Preview: Cinecon Classic Film Festival 2019

Movies from major studios and indies

Home Blog Preview: Cinecon Classic Film Festival 2019


LAC Group is excited to be a sponsor of Cinecon 2019, the 55th annual Classic Film Festival and memorabilia show taking place in Hollywood over Labor Day weekend, August 29th through September 2nd. Loews Hollywood Hotel is the host hotel, with all screenings at the historic Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.

The festival’s films are on loan from a host of prominent institutions and major film studios, including:

  • The Library of Congress
  • The Museum Of Modern Art
  • UCLA’s Film and Television Archive
  • Warner Bros.
  • Paramount
  • Sony Pictures
  • 20th Century Fox
  • NBC Universal
Stan Taffel

Stan Taffel, President of Cinecon

LAC’s Stan Taffel, also an independent film archivist and President of Cinecon, is one of several independent archivists providing materials to Cinecon, including both feature films and kinescopes from his own archive.

Two members of the LAC team in Burbank are also involved in Cinecon. Tobin Larson writes the synopses for the Festival website and Mike Cahill is the official photographer/videographer of the five day event. At LAC Group, they are responsible for assembling, sending out, retrieving and finally returning all the film and digital elements that will be seen at Cinecon.

LAC Group also will be providing the resources of our Burbank film facility to centralize and ensure the readiness of all the movies that will be screened. After the festival, the films will be returned to us in Burbank for an inventory and quality check before being returned to their destinations.

Cinecon 2019 classic film line-up

Cinecon 2019 will feature exciting recent discoveries of films that had been considered lost for decades. These include:

  • The 1929 Universal Pictures early sound film, COME ACROSS. Another rediscovery, SHOW GIRL (1928) has had its original synchronized score restored from the original 16-inch discs that had been missing for many years. This is one of the last films restored by Vitaphone Project founder Ron Hutchinson, who passed away last year. A tribute to Ron Hutchinson’s life and work will take place at Cinecon, including clips and full prints of some of his most significant restorations.
  • Cinecon also will be premiering (on the film’s centennial anniversary) the restoration showing of Universal’s silent comedy DELICIOUS LITTLE DEVIL (1919), starring Rudolph Valentino. 
  • Several silent films to be screened at Cinecon with live musical accompaniment. The opening night gala will feature a new restoration of BARE KNEES (1928) accompanied by the nineteen-piece Famous Players Orchestra. Stan Taffel is on the board of directors of the orchestra, whose mission is to bring back the experience of what movie-theater going was like back in the silent-film era, as well as to showcase the music that was written to accompany these gems of the silent screen.

Saturday Nitrate Fever special program

Early films were recorded on nitrate film, revered for its quality of light, but because of nitrate’s dangerous flammability risk, it was replaced by acetate or safety film. Nitrate film prints, with their rich tonalities and gleaming luster, are a rare treat to experience; but because the film stock requires careful handling and special projection criteria, there are not many opportunities to view them. 


Only a few theaters in the United States are equipped to screen nitrate films. The Egyptian theater, with its recently remodeled projection booth, is one of them. 

Cinecon will be screening archival nitrate prints in its “Saturday Nitrate Fever” event on Saturday, August 31, starting at 8:20 pm:

  • Fleischer brothers’ color nitrate COBWEB HOTEL (1936) is a ten-minute cartoon in which a spider that runs a hotel for flies keeps his guests captive.
  • Paramount Pictures’ NIGHT OF MYSTERY (1937) detective film, in which a series of murders within the members of a family are investigated, will be shown in luminous black and white nitrate.

For the last two years, Cinecon has presented programs of rare nitrate films. The popularity of these screenings has prompted the festival to prepare another nitrate screening this year. 

Legacy film stars to be honored

Celebrities that will be honored at Cinecon 2019 include actresses Barbara Rush, Ann Robinson and Gigi Perreau, who will all receive the 2019 Cinecon Legacy Award. Each will be present for a screening of one of her films and for a Q&A session after the screening. 

Kinecon at Cinecom special program

The popular “Kinecon at Cinecon” program features many sequences from the days of early live television, featuring many clips thought to have been lost. The program will feature screenings of kinescopes, rare filmed records of television programs made directly from a TV monitor as the program was happening. 

Kinescopes included will be moments with beloved entertainers such as Jack Benny, Dick Van Dyke, Nat King Cole, Jackie Gleason and Chuck McCann.

Additionally, Josh Mills, executor of the Ernie Kovacs archive, now preserved by the Library of Congress, will host a tribute to the early television icon. For the last two years, Kinecon at Cinecon has sold out, so this year, it is being presented in the larger main theater to accommodate the audience.

Following are all the links you need to plan your participation and pre-register for Cinecon 2019:

Tim Knapp

Tim Knapp

Tim Knapp is EVP of Media & Archive services at LAC Group. He brings more than 30 years of experience in motion and still imaging – first in film, and most recently in digital. Tim has an extensive and wide-ranging understanding of the capabilities and challenges of film and video, including the issues and opportunities it presents for archivists as they face aging media libraries and an increasingly digital future.

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