Screening restored classical films to increase attendance

by Bob Deutsch

Screening restored classical films to increase attendance

While most film festivals may screen new or independent features and shorts, the Festival of the Archives at the Seattle International Film Festival is a celebration of films that have already made a lasting impression on the public and movie experts. The festival will take place on December 6 through 9 at the Uptown, according to the Seattle Times.

Films that have been restored include “All About Eve” (1938), “Alien” (1979), “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962), “Singin’ In the Rain” (1952), “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977), “The Terminator” (1982) and “To Kill A Mockingbird” (1962) as well as many more.

The festival is in conjunction with the annual Association of Moving Image Archivists, which is a nonprofit organization that preserves, archives and restores motion picture materials.

While the conference occurring along with the festival may be a unique event, restoration and screening of classic films is not. Many cinemas will use this as a way to draw in more viewers for a monthly or bi-monthly event as they dust off the old projector and screen films in nearly renewed 35 millimeter.

“It’s basically the look of the color – each stock had a slightly different look,” Colleen Simpson, festival co-director and AMIA treasurer, explained to the source. “You want it to look like it did when it was originally released.”

One organization that does this quite frequently is the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. During the summer, the burial ground will often use an outdoor movie screen to project classic and restored films once a week as Los Angelinos roll out blankets and lawn chairs, celebrating the lives of the actors and actresses that may be buried not too far from the actual screening.

For other cinemas, libraries or museums that wish to boost attendance once or twice a month, having outdoor screenings of restored films can be an excellent way to bring in customers that may not be that regular on a more consistent base. These organizations should be sure to have the proper outdoor movie screen equipment before doing so.

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