LECTURE AND PREMIER OF THE NEW BOOK: Our Movie Houses: A History of Film & Cinematic Innovation in Central New York

LECTURE AND PREMIER OF THE NEW BOOK:

Our Movie Houses: A History of Film

& Cinematic Innovation in Central New York

CONTACT: DENNIS CONNORS (Curator of History at 428-1864 ext 310)

The Onondaga Historical Association Museum, one of the cultural attractions along Syracuse’s Connective Corridor, will host a book premier, talk and signing on Wednesday, June 25, for the recently released publication, Our Movie Houses: A History of Film & Cinematic Innovation in Central New York

(Syracuse University Press, 2008). The event will feature authors Norman O. Keim, founder of the Syracuse University Film Studies Center, and David Marc, associate editor of Syracuse University Magazine, and is free and open to the public.

our-movie-houses-110Book signings will take place at 5 and 6 p.m. A book talk with the authors will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will feature a display of fascinating early theater memorabilia drawn from the collection of the Onondaga Historical Association. Light refreshments will be provided.

Our Movie Houses: A History of Film & Cinematic Innovation in Central New York offers a richly detailed account of the origins of American film in the Syracuse area, a colorful history of movie theaters in Central New York, and short biographies for dozens of famous film personalities who got their start in the unlikely snow belt of New York State. The book includes several photographs of both downtown and neighborhood theaters once found throughout Syracuse and the region. Comprehensive appendices provide names and locations of these theaters that will stir fond memories for many Central New Yorkers. In Syracuse, they range from the “Acme,” which ran films on Butternut Street until 1953 to the “Lyric,” which operated until 1945 on Wolf Street. Beyond the city, theaters in towns from Adams to Weedsport, New York are included.

Among countless details on film history in the Salt City, Mr. Keim has included stories on how Syracuse seems to have beaten Thomas Edison in 1896 with the first public screening of a motion picture. He also relates the invention of the early motion picture device, the mutoscope, in Lipe’s Machine Shop, still standing in Syracuse on Geddes Street. And readers will discover the local connections for dozens of Hollywood notables such as musicals headliner Gordon MacRae, 1930s cinema leading lady Norma Shearer and silent movie child star Jackie Coogan.

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One response to “LECTURE AND PREMIER OF THE NEW BOOK: Our Movie Houses: A History of Film & Cinematic Innovation in Central New York

  1. Please refer to “Remembering Elmwood” blog on Syracuse.com. I am nanato5 who started the whole trip down Memory Lane with now over 100 comments. I am now 64 years old, living in CT, and my fondest memory of my youth was Uncle Paul at the Elmwood Theatre on South Ave. We used to go there Saturday mornings at 10:00 and pay 15 cents to spend the entire day there. Uncle Paul would show a bunch of cartoons, have a talent show during intermission, throw hard candies to all of us eager kids, and then run the feature film. He would always stop it at a tense moment to ensure that we would be back the next Saturday- the Lone Ranger chasing the bad guy, riding up to the edge of a cliff, and STOP! Did he stop in time? Did he jump? Did he make it? We had to wait til the following Saturday to find out. Looking back now, that was a sure genius move, but at the time, we thought that’s how movies were made.

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