:48 am
Location: San Fwancisco
Contact:

Unread post by rudyfan » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:38 am

Frederica wrote:4. Sitting at the same table with Jane Russell at the Cinecon banquet and realizing that she was in her 80s and she still looked better than me. That's just not fair.
No, it's not a question of being fair, it's clean living! :wink:
http://www.rudolph-valentino.com" target="_blank" target="_blank
http://nitanaldi.com" target="_blank" target="_blank
http://www.dorothy-gish.com" target="_blank" target="_blank

quietone
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 1:27 pm

Unread post by quietone » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:24 pm

now who was it got to have beers with George O'Brien in the early days of Cinecon. That's who I'm envious of.
I think it was Ed Hulse (among others)

Decotodd
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Unread post by Decotodd » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:35 pm

I find the Vitaphone shorts fascinating, and went to an evening of restored shorts at UCLA a couple of years ago -- and God bless Patrick at the Vitaphone Project and those who funded the restoration. As enjoyable as they were, 2 hours was a bit much of back-back vaudeville, especially the orchestras.

2 or 3 before a screening is probably ideal.
Democracy depends on informed citizens and elections have consequences -- vote!

irwin drobny
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:23 pm
Location: Chicago IL

Unread post by irwin drobny » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:35 pm

My first Cinecon was #3 (Chicago, 1967) and I have attended many, not all, since then, back when they were held in different cities each year--and I have attended most the recent California ones. Newbies who haven't endured Blossom Room screenings don't know what suffering is. A few random memories. 1. Colleen Moore, a Chicago resident, was the celebrity guest in 1967 and the convention was held in a hotel near the airport.
2. Miss Lillian herself was at Minneapolis in 1986, totally charming but more than a little scattered, she came because the convention honored Dorothy and was going to film Whales of August.
3. Washington in 1972 had Beverly Bayne, Leatrice Joy, and Lois Wilson, don't know what went on behind the scenes but it was great fun.
4. At one of the early Hollywood conventions I was in an elevator with Eleanor Powell and Jane Withers, when I stated how lucky I was, Miss Powell kissed me on the cheek
5. Sylvia Sidney was one of our most biting guests, trashed William Wyler (called him I think sadistic, among other things), loved Tim Burton who was using her in films.
5. At one of the cocktail hours, I had an interesting chat with Marc Lawrence, who asked me about myself, wondered why anyone would come to these things and then began to ask why on earth he and the others would come to these kind of nostalgia things.
6. Luise Rainer had her grievances with Hollywood and Mr. Mayer but spoke with great affection of William Powell and his kindness to her in her early films.
7. Ann Miller, the the same convention as Ms. Sydney, was the opposite, she loved everybody.
8. Allan Dwan had some wonderful tales, said that he moved the filming of an early Fairbanks film to Arizona to get Doug away from an
angry, jealous husband
9. Jackie Cooper here to honor Hal Roach spoke without any nostalgia about the lot of the child actor back then
10. Claire Trevor, responding to my question about Two Weeks in Another Town, exclaimed with surprise, you actually liked that film.

I am stopping at 10--so no scintillating Alice Faye, Lew Ayres, Billy Bakewell or Zena Keefe memories--But any discussion of Cinecon is incomplete without any tribute to the ex furniture dealer who started the whole thing, Sam Rubin, a real gentleman who just passed away at 90. Irwin

User avatar
milefilms
Posts: 621
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:35 am
Location: HP, NJ
Contact:

Cinecon memories

Unread post by milefilms » Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:29 pm

I agree with Frederica -- I've met many of the stars but meeting my friends every year was even better, so...

1) Amy and I dropping into John's Diner and finding Rusty and Ted just about to have their breakfast and joining them. (Yes, Amy used to come to Cinecon and Cinefest with me before we had the boy.)

2) A midnight breakfast with the Not-So-Evil-Bob with a couple other people and hearing his stories about his youth in LA

3) A outside hot tub midnight relaxation after a long day of screenings with Jessica, Scott Eyman and others at the Hollywood Roosevelt.

4) Getting an award in Minneapolis -- probably for just lending a Kino print but it was my very first in the business and meant a lot to me. And having Sam Rubin say nice things to me was just lovely...

5) Helping to bolster Schlesinger when the peasants revolted one year. Never saw a white boy so white, even for Michael...

6) Being with everybody the night Princess Di died...

7) After explaining to (arguing with) the programmer on why inviting Riefenstahl was reprehensible and I wouldn't be back (several years later when Bob and Mike took over again, we worked it out), and feeling very angry and upset, I got tapped on the shoulder by a very young, gay bellhop at the hotel in Glendale who whispered, "Good for you, sir!" Right out of Lubitsch. (By the way, I was NOT one of the people who asked for an autograph.)

8) Amy and I having a table at the dealer's room at the Hollywood Roosevelt when we were first starting out and having all you nice people come up and encourage us.

9) Yes, all those films! Even the bad ones. Thanks to Sam, Randy, Ed and others but especially Bob and Mike....
Dennis Doros
Milestone F&V

User avatar
Harlett O'Dowd
Posts: 2113
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:57 am

Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:37 pm

irwin drobny wrote: Newbies who haven't endured Blossom Room screenings don't know what suffering is.
But you know, part of me misses the Roosevelt and the Blossom Room. Not the sane part, mind you, but part of me nonetheless.

And while I wouldn't give up the Egyptian for anything (well, maybe the Chinese) I do kinda miss the Blossom Room. Shy, retiring me found it easier to meet folks in between features - maybe because we were all on one level, maybe because what refreshments there were (hotel water) were in the same room.

And in the Roosevelt, it was easier to, say, grab an elevator ride with the likes of Mary Wickes, which is something that will not happen at the Egyptian (a, because there is no elevator and b, because there is no longer a Mary Wickes.) The grill also made it easier to invite guests like Mary Wickes or Toby Wing, who may not have had large enough roles in any single (largely unavailable) feature to justify the invite, but a clip reel and a longer Q&A did just as well, if not better. We've had a few panel discussions/book signings in the dealer rooms in the past. Perhaps it would make sense to try to rev that up in coming years and maybe invite some of those familiar faces who may not be considered a big enough "draw" for a prime time slot at the Eqyptian - or maybe past Cinecon guests who have books out etc. (Having missed Miles Kreuger's reconstuction of THE MARCH OF TIME the first time, I would love to have him do it again)

Of course, The Egyptian has infinitely more comfortable seats, with better angles of viewing, it is generally *not* an icebox and has infinitely better sound. And it has a real snack bar.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that at the Egyptian we have infinitely better run shows and a better theatre-going experience. But the Blossom Room felt a bit more like a convention - with all the good and the bad it brings with it.

I think it's been brought up before and it might be worth bringing up again - maybe at the membership meeting - that perhaps a mixer, either before the start or at the end of Thusday night's screenings would be a nice casual way for everyone to rub shoulders before we all get too involved with the business at hand.

User avatar
silentstar5
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:28 pm
Location: TORONTO

Cinecon Photos

Unread post by silentstar5 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:22 pm

Does anyone have Cinecon photos to post on this topic?
I am really enjoying your recollections!

Post Reply