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Catching Up…

There never seems to be enough time to deal with all the things I’d like to write about. Fortunately, other people have covered some of these topics, so I’m happy to serve as your tour guide to some worthwhile articles, blogs, and web postings.

First and foremost, Ty Burr has just written a vital and incendiary article for the Boston Globe about the dim state of digital projection—literally—in his home town, and how the problems he has uncovered are infecting theater screens nationwide. It’s a must-read HERE.

My friend and colleague Alex Ben Block has penned a timely tribute to veteran art director and poster designer Bill Gold for the Hollywood Reporter, which you can read HERE. A deluxe slip-cased coffee table book from Reel Art Press, limited to 1,500 copies, and featuring a—

—foreword by Clint Eastwood, is now available for a mere $650, but you can peruse some of Gold’s famous posters free of charge through a link alongside the article. And you can watch a video interview with him HERE, at the book’s official web page.

Another old pal, Kit Parker, has launched a blog where he writes about his lifelong experiences as a film distributor and occasional producer. If you were active in the 16mm film rental scene years ago you certainly know Kit’s name and the reputation he had for bringing a personal touch, and much-valued TLC, to the nontheatrical field. He’s now sharing entertaining stories about films he’s uncovered and colorful people he’s gotten to know, including the late exploitation-film king David F. Friedman, VCI’s Bill Blair, and the cigar-chomping co-founder of American-International Pictures, Sam Arkoff. Read to your heart’s content at kitparkerfilms.wordpress.com .

If you’re more interested in browsing than reading, and you have a passion for old movie theaters, you simply have to check out this posting, with evocative (and often sad) color photos of 75 abandoned theaters across the U.S. Some are former palaces, while others were small-town or main-street bijous, but they all stir deep emotions in me. I often wonder if anyone will acquire nostalgia for today’s multiplexes.

Here are just some of the goodies, salvaged from classic theaters, on display at the Theatre Historical Society museum in Illinois.

Anyone who cares about the history of these picture palaces—their future as well as their past—should be a card-carrying member of the Theater Historical Society of America. They publish a wonderful magazine called Marquee, currently edited by Ken Bloom, hold an annual conclave, and keep the torch burning for classic American theaters. In addition, they now maintain a fact-and-photo-filled website. But don’t just take advantage of the free site: membership dues are nominal, and your support is vital. And if you’re ever in the Chicago area, you should visit their headquarters in the historic York Theatre building, 152 North York Street, 2nd floor, Elmhurst, Illinois, about 16 miles West of Chicago’s Loop.

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