Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Interesting Developments related to Classic (and Modern) Media

”The News on Parade Corporation presents- News on Parade... Corporation News!” (Newsreel Announcer- voiced by Harry Shearer on The Simpsons Season 5 episode “$pringfield”)

As we are approaching the month of May, At The Matinee presents some interesting (semi-recent) news items related to classic and modern film. 

VITAPHONE DISCS ON DISPLAY AT AN OLD OPERA HOUSE (?) The Shepherdstown Opera House in Shepherdstown, West Virginia might have something of interest for us film buffs.  The theater was built in 1909, and has the distinction of being the first theater in the state of West Virginia to screen sound motion pictures. 
According to an April 24th article in The News-Post on the theater’s revitalization efforts, there is a photograph of theater owner Larry Crumbo in the “green room” of the opera house.  On the wall of the green room, there are two film reels and several large phonograph records on the wall (minus the framed record on the piano). 

At The Matinee wonders if those discs could be Warner Bros. Vitaphone recordings (or sound discs produced by another studio for “sound-on-disc” projection systems)?  

Could this hold the key for Vitaphone features or short subjects with missing soundtrack disc(s)?  ATM has contacted The Vitaphone Project  for input on this.

CRACKLE OFFERS SELECT UNIVERSAL FEATURES FOR STREAMING: Sony’s Crackle streaming video service is known for its selection of vintage and cult Columbia features and TV shows, but has now added films from a competing studio. 

Variety reported that Sony has licensed 140+ feature films from Universal Pictures to be streamed on its Crackle platform.  Not sure if any vintage Universal or pre-1948 Paramount sound features will be included on the service in the near future. 

CRAIG FERGUSON TO LEAVE CBS’ THE LATE LATE SHOW: Yet another late night host is stepping down.  Weeks after David Letterman’s announcement of retirement from Late Night television- Craig Ferguson is leaving The Late Late Show on CBS (which comes on after Letterman’s Late Show).

Ferguson announced that he will step down from the show in December, to focus on other projects- including a new game show, Celebrity Name Game.   No word on who is going to be the successor host for The Late Late Show.   

IN MEMORIAM: At The Matinee remembers character actor Bob Hoskins, who passed away recently at the age of 72.  Many audiences may remember him from the 1988 animated/live-action fantasy film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  

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