Tags Posts tagged with "Cinema Arts Centre"

Cinema Arts Centre

Tom Manuel

Making Memories with Music, a special program for people with dementia and their care partners, returns to the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington on Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. Facilitated by Marcy Rhodes, the morning will feature a performance by The Jazz Loft Trio — Tom Manuel on cornet and vocals, Steve Salerno on guitar and Keenan Zach on double bass. Admission is $5 per person. Popcorn and beverages will be served. Registration is required by calling 631-423-7610, ext. 0.

Edith Storey, third from left, in a scene from 'A Florida Enchantment'

By Victoria Espinoza

“I want to be a bit different from the girl across the aisle.” — Edith Storey

Town of Huntington residents may be surprised to learn a Hollywood actress from the early 20th century once lived a stone’s throw away from their own backyards. Silent film star Edith Storey, who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, lived in Northport for a considerable amount of her life, and in celebration of her career, the Cinema Arts Centre will be showing two of her films this week. 

Edith Storey in 1917

A special screening of “A Florida Enchantment” (1914) followed by the 1916 short “Jane’s Bashful Hero” will take place on Wednesday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m. Film historian Steve Massa will speak at the event, and the film will have live theater organ accompaniment by Ben Model.

Considered one of her best films, “A Florida Enchantment” stars Storey as a strong-willed young woman named Lillian who is irritated with her much-older fiancé, Dr. Cassandene, played by Sidney Drew, who also directs the film. Lillian finds magic seeds that transform her into a man and enjoys the newfound freedoms she gains with her switch of gender. She kisses other women, dances with them, smokes cigarettes, applies for a man’s job and dresses in men’s clothing. When she starts secretly feeding the magic seeds to those around her, including her unsuspecting fiancé, pandemonium ensues.

Born in New York City in 1892, Storey began acting in Vitagraph productions at the age of 16, appearing in “Francesca da Rimini.” From 1908 to 1921 she starred in over 140 films and shorts in a variety of film genres including comedies and westerns. Reportedly an excellent horseback rider, one of her director’s commented that Storey could “ride anything with hair and four legs, throw a rope and shoot with the best of the cowpunchers.” During that time she was one of the most celebrated actresses on the American screen.

Dylan Skolnick, co-director at the Cinema Arts Centre said he happened upon Storey’s life story quite accidentally during a visit to the Northport Historical Society. 

“They had a display of Northport’s history and significant people and there was this section about her,” Skolnick said in a phone interview. “I was shocked, I had never heard this story before.”

Skolnick said he reached out to Massa, who had written about Storey in his book “Slapstick Divas: The Women of Silent Comedy” to learn more about the movie star.

“He was like, ‘Oh, of course, Edith Storey.’ His knowledge is so deep,” Skolnick said. The co-director said after learning more about the actress he reached out to the Library of Congress, which confirmed it had some of her films and would loan them to the Cinema Arts Centre.

Massa called Storey a “talented character actress” and outstanding in “A Florida Enchantment” in a recent email. He said during World War I she took time off from acting to drive an ambulance that transported wounded returning soldiers to New York hospitals.

After retiring from films in 1921 at the age of 29, she moved to a house in Asharoken where she eventually became village clerk, a position she held from 1932 to 1960. According to Skolnick, in the 1930s there was no village hall in Asharoken so elections were held at her house. During World War II, her front yard served as the drop spot for scrap metal. Children who grew up in the neighborhood later recalled how she would tell them stories of her movie career. Storey passed away in Northport in 1967 at the age of 75.

Skolnick is looking forward to this special evening dedicated to the silent film star. “It all sort of came together and here we are,” he said. “Audience members will have a really good time. The film is a delightful comedy and will be accompanied by some wonderful live music.”

The Cinema Arts Centre is located at 423 Park Ave., Huntington. Tickets for this event are $16, $11 members. For more information, please call 631-423-7611 or visit www.cinemaartscentre.org.

Burton Gilliam, center, in a scene from ‘Blazing Saddles’
Burton Gilliam set to host special screening of 1974 classic 

By Kevin Redding

Harrumph harrumph harrumph. On Saturday, April 28, the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington invites one and all back to Rock Ridge circa 1874 for a screening of the groundbreaking, controversial and hysterical “Blazing Saddles” more than 44 years after its original release, featuring a very special appearance from one of its stars.  

It was February 1973 when Burton Gilliam, a Dallas, Texas, firefighter of 14 years and a Golden Gloves champion boxer during his time in the Coast Guard, got a phone call from a fast-talking “little ball of energy” from Hollywood he’d never heard of named Mel Brooks. 

Brooks, best known at the time as a staff writer on the Sid Caesar-led variety program “Your Show of Shows,” the co-creator of “Get Smart” and the writer-director of the 1968 film “The Producers,” was offering Gilliam the role of a cowboy in his upcoming film, a then-untitled Western-themed comedy. Gilliam laughed and thanked “Mr. Brooks” before hanging up. 

Just one of his buddies at the fire station putting him on, he thought. “‘Cuz that’s what firemen do to each other,” Gilliam, 79, recalled, laughing.

Months prior, Gilliam, who was 35 at the time, had responded on a whim to an ad in the Dallas newspaper about a local casting call for extras in director Peter Bogdanovich’s film “Paper Moon,” starring Ryan and Tatum O’Neal. 

Despite having no acting experience, Gilliam showed up with his big old grin and even bigger Texan exuberance. Over the course of a few weeks, he beat out hundreds of people in the audition process and impressed Bogdanovich enough to be given a small speaking part as a desk clerk named Floyd. After filming in St. Joseph, Missouri, wrapped, he returned to Dallas and his job at the fire department, looking forward to the June release of the film and thankful for his brush with movie stardom. 

But that phone rang again 10 minutes after he hung up and it was Brooks once more, explaining that he had seen a rough cut of “Paper Moon” and wanted Gilliam to meet with him to play this part. Gilliam was hesitant to abandon his job and $12,000 a year salary to go to Los Angeles and commit to the film. He wound up meeting with Brooks and producers three times before finally agreeing to come aboard.

“I remember that first time I met [Mel] — this little guy jumped over a desk and ran over to me and jumped into my arms, pushing me against the wall,” Gilliam said. “He was like a koala bear. I had no other thought but to like him. He was so open and funny.”

Between Gilliam’s first and third trip to Hollywood, Brooks and his team expanded his once-tiny role as Lyle, a dim-witted and callous antagonist to the film’s hero Sheriff Bart (played by Cleavon Little), into a much heftier one that sets the stage for the entire film (“What about ‘De Camptown Ladies’?”). 

He received a call of persuasion from Richard Pryor, one of “Blazing Saddles’” many writers, and Brooks promised to pay him his yearly salary at the fire department in the three weeks he’d be filming for, plus overtime.

Burton Gilliam and Slim Pickens

“About four weeks later, I quit the fire department,” said Gilliam, one of 10 members of his family to serve as a fireman. “I was the only one that ever quit. And after I did, everyone came out of the woodwork to tell me how crazy I was. But I went to Hollywood and stayed for 23 years! And what a great 23 years it was.”

Since appearing in Brooks’ 1974 classic, Gilliam has acted in more than 50 films and television shows, including “Fletch” starring Chevy Chase, “Back to the Future Part III,” “Honeymoon in Vegas” with Nicolas Cage, and episodes of “Mama’s Family,” “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “Knight Rider” and “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He has also appeared in countless commercials and has even lent his instantly recognizable voice to video games. 

“To me, the most rewarding part has been meeting the people working behind the scenes — the makeup people, the wardrobe, lighting, sound departments,” Gilliam said. “They were all so good to me.”

When he isn’t in front of the camera, Gilliam has become a staple at various charities across the country. 

Through it all, the actor said he never gets tired of answering questions about, and quoting lines from, the movie that made him famous. Although, he admits he never would’ve guessed “Blazing Saddles” would remain so popular and beloved nearly 50 years later, especially one that very clearly could never be made today.

“It’s really a mystery almost that something like this can last this long, and it’s going to last a lot longer,” Gilliam said. “And Mel Brooks is as surprised as anybody that it’s lasted this long. I don’t know what to make of the whole thing. When we did the picture, Mel always said the people at Warner Brothers gave him $3 million and told him to go have a good time. And that’s it right there … it’s something that had never been done before, saying those words and doing those things we did and getting away with it.”

Burton Gilliam as Lyle, right, in a scene from ‘Blazing Saddles’ with Slim Pickens as Taggart

The film, of course, about the arrival of a black sheriff in an over-the-top racist town, is a raunchy (it’s the first film to feature a flatulence scene!), chaotic, uproarious, surreal, wholly politically incorrect and brilliant satire of the western film genre and a no-holds-barred takedown of racism and prejudices. 

In the opening of the film, Gilliam’s character Lyle, joined by his gang of thuggish cowboys, orders a group of black members of a railroad crew, led by Little, to sing a song while they work, saying “When you was slaves, you sang like birds.” Lyle expounds a series of racist comments here, including the N-word, which he recalls made him uncomfortable while filming the scene on set. 

“It was the second week I was there and I had to say those words to about 25 black guys, saying these things that had never been spoken before in movies and that was a bit hard,” Gilliam said. “So after we were on the scene for probably 25 minutes, they were switching cameras for somebody’s close-up, and Cleavon said, ‘Hey let’s take a walk.’ He told me, ‘Listen, I know you’re having a little bit of trouble saying these things but this is a movie and we’re having fun. Be comfortable and call me anything you want to … it’s okay, this is all fun…”

But, Gilliam said, Little warned him, “After they say ‘Cut!,’ if you call me that, we’re gonna go to fist city.’”

Cinema Arts Centre co-director Dylan Skolnick said he considers “Blazing Saddles” one of the funniest movies ever made, and remembers seeing it in theaters when it came out. While it’s been shown at the theater several times, he said he’s excited to have Gilliam emcee the screening.

“Burton’s one of those guys — his name’s not necessarily famous, but when you see him, since he’s been in a lot of movies and things as a character actor, it’s like, ‘Oh! That guy! I love that guy!’” Skolnick said. “It was great to be able to build an event around somebody like him, where he can be the star for the evening … It’s such an iconic movie and he has a crucial scene in one of the most famous moments.”

Gilliam said he’s looking forward to meeting and talking with the fans, and reminiscing about the making of the movie. “I enjoy those things because I get to talk a lot,” Gilliam said, laughing. “And I always get new questions; I have to be on my toes a little bit and I like that.”

As part of its Cult Cafe series, The Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington will present a special screening of “Blazing Saddles” on April 28 at 9:45 p.m. with a Q&A with Burton “Lyle” Gilliam. Tickets are $15 per person, $12 members. To order, call 631-423-7611 or visit www.cinemaartscentre.org.

Photos courtesy of Bobby Bank 

Ben Model at the historic Wonder Morton Theatre Pipe Organ at The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre in 2014. Photo by Steve Friedman

By Kevin Redding

As a film production major at New York University in 1982, Ben Model sat in a film history class and watched a series of silent movies with his peers. The early 16mm prints had no sound tracks backing them and Model felt the disinterest of his classmates.

“It really bothered me that these movies were bombing in front of film students every week,” said Model, 55, who grew up enchanted by three things: silent movies, the art of filmmaking and music, having started piano lessons when he was 5. “So I figured, I don’t really know what I’m doing, but it’s got to be better than nothing.”

Photo by Larry Smith
Ben Model at the Library of Congress Packard Preservation Campus Theater. Photo by Larry Smith

So he approached his professor and offered to play piano during the screenings to liven the experience for the audience — an idea the professor loved. From then on, until he graduated two years later, Model (pronounced Moe-del) served as the maestro for two to three film screenings per week in the basic cinema history class as well as a film historian’s class — providing the music for many of the earliest movies ever made, from Auguste and Louis Lumière’s 50-second-long actuality films depicting military events and everyday scenes to Thomas Edison’s studio films to the works of pioneer filmmakers D.W. Griffith and Sergei Eisenstein.

Through his new gig, he met and befriended renowned silent film accompanist Lee Erwin, who was an organist in theaters during the 1920s and was, at the time, playing the giant Wurlitzer organ at Carnegie Hall Cinema in Manhattan, one of the few repertory theaters back then. Erwin served as Model’s mentor, someone whose brain the young college student often picked, learning what works, what doesn’t, what to do, what not to do.

While Model only started doing this to engage his peers in early films, he wound up turning it into a career spanning more than 30 years. He currently serves as one of the leading silent film accompanists and most well-respected silent film historians, traveling around the world in a wide variety of venues presenting silent films and providing unforgettable live scores for hundreds of them.

Ben Model at the Egyptian Theatre, Boise Idaho. Photo by Paul Collins

Model has been a resident silent film accompanist at the Museum of Modern Art since 1984; the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus Theatre since 2009; the Silent Film Days in Tromsø portion of the Tromsø International Film Festival in Norway, home to Verdensteatret, Norway’s oldest cinema in use, dating back to 1916, for 12 years; the historic Egyptian Theatre in Boise, Idaho, where he performs scores with a full orchestra; recently played in theaters in Connecticut, Maryland and Ohio and frequently performs at museums and schools; will be playing at the Turner Classic Movies film festival next month; and, since 2006, can be seen locally at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington once a month during the theater’s Anything But Silent program.

Model is also a lecturer, film programmer and visiting professor of film studies at Wesleyan  University in Connecticut, as well as the creator of New York City’s Silent Clowns Film Series, launched in 1997 as the premiere, regularly scheduled showcase for silent film comedy, from Buster Keaton to Laurel & Hardy. 

“There’s something so immersive about the experience of silent films, especially when you see it with live music,” Model said. “It’s ironic that because of what’s missing from the film, you’re actually much more involved and engaged, because the imagination is filling in everything: the sound, the colors, pieces of the story, the gags. You’re assembling them in your head, in a group setting. You can get lost in it; you feel like you’re almost part of what’s going on — it’s like a trance.”

A trance, he said, he’s long been in. “When I started doing this, I realized that throughout my life, anything surrounding silent film kind of just worked out for me,” he said.

It all started with Charlie Chaplin. While some little kids were obsessed with dinosaurs and others with trains and trucks, young Model gravitated toward The Tramp, consuming all his films he could find and reading biographies and film books on his craft. That paved the way for Chaplin’s contemporaries like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd.

When he was 12, Model, who grew up in Larchmont in Westchester County, received a book called “The Silent Clowns” written by Walter Kerr, a New York Times theater critic in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s and silent film fanatic himself, which became something of a sacred text to the young boy. Because Kerr lived close by, and had amassed a huge collection of these movies he wrote about, Model’s parents encouraged him to reach out to the author.

“So I wrote him a letter telling him I was interested in seeing more silent films,” Model said, explaining that, in the mid-70s, he had to wait for them to show up on television and there was a lot of movies he read about that he just couldn’t find. “Walter Kerr called me four days later. Over the next 15 to 20 years, a few times a year, I’d go over and he’d say, ‘So, what do you want to see?’ So I grew up going to the guy who literally wrote the book on silent film comedy.”

Model said in terms of his performances, he’s primarily an improviser — relying on his background as a silent film devourer and improv comedian in college to let things come to him naturally, he said, like musicians do in jazz. But if he hasn’t seen the film before, he’ll watch it in advance to take note of different story and action beats in order to stay ahead of the movie and provide certain underscores when needed.

“Ben is creating a virtual time machine of the original movie-going experience and transporting our audiences to another era,” said Raj Tawney, director of publicity and promotions for Cinema Arts Centre, adding that audiences during Anything But Silent nights are always fully engrossed: laughing, shrieking and hooting and hollering. “There’s an undeniable respect for Ben’s choice of film, his vast historical knowledge, and the commitment to giving the best performance to each film. He’s a rock star in his own right.”

Model said he loves performing at Cinema Arts Centre because of its monthly embrace of these old films.“You’d be hard-pressed to find a suburban art cinema that thinks silent movies are worth showing,” Model said. “At Cinema Arts Centre, they recognize that sound is only part of the film landscape.”

He encourages people of all ages to come and experience a silent film. He recalled the impact a screening of Keaton’s 1928 film “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” from 10 years ago had on an 8-year-old girl, whose father later told Model that the film, its presentation and her experience that night was the subject of her college essay.

“Everyone involved with these films is dead, but even one from 100 years ago is just as entertaining as it was when it was first released,” Model said. “Silents are able to make the trip across several decades sometimes better than sound movies. It’s just so rewarding to be able to help these films live again, and build the next audience for them.”

by -
0 313
From left, Councilwoman Susan Berland, Grant Shaffer, Alan Cumming, Jud Newborn and CAC board member Jacqueline Strayerd at the reception. Photo by Jessica & Andrew Attard, FlashBack Photography

On Sept. 18, the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington hosted a sold-out event with actor Alan Cumming and his partner and literary collaborator Grant Shaffer to celebrate the publication of their recent children’s book, “The Adventures of Honey & Leon.”

Guests were treated to a cake decorated with the cover of the book. Photo by Jud Newborn

The event kicked off with a rare screening of “The Anniversary Party,” written, directed, produced and starring Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh. A Q&A session followed with Jud Newborn, Cinema Arts Centre’s special events curator where Cumming and Shaffer discussed their book, which is based on their own dogs and their adventures while their parents are away on vacation, and concluded with a book signing.

Through an anonymous donation from a Cinema Arts benefactor, being made in honor of Cumming and Shaffer, copies of the book will be donated to area elementary schools and libraries. “We are delighted that this book will be enjoyed by local children and their families,” said Dylan Skolnick, co-director of the Cinema Arts Centre. “The book supports the values and openness, acceptance and the importance of family that are fundamental to the Cinema Arts and it’s over 10,000 members,” he said.

“I would like to thank the anonymous donor and the Cinema Arts Centre for making available to our local schools and libraries copies of this beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written book,” added Councilwoman Susan Berland (D). “‘The Adventures of Honey & Leon’ highlights the love and devotion pets have for their families and that families come in all shapes and sizes. We all have to leave our pets home periodically and now we know how they are planning to follow us when we are gone. Bravo!,” she said.

by -
0 1010

Reviewed by Melissa Arnold

Grant Shaffer and Alan Cumming with their current pets, Jerry and Lala. Photo from Jud Newborn

Have you ever wondered what your pets are thinking, or what they’re up to when you’re not around? Actor Alan Cumming and his photographer/illustrator husband, Grant Shaffer, sure have. Constantly entertained by their late beloved dogs, Honey and Leon, the couple decided to share the fun in their new children’s book, “The Adventures of Honey & Leon,” beautifully illustrated with a silly, imaginative story line. Cumming and Shaffer, who have been together for 13 years, recently answered questions about the book via email.

Tell us a little bit about yourselves. Were you always animal lovers?

Alan Cumming: I always had animals around me growing up. I had two little West Highland Terrier dogs when I was a little boy, but as I lived on a country estate there were always sheep and cows and deer and pheasants around.

Grant Shaffer: I’ve always been an animal lover. I grew up with dogs, cats, a rabbit, lizards, snakes, hamsters, fish … I even had a pet rat that I was crazy about.

Is this your first foray into writing/illustrating?

AC: I’ve also written “Tommy’s Tale,” a novel published in 2002; “Not My Father’s Son,” a No. 1 New York Times best-selling memoir; and a book of photographs and stories titled “You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams.” GS: I illustrated a children’s book last year called “Three Magic Balloons,” written by Julianna and Paul Margulies.

How did you come up with the story line?

GS: The idea came up when we’d be traveling and missing our dogs. We would spot people at the airport, on the street or at a beach and say, “There’s Honey” (old lady in a bathrobe and a floppy sun hat), or “There’s Leon” (short little guy wearing big sunglasses and a flat cap), and the story just grew from there. The problem with dogs is that they don’t stick around forever. I think this was our way of trying to immortalize them, and we thought kids would like this tale.

AC: It seemed such a good collaboration considering our respective jobs. I love the idea that we have created something together that celebrates the creatures we loved so much.

What was the process like?

GS: Alan wrote the story first, and then I added the drawings. We mulled the idea of doing a children’s book for years, so it took a long time. It was great, and pretty fluid. I’ve heard of some couples who are barely speaking to each other after a joint project like this, but luckily that’s not us!

How did you come to adopt Honey and Leon?

GS: Before we met, Alan had adopted Honey, and I had adopted Leon, so when we got together, so did they. They were pure love and magic to us, but all dog owners think that about their dogs. Leon would sing (howl) along to Radiohead or if a siren went by, and Honey always crossed her paws like a lady, and she’d actually pose for a camera, looking left, then right.

Did you often wonder what the dogs were thinking at home?

GS: All the time. It usually involved food and dog treats I think. One time we rang up a pet psychic, so she could tell us what the dogs were thinking. She was so off, saying that Leon didn’t like my phone’s ringtone (I never used a ringtone) and that Honey wanted Alan to eat more vegetables (as a vegan, that’s all he eats). It was worth a funny phone call though.

Can you share with the readers a favorite story about Honey and Leon?

GS: We used to play a game: If I walked the dogs, Alan would hide somewhere in the house. Alan’s hiding places became more involved, and the chase would become more frantic each time. I would guide them with “hot” and “cold,” and Alan would clue them in with a whistle. When they’d finally find him, it was like a family reuniting that had been separated for decades — lots of whining and licks!

Do you two hope to adopt pets again someday?

GS: We already did! When Honey died (from old age), Leon was so lonely, so we adopted a Chihuahua mix named Jerry. Then Leon died (from old age) and we adopted Lala (a mini-collie mix, but she looks like a black fox). We are in love all over again.

Is there a particular message you hope to pass on to kids with this book?

GS: I like that the story features two gay dads, but that isn’t the story really. It’s just, “Here is our family on a fun adventure together.” I guess that’s a message in itself.

Who is your target audience?

AC: We recommend the book for kids ages 3 to 7.

Are there any other books we can look forward to from you?

GS: “The Further Adventures of Honey & Leon” comes out in 2019. “The Adventures of Honey & Leon” is available online and in stores wherever books are sold.

Cumming and Shaffer will make a special appearance at the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington on Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $75, $60 members. The event, hosted by Jud Newborn, includes a rare screening of Cumming’s “The Anniversary Party,” followed by a Q&A and book-signing reception for “The Adventures of Honey & Leon.” Every ticket holder will receive a copy of the book. Call 631-423-7611 for more information.

By Kevin Redding

Equipped with a pillow, blanket and a well-balanced diet of coffee and buttered popcorn, I sat among 140 strangers last Saturday night, Aug. 26, and watched people scream and die for 12 hours.

Some met their bloody fate at the hands of a killer doll by the name of Chucky, others at the hands of a pint-sized corpse named Gage. Satanic hippies and academics infected by otherworldly slime showed up to wreak havoc and a scientist named Seth Brundle shed some body parts before fully transforming into a big, bad, disgusting insect.

Moviegoers settle in for 12-hour horror marathon at the Cinema Arts Centre on Aug. 26

All this was applauded, cheered and laughed at by a horror-loving crowd during the 13th annual Pay-to-Get-Out Horror Movie Marathon at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, presented by Retro Picture Show, which ran from 10 p.m. Saturday until about 10 a.m. Sunday.

An endurance test for the eyes — How much terror can they behold? How long can they stay open? — this year’s fright-film fest packed a punch, a bite and a lot of blood in its seven-movie lineup, all shown in their original, crackly 35mm format.

The audience was made up of folks of all ages and from all across Long Island. To get us through the night, we had blankets, refreshments from the Sky Room Cafe and a unifying love for all things scary.

“I’ve been a horror movie fan since I was a kid and love watching these movies among fans of the same genre,” Lloyd Zare of Coram said before the marathon. “I’m excited and just hope I don’t doze off in the middle of any of them.”

“I love horror movies,” said Jenna Mannino from Amityville, who had survived the marathon once before several years ago and wanted to see if she could do it again. She was most excited to see “Pet Sematary.”

“When I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed to watch horror movies because I’d have really bad nightmares so now it’s just kind of a thrill. And I love the commentary during the marathon.”

oviegoers settle in for 12-hour horror marathon at the Cinema Arts Centre on Aug. 26

Huntington resident Phillip Griffin said of the event, “Oh, I love it. … It’s my second year here. It’s a lot of fun, it’s better than being at home trying to do a movie marathon. There’s a camaraderie, everyone’s here for the same reason, they’re all horror movie fans and it’s great seeing them on actual film rather than digital. It’s definitely a trek making it through [the night] but it’s worth it.”

Kicking things off was “Child’s Play 2,” a perfect opener for the audience, which howled at every one of Chucky’s one-liners; followed by “Pet Sematary,” a truly creepy adaptation of the Stephen King novel that made some people hide their heads in their blankets; and “Grindhouse Releasing’s Trailer Apocalypse!” — an insane assortment of trailers ranging from “Orca” to “Werewolves on Wheels” to “The Gruesome Twosome” to “The Exorcist” with some old Vick’s VapoRub and Clearasil commercials thrown in for good measure. At the end of most of the clips, those around me wondered aloud, “What did I just watch?”

oviegoers settle in for 12-hour horror marathon at the Cinema Arts Centre on Aug. 26

Admittedly, the rest of the night was a bit of a blur as I started drifting in the middle of John Carpenter’s “Prince of Darkness,” completely slept through “Blackenstein,” and then woke up to those satanic hippies foaming at the mouth in search of human flesh in “I Drink Your Blood.”

At just about 8:20 a.m., with the theater still packed with sleep-deprived vampires waiting for the final, mystery film, the room erupted at the sight of the opening title of “The Fly” filling up the screen — David Cronenberg’s classic 1986 body-horror masterpiece starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis.

With another marathon wrapped up, Retro Picture Show founder Michael Ciani, who began the night giving out vinyl soundtracks and memorabilia to lucky raffle winners, deemed the night a success. “It went well, we had a good crowd, even bigger than last year,” Ciani said. “I’m happy, tired but happy.”

Photos by Kevin Redding

‘Child’s Play 2’ starring Chucky will kick off the annual Horror Movie Marathon at the CAC.

By Kevin Redding

As summer winds down, the Halloween season sets in and nobody kicks off the spookiest time of the year better than the folks over at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington. In collaboration with Retro Picture Show for the second year in a row, the theater unleashes its 13th annual “Pay To Get Out” Horror Movie Marathon to the masses on Saturday, Aug. 26, starting at 10 p.m.

For 12 hours, moviegoers will be treated to a blood-splattered serving of six horror films, ranging from the popular to the forgotten and spanning the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, all shown in glorious 35mm.

Stephen King makes a cameo appearance in ‘Pet Sematary

The night’s lineup includes everybody’s favorite killer doll in “Child’s Play 2” (1990); Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary” (1989); horror legend John Carpenter’s overlooked “Prince of Darkness” (1987), celebrating its 30th anniversary; “Blackenstein” (1973), the blaxploitation sendup of Mary Shelley’s classic tale; the once-X-rated “I Drink Your Blood” (1971); and Grindhouse Releasing’s “Trailer Apocalypse,” a feature-length compilation of creepy and nauseating trailers sure to thrill each and every horror lover in the crowd.

Plus, as is tradition, there will be a bonus mystery film that won’t be revealed to the audience until it starts.

The idea is that each film will get increasingly more and more deranged as the marathon goes on — an endurance test of which Jigsaw would surely approve — until those in the audience who have “survived” the experience emerge from the theater the next morning. Anyone who does will receive $10 back on their ticket and a free breakfast of bagels and coffee in the Sky Room Cafe after the final feature.

John Carpenter’s ‘Prince of Darkness’ wages war on mankind.

In typical Retro Picture Show fashion, five raffle winners will be announced at the top of the evening, with prizes including an official “I Drink Your Blood” collectible toy to coincide with its Blu-ray release, a brand new “Blackenstein” Blu-ray, the vinyl soundtrack of “Pet Sematary” and a CD soundtrack of “Prince of Darkness.”

“It’s a special year for us because 13, in horror movie terms, is a moment to celebrate,” said Raj Tawney, director of publicity and promotions for Cinema Arts Centre. “I always encourage everybody to give it a shot but I think you have to be a horror movie fan to sit through these kinds of films. Anybody else wouldn’t really appreciate the artistry these films have to offer.”

Tawney said the horror movie loyalists who come to the marathon year after year are among the most passionate audience members ever.

“Those that come out are such big fans, we always get a packed house,” he said. “They bring pillows and blankets from home to get themselves comfortable all night and many do make it through the entire event. People have a great time.”

Returning as curator of the marathon is Retro Picture Show, a Long Island-based revival screening series focused primarily on horror, sci-fi and exploitation films. Run by husband and wife team Michael and Nina Ciani, the company hosts monthly series at the theater, most recently a special “Sleepaway Camp” triple feature last month that included a special guest appearance by actress Felissa Rose. Back in May, Retro Picture Show launched its online store and will be selling event T-shirts and posters during the marathon.

“I’m excited for the entire lineup [this year],” Michael Ciani, who curates all the company’s programs, said. “Curating the lineup is probably my favorite part, then announcing it and seeing everyone’s reaction. It takes hours of dedication over the course of a few months, many factors are taken into consideration … it’s definitely not a simple process.”

‘Child’s Play 2’ starring Chucky will kick off the annual Horror Movie Marathon at the CAC.

Among the movies Ciani’s most looking forward to screening with the crowd are “Blackenstein” and “I Drink Your Blood,” by far the least known and strangest entries of the night. “[They’ll] give the evening a nice exploitation and grindhouse feel,” he said. “These movies are crazy and perfect for an all-night marathon. Dozing off in your seat and waking up to the insane sights and sounds of ‘Blackenstein.’ That’s what it’s all about.”

Although the marathon has had a handful of different curators since it began, Tawney said Ciani brings a special touch to the event.

“He puts so much passion and thought into the movies that he’s showing and kind of takes you on this roller coaster ride throughout the evening,” Tawney said. “So much effort is put into his design and artwork and into the culture he’s cultivating through these screenings. He’s really developing a brand here and we’re really happy to be part of that experience. We’re kind of giving Retro Picture Show the forum to experiment and develop their film exhibition.”

And to also scare the living daylights out of people.

The Cinema Arts Centre is located at 423 Park Ave. in Huntington. Tickets for the 13th annual Pay to Get Out Horror Movie Marathon are $45 per person, $40 for Cinema Arts Centre members. To order call 631-423-7610 or visit www.cinemaartscentre.org. For more information on upcoming Retro Picture Show events, including its 2017 Halloween Horrorthon, visit www.retropictureshow.com.

Photo by Joyce Ravid

Former New York Times columnist and best-selling author to come to Huntington

By Melissa Arnold

Growing up, Anna Quindlen’s one and only dream was to write. Her life was flooded with the written word from the very beginning. Quindlen described herself as “a difficult child,” but teachers praised her for her writing skills. That encouragement led her to study English and creative writing at Barnard College in New York City and then on to a career in journalism.

“I always intended to be a novelist,” Quindlen said in a recent interview. “I only went into the newspaper business to pay the rent, but I loved it so much that I just stayed and stayed.”

Anna Quindlen will hold a special book signing at the Cinema Arts Centre on June 8.

Quindlen paved an extensive career as a columnist for the New York Times and Newsweek, even earning a Pulitzer Prize along the way. But then she returned to her first passion — fiction writing — and hasn’t looked back. Her beloved novels, including “One True Thing,” “Blessings” and “Black and Blue,” have amassed a dedicated fan base and time atop the New York Times Best Seller List. Her book, “A Short Guide to a Happy Life,” has sold more than a million copies.

Now, Quindlen is celebrating the paperback release of her latest novel, “Miller’s Valley,” with a stop right here on Long Island.

Long Island LitFest will host Quindlen on Thursday, June 8, at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington. The evening will include an intimate reading from “Miller’s Valley,” a meet-and-greet, a signed copy of the book and refreshments.

The LitFest, which launched in 2015 as an annual event bringing lauded authors to the area, has now grown to include occasional Long Island LitFest Presents evenings with a single author.

Claudia Copquin, the festival’s producer and foundress, calls it a labor of love. “My friends and I are avid readers and booklovers, but we’ve had to leave Long Island to go to book festivals and the sort,” she said. “We saw a need for something like this at a local level, and Long Islanders are well-read and very cultured. Authors are usually excited to get involved [with us].”

Copquin and members of the festival’s advisory board work to identify authors that would have an interest in making an appearance here. Many of the selected authors are preparing for or on a promotional tour for a book release, Copquin explained. In past years, they’ve hosted writers including Alan Zweibel, Adam Resnick, Dave Barry and many more.

Quindlen described “Miller’s Valley” as “set in a small farming community threatened by a government plan to dam and flood the valley, and its action stretches from the ’50s to the present. It’s about that period when Americans learned that their government might not have their best interests at heart. It’s also a period when the lives of women changed radically, and those changes are embodied in the book’s protagonist, Mimi Miller.”

Above, the cover jacket of Quindlen’s latest novel.

The book has received much praise. The Washington Post has called it “stunning,” USA Today writes it is “a breathtakingly moving look at family” and The New York Times Book Review calls it “overwhelmingly moving.”

Raj Tawney, director of publicity and promotions at the Cinema Arts Centre, said the venue is thrilled to welcome Quindlen as part of a wide spectrum of events held there.

“While the [center] is more about film, we’re here to service the entire community and deliver them all kinds of opportunities in arts and culture,” Tawney said. “We’re a sanctuary for artistic and creative people, and Anna Quindlen is such a renowned, accomplished creator. She’s an artist in her own right. It’s fitting to have her come out here.”

Long Island LitFest Presents Anna Quindlen will be held at 7:30 p.m. on June 8 at the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are $35 for members and $40 for the public. For more information, call 631-423-7611 or visit www.cinemaartscentre.org. To learn more about Long Island LitFest, visit www.longislandlitfest.com.

Patricia Bosworth

Renowned actress and journalist comes to Huntington for a night of film, stories

By Melissa Arnold

Patricia Bosworth has worn many hats throughout her lengthy career, but above all she is a storyteller. She’s written for the most well-known magazines and newspapers in America; she’s penned the biographies of Hollywood greats Jane Fonda and Marlon Brando, among others; and she’s graced stage and screen countless times in fulfillment of her childhood dreams. Now, Bosworth is telling her own story.

On March 15, Bosworth will appear at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington to share her new memoir, “The Men in My Life,” which was released in January.

“At the CAC we often have celebrities come in to talk about their memoirs. Here we have in Patricia Bosworth a true literary talent who is deeply respected,” said Jud Newborn, curator for special programs at the Cinema Arts Centre. “This book has everything juicy in it that you could want surrounding the world of acting, but it’s also a work that can sit proudly on your bookshelf. It’s placed in the context of crisis and transformation during a particular time in our history. It’s intelligent, fiercely honest, and entertaining.”

In a recent phone interview, Patricia Bosworth said she lived a lot of the time in a world of fantasy when she was a little girl.

Patricia Bosworth will be signing copies of her new book, above, at the event.

“I was always imagining, always pretending to be other people,” recalled Bosworth, who grew up in the shadow of her parents’ troubled marriage. Her father, Bartley Crum, saw his law career destroyed after he defended Hollywood’s infamous Big Ten from alleged communist sympathies in the 1950s.

Along with Bosworth’s fantastic imagination came two big dreams — to become a movie star and a writer. Buoyed by the support and love of her family, she set off in search of an acting career. It was not an easy life, however, and Bosworth suffered horrible abuse at the hands of the man she would marry and divorce before her 20th birthday. Shortly afterward, her beloved brother, Bartley Jr., took his own life following a long struggle with his sexuality. Just five years later, Bosworth’s father also committed suicide.

“I named my book ‘The Men in My Life’ after (my brother and father), because they really were the two most important men in the world to me,” Bosworth said. “I’ve spent my life trying to get over these huge losses and feeling guilty about their deaths.”

A self-described workaholic, Bosworth followed the path of many other suicide survivors, throwing herself completely into her career as a means of keeping the trauma at bay. “It was a thrill seeing myself on screen for the first time. It was challenging, and I wanted to change my hairstyle, but I wanted to do more,” Bosworth recalled.

She was eventually invited to join the prestigious Actors Studio in New York City, which allowed her to work with legends including Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Marilyn Monroe and others. It was in Bosworth’s words a “hotbed of creativity,” but it was also the most important workshop in America for recruiting new talent — thanks to skill and good timing, she quickly lined up jobs in television, Broadway and film.

While Bosworth’s resume is far too extensive to list, she singles out a few roles as career highlights. At 23, she played opposite Helen Hayes in a Palm Beach production of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie,” where she had the chance to meet Williams and talk about his inspiration for Laura, the character she played. Two years later, she appeared in the 1959 film “The Nun’s Story” alongside Audrey Hepburn, whom Bosworth called “a remarkable actress and beautiful human being.”

Patricia Bosworth

Developing close relationships with famed actors made Bosworth an easy choice for writing their life stories. Her first biography was of Montgomery Clift, whom she met as a teenager through her father. Later, she became the first woman to write a biography of Jane Fonda, a dear friend from the Actors Studio.

Bosworth’s career in journalism began with interviewing actors for New York Magazine, but her first mentor was Mario Puzo, author of “The Godfather.” She spent time at a variety of women’s magazines and freelanced for the New York Times for 15 years before becoming managing editor of Harper’s Bazaar and now serves as a contributing editor for Vanity Fair.

In “The Men in My Life,” Bosworth writes candidly about grief, surviving abuse, having a difficult, illegal abortion, and getting to know Hollywood’s finest in a way no one else could. “I wanted to tell my story because while we talk about many of these issues today, they were either considered taboo or rarely discussed (in the 1950s). I’m not the first one to write about this, but these memories have been in my head and my heart for decades,” she explained. “I wasn’t ready before. But now I am, and I’m very glad I did it.”

In addition to sharing the book at the March 15 event, the Cinema Arts Centre will screen the 1951 film “A Place in the Sun,” starring Bosworth’s friend Montgomery Clift and a 17-year-old Elizabeth Taylor.

An evening with Patricia Bosworth will begin at 7 p.m. March 15 at the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. A dessert and Prosecco reception will feature local jazz guitarist Mike Soloway and give guests the chance to meet Bosworth. Tickets are $20 for CAC members and $25 for nonmembers. For information, call 631-423-7611 or visit www.cinemaartscentre.org.

Social

9,204FansLike
0FollowersFollow
1,118FollowersFollow
33SubscribersSubscribe