The Dryden Theatre

The Dryden Theatre The George Eastman Museum's exhibition space for showcasing its unparalleled collection of motion pictures, as well as new foreign and independent films.
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The Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House is the Museum's largest exhibition space for showcasing its unparalleled collection of motion pictures, selections from archives around the world, as well as new foreign and independent films. With such diverse programming, the Dryden remains an essential part of the Museum experience and continues to be an important institution not only for the Rochester community, but internationally as well. The Dryden Theatre was constructed in 1951 after George Eastman House received a generous donation from George and Ellen Dryden. The first film to be shown at the Dryden was Jean Renoir’s silent film Nana (1924). James Card (1915 – 2000) established the motion picture collection at George Eastman House. Card was a pioneer in the archival world and he single-handedly helped contribute to the appreciation of film as an art form. FILM The projection booth is equipped with two reel-to-reel 35mm/16mm Kinoton projectors, and two 35mm Century projectors. Both sets of projectors have adaptable lenses for the following aspect ratios: 1.18: 1 Silent 1.33: 1 Academy 1.37: 1 1.66: 1 1.85: 1 Anamorphic 2.39: 1 VIDEO The Dryden Theatre is equipped with an InFocus SP 777 DLP Projector. Video capabilities include: BetacamSP, Blu-ray, DVD, DigiBeta, U-Matic and VHS. SOUND The theatre is outfitted with an up-to-date sound system designed to reproduce soundtracks for both contemporary and archival screenings. Designed and installed by Boston Light & Sound, it features a Dolby 7.1 system, able to reproduce the following stereo formats: Mono, Dolby A-Type, Dolby SR, Dolby Digital, and also DTS. NITRATE The Dryden Theatre projection booth is also customized to handle highly volatile Nitrate film. Discontinued around the mid-20th Century due to its highly flammable nature, nitrate film stock – the combination of a silver nitrate base and orthochromatic or panchromatic emulsion – provided a shimmering, luminous motion picture experience for moviegoers during the entire first half of movie history. One of only a handful of venues in the world that is still safely equipped to show 35mm nitrate prints, the Dryden Theatre is occasionally able to re-introduce audiences to this special kind of cinema magic with classic films from our vaults or other leading archives. Because no nitrate film stock is being produced today, these rare screenings of vintage prints may represent your only opportunity to experience this distinctive aesthetic visual pleasure.

Operating as usual

02/26/2021
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Sungji Oh was hired at the Korean Film Archive right after graduating from the L. Jeffrey Selznick School in 2002. Now she is a curator for their theaters and museum. She sits down with Jared to talk about all of this and recommend a film from the Korean Film Archive's YouTube channel, where more than 200 classic Korean features are streaming for free. A BLOODTHIRSTY KILLER is a wild ghost story about an avenging spirit and the immoral family she married into.

02/26/2021
George Eastman Museum

Go behind the scenes at the Eastman Museum and watch independent conservator Gary Albright conserve this piece of film history!

Every year, the museum selects a poster from the Moving Image Department’s Stills, Posters, and Paper Collection for conservation treatment as part of the curriculum for the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation. This year, an original theatrical poster for the film STORMY WEATHER (1943), a showcase for Black performers of that era, underwent a complete treatment by independent conservator Gary Albright.

02/22/2021
Dryden Theatre Recommends: A Kiss Before Dying (1956)

Classic Film Twitter maven Nora Fiore (@nitratediva) sits down with Jared to talk in depth about Gerd Oswald's feature directorial debut, A Kiss Before Dying. Based on Ira Levin's breakout novel, the film stars Robert Wagner against type as a gold-digger attempting to solve the problem of his girlfriend's pregnancy. Nora and Jared explore the adaptation of the novel, its seemingly impossible-to-hide twist, the evolution of film noir into the 1950s, and the joys of seeing a film in the theater.

(Gerd Oswald, US 1956, 94 min.)Classic Film Twitter maven Nora Fiore (@nitratediva) sits down with Jared to talk in depth about Gerd Oswald's feature directo...

02/19/2021
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After graduating from the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation in 2006, Brian Meacham worked at the Academy Film Archive before taking over as archivist at the Yale Film Archive. His lockdown mission of watching 300 films from the 1980s led him to discover an overlooked high school comedy at the crossroads of HIGH NOON and the Coen Brothers. Here, he talks with Jared about THREE O'CLOCK HIGH, Barry Sonnenfeld, Yale alumni, and the wonders of 1980s cinema.

02/15/2021

As film archivist for the cult film-focused distributor Vinegar Syndrome, Justin LaLiberty (Selznick 2011) sees not only the preservation side of archiving, but also the challenges of getting those films in front of people's eyes. Here, he talks to Jared about both ends, as well as PENITENTIARY, one of Vinegar Syndrome's titles - a film at the crossroads of exploitation, the LA Rebellion, and the post-Rocky boxing boom.

Brent Phillips, author of "Charles Walters: The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance," graduated from the L. Jeffrey Selzni...
02/12/2021
Dryden Theatre Recommends: Summer Stock (1950)

Brent Phillips, author of "Charles Walters: The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance," graduated from the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation in 2003. He now works as the Audiovisual Archivist at the Rockefeller Archive Center in Sleepy Hollow, NY. He sits down with Jared to talk about one of Walters' greatest achievements, SUMMER STOCK, Walters' hands-on directing style, his use of the camera and the (not-so) sordid backstory on the creation of Judy Garland's final MGM musical.

(Charles Walters, US 1950, 108 min.)Brent Phillips, author of "Charles Walters: The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance," graduated from the L. Jeffrey Selznic...

Last month, Jared attended the (virtual) Sundance Film Festival. This month, he's telling us about some of the films he ...
02/11/2021
Dryden Theatre Recommends: Sundance 2021 Roundup

Last month, Jared attended the (virtual) Sundance Film Festival. This month, he's telling us about some of the films he saw and liked, and what might be coming to The Dryden this year...

Jared Case, Curator of Film Exhibitions, attended the (virtual) Sundance Film Festival this year. Here, he gives a roundup of some of the titles to look out ...

Kelli Hix (Selznick 2002) is the Audiovisual Archivist for the Audiovisual Heritage Center in metropolitan Nashville, Te...
02/08/2021
Dryden Theatre Recommends: Vagabond (1985)

Kelli Hix (Selznick 2002) is the Audiovisual Archivist for the Audiovisual Heritage Center in metropolitan Nashville, Tennesee. In addition to caring for their visual history, she also works with the Community Archiving Workshop, assisting others in caring for their own. She sits down with Jared to talk about Agnes Varda's VAGABOND (1985), including Varda's humanism and camerawork, as well as Kelli's own work, and whether or not she'd pick up a hitchhiker.

(Sans toit ni loi, Agnes Varda, France 1985, 105 min.)A young woman is found dead, frozen in a field. What follows is an account of how she got there, "doing...

02/05/2021
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Josh Romphf (Selznick 2012) came to Rochester from London, Ontario and has stayed for a decade. As a software developer for the River Campus Libraries at University of Rochester, he has utilized his film preservation education to work on special projects for the university, including digital scanning and 3D printing. He sits down with Jared Case, Curator of Film Exhibitions, to talk about three short films dealing with Canada's national sport. Though all three can be viewed on their own, the three of them together work to create a sense of the importance of hockey to Canadians and troubling influence of corporatization on the sport and the dangers of expansion.

Heather Sabin (Selznick 2002) is the Awards Collections Curator at the Academy Film Archive in Los Angeles. She's also a...
02/01/2021
Dryden Theatre Recommends: The Set-Up (1949)

Heather Sabin (Selznick 2002) is the Awards Collections Curator at the Academy Film Archive in Los Angeles. She's also a film noir fan, so she sits down with Curator of Film Exhibitions Jared Case to talk about one of her favorites, THE SET-UP (1949). She also tells us about her collection and the difficulties of archiving during a pandemic, and touches on the history of Los(t) Angeles and locations in the film.

(Robert Wise, US 1949, 73 min.)Academy Awards Collections Curator Heather Sabin (Selznick 2002) joins Jared to talk about the history of documenting the Osca...

Dryden Theatre Recommends travels to New York City today to talk with Katie Trainor (Selznick 2000), Collections Manager...
01/29/2021
Dryden Theatre Recommends: Private Lives, Public Spaces

Dryden Theatre Recommends travels to New York City today to talk with Katie Trainor (Selznick 2000), Collections Manager at the Museum of Modern Art. Katie tells us all about the current Private Lives, Public Spaces exhibition going on at the museum, featuring more than 200 home movies. As a co-founder of both Home Movie Day and the Center for Home Movies, this has long been a passion of Katie's, as she discusses some recommended viewing on the MoMA website. Links for these videos can be found in the text of the video...

Katie Trainor (Selznick 2000) has a long history with home movies and amateur filmmaking. A co-founder of both Home Movie Day and the Center for Home Movies,...

Dryden Theatre Recommends is back! This time we have a conversation with Kelly Chisholm (Selznick '02), Head of the Movi...
01/25/2021
Dryden Theatre Recommends: Merantau (2009)

Dryden Theatre Recommends is back! This time we have a conversation with Kelly Chisholm (Selznick '02), Head of the Moving Image Archival Unit at the Library of Congress. Kelly recommends that you watch MERANTAU (Gareth Evans, 2009), and Indonesian martial arts film that started the careers of star Iko Uwais and director Gareth Evans, who went on to pair on THE RAID and THE RAID 2. This Western- and Samurai-inspired story follows Uwais as he goes on his Merantau - a journey for experience - only to encounter brutality and evil on the streets of Jakarta.

(Gareth Evans, Indonesia 2009, 112 min.)Inspired by the star of the film and the martial art of Silat, this Indonesian action film started the careers of bot...

01/06/2021
Dryden Theatre Recommends: TheTrue Glory (1945)

The Dryden Theatre Recommends videos start a new series of conversations geared toward pointing you to a diverse selection of films and services where you can view material until we can get back to the theater. Our first conversation features Criss Austin (Selznick '02), the Supervisory Motion Picture Preservation Specialist at the United States National Archives and Record Administration. NARA's restoration of THE TRUE GLORY (Garson Kanin, Carol Reed, 1945) was screened on 35mm at The Dryden in 2019, and Criss details the restoration of this groundbreaking documentary.

(Garson Kanin, Carol Reed, US/UK 1945, 87 min.)Jared is joined by Criss Austin, 2002 graduate of the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation, and Sup...

We've got one last Streaming Recommendation for 2020! Theatre Manager Sheri Smith is still feeling the holidays and want...
01/01/2021
Dryden Theatre Recommends: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

We've got one last Streaming Recommendation for 2020! Theatre Manager Sheri Smith is still feeling the holidays and wants you to seek out THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993). Hard to believe it's over 25 years old now, but in that time it has become an enduring holiday classic that fits anytime in the last quarter of every year.

(Henry Selick, US 1993, 76 min.)Based on a three-page poem written by Tim Burton in the early 1980s, this paean to the stop-motion holiday specials of the '6...

Happy New Year from all of us at the Dryden Theatre! THE GOLD RUSH (1925) George Eastman Museum, Moving Image Department...
12/31/2020

Happy New Year from all of us at the Dryden Theatre!

THE GOLD RUSH (1925) George Eastman Museum, Moving Image Department Stills, Posters, and Papers Collections

Merry Christmas from all of us at the Dryden Theatre!
12/25/2020

Merry Christmas from all of us at the Dryden Theatre!

Enjoy the holiday with the ones you love, and the traditions you carry throughout the years.MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947...
12/24/2020

Enjoy the holiday with the ones you love, and the traditions you carry throughout the years.

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947).

Like Barbara Stanwyck, we'd love to spend the holidays with Fred MacMurray's family! No wonder they made three more film...
12/23/2020

Like Barbara Stanwyck, we'd love to spend the holidays with Fred MacMurray's family! No wonder they made three more films together #happyholidays #TriviaTuesday

REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1940) George Eastman Museum, Moving Image Department Stills, Posters, and Papers Collections.

Still can't find the perfect gift? Don't stress out like Peter Lorre! Consider tickets to the Nitrate Picture Show as a ...
12/22/2020

Still can't find the perfect gift? Don't stress out like Peter Lorre! Consider tickets to the Nitrate Picture Show as a gift to give (and make sure to buy one for yourself!)

Happy watching all you Boogie Night fans and fans to be!
12/21/2020
Dryden Theatre Recommends: Boogie Nights (1997)

Happy watching all you Boogie Night fans and fans to be!

(Paul Thomas Anderson, US 1997, 155 min.)Penetrating the mood of the disco era, P. T. Anderson’s breakout film follows Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) from his ...

Dryden Theater Manager Sheri Smith steps into the booth for her own streaming recommendation: BOOGIE NIGHTS (Paul Thomas...
12/21/2020
Dryden Theatre Recommends: Boogie Nights (1997)

Dryden Theater Manager Sheri Smith steps into the booth for her own streaming recommendation: BOOGIE NIGHTS (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997). Combining classic needle drops with chosen family and a five-star performance by Rochester's own Philip Seymour Hoffman, it may not be the holiday film you want right now, but maybe it's the one you need...

(Paul Thomas Anderson, US 1997, 155 min.)Penetrating the mood of the disco era, P. T. Anderson’s breakout film follows Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) from his ...

How do your tree decorating skills compare to Barbara Stanwyck's?CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945).
12/21/2020

How do your tree decorating skills compare to Barbara Stanwyck's?

CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945).

Have you seen this holiday classic yet this year?THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940).
12/20/2020

Have you seen this holiday classic yet this year?

THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940).

Have you finished your holiday shopping? Don't forget to shop local this holiday season and stop by the GEM gift shop fo...
12/19/2020

Have you finished your holiday shopping? Don't forget to shop local this holiday season and stop by the GEM gift shop for the perfect gift for your favorite cinephile!

Blissfully staring at the weekend ahead like Mary beaming at George Bailey.ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE (USA 1947, Frank Capra).
12/18/2020

Blissfully staring at the weekend ahead like Mary beaming at George Bailey.

ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE (USA 1947, Frank Capra).

Originally scheduled as a film series for this fall at The Dryden, we look 75 years into the past at the Academy Award n...
12/18/2020
Dryden Theatre Recommends: Spellbound (1945)

Originally scheduled as a film series for this fall at The Dryden, we look 75 years into the past at the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture of 1945. A diverse group of films that highlight the breadth of technique and genre taking place at the height of the Hollywood system.

Hitchcock’s first Best Picture nominee since Suspicion in 1941 delves deep into the psyche with this story of psychologists and repressed memory. Gregory Peck is Dr. Anthony Edwardes, the newly arrived head of Green Manors mental hospital. The staff is surprised at his young age, and Dr. Constance Peterson (Ingrid Bergman) becomes particularly suspicious of him, despite her attraction. When Edwardes’s behavior becomes erratic and a murder is uncovered, Peterson must help him recover his memory to save his life, taking him to the Rochester home of her mentor, Dr. Alex Brulov (Michael Chekhov). Hitchcock convinced producer David O. Selznick to hire Salvador Dalí to design the dream sequence that is the key to the mystery, breaking with conventions of cinematic dreams as blurred and hazy and resulting in one of the most memorable sequences of Hitchcock’s career.

(Alfred Hitchcock, US 1945, 111 min.)Originally scheduled as a film series for this fall at The Dryden, we look 75 years into the past at the Academy Award n...

Currently wishing I looked as elegant as Marion Davies when hanging up holiday wreaths....
12/18/2020

Currently wishing I looked as elegant as Marion Davies when hanging up holiday wreaths....

Originally scheduled as a film series for this fall at The Dryden, we look 75 years into the past at the Academy Award n...
12/17/2020
Dryden Theatre Recommends: Mildred Pierce (1945)

Originally scheduled as a film series for this fall at The Dryden, we look 75 years into the past at the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture of 1945. A diverse group of films that highlight the breadth of technique and genre taking place at the height of the Hollywood system.

Joan Crawford’s Academy Award–winning performance is the centerpiece of this James M. Cain adaptation about a woman who endures a lifetime of hardship to bring her daughter the happiness she desires. Put-upon housewife Mildred (Crawford) divorces her unfaithful husband, takes on a job as a waitress, and opens a successful chain of restaurants—but despite all this, she just can't seem to please her spoiled daughter Veda (Ann Blyth), a situation that results in marriage, adultery, and murder. Director Michael Curtiz crafts a nonlinear narrative that unspools Mildred’s past as a mystery leading up to an ending that seems both shocking and inevitable. The film revitalized Crawford's career after her move to Warner Bros. and led her to subsequent acting nominations in Possessed (1947) and Sudden Fear (1952).

(Michael Curtiz, US 1945, 111 min.)Originally scheduled as a film series for this fall at The Dryden, we look 75 years into the past at the Academy Award nom...

Chester Morris is joining the holiday celebrations by bringing everyone a little #cheers #happyholidays George Eastman M...
12/17/2020

Chester Morris is joining the holiday celebrations by bringing everyone a little #cheers #happyholidays

George Eastman Museum, Moving Image Department Stills, Posters, and Papers Collections (Chester Morris)

Originally scheduled as a film series for this fall at The Dryden, we look 75 years into the past at the Academy Award n...
12/16/2020
Dryden Theatre Recommends: The Lost Weekend (1945)

Originally scheduled as a film series for this fall at The Dryden, we look 75 years into the past at the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture of 1945. A diverse group of films that highlight the breadth of technique and genre taking place at the height of the Hollywood system.

Billy Wilder’s addiction drama won Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Writing at the Academy Awards. Based on Charles R. Jackson’s semi-autobiographical novel, Ray Milland stars as Don Birnam, an alcoholic aspiring writer working on a novel about an alcoholic. Begging off of a weekend in the country with his friend, Don schemes to remain in the city to drink his self-doubt away. With no job and no money, Don is forced to steal from a maid and a woman in a bar to get his alcohol, finally attempting to pawn his typewriter for a drink. Despite his troubles, he has support from his girlfriend (Jane Wyman) and his brother (Philip Terry) who believe he can beat his demons. Wilder’s style, particularly for Don’s horrific visions, are heavily inspired by German Expressionism.

(Billy Wilder, US 1945, 101 min.)Originally scheduled as a film series for this fall at The Dryden, we look 75 years into the past at the Academy Award nomin...

Stay warm out there! Image: 1812 (A. Khanzhonkov and Co., Russia 1912)
12/16/2020

Stay warm out there!

Image: 1812 (A. Khanzhonkov and Co., Russia 1912)

Originally scheduled as a film series for this fall at The Dryden, we look 75 years into the past at the Academy Award n...
12/15/2020
Dryden Theatre Recommends: The Bells of St Mary's (1945)

Originally scheduled as a film series for this fall at The Dryden, we look 75 years into the past at the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture of 1945. A diverse group of films that highlight the breadth of technique and genre taking place at the height of the Hollywood system.

Today's film is THE BELLS OF ST. MARY'S. Bing Crosby returns to his role of Father O’Malley from Going My Way (1944) for this drama about a priest and a nun trying to save their school from closing. O’Malley is assigned to a parish with a school run by nuns. The Mother Superior and school principal is Sister Mary Benedict (Ingrid Bergman), who bristles at O’Malley’s more lax opinions and attitudes. The school is run-down, while a new building is being constructed across the street. Sister Mary’s hope is that the owner of the building will donate it for a new school, but he only hopes to tear down the school for a parking lot.

(Leo McCarey, US 1945, 126 min.)Originally scheduled as a film series for this fall at The Dryden, we look 75 years into the past at the Academy Award nomine...

In Memoriam: Edward E. Stratmann (1953-2020)Ed Stratmann, a major figure in the world of film preservation, and a long-t...
12/15/2020

In Memoriam: Edward E. Stratmann (1953-2020)
Ed Stratmann, a major figure in the world of film preservation, and a long-time staff member of the George Eastman Museum, has passed away. He leaves behind his large and loving family, and the many friends he made during his 42 years working in the Moving Image Department at the museum. A long-time resident of Rochester, Ed graduated from Monroe Community College and Rochester Institute of Technology. He joined the George Eastman Museum in 1974 and retired in 2016.
For many, Ed’s kind, even jovial nature, was a reassuring presence at Eastman. You could always “ask Ed” and he would get back to you whatever the question. He was a one man preservation unit who worked with a succession of curators beginning with Chris Horak, to protect and preserve the ever-growing film collection. He worked with donors, researchers, and distributors helping to expand the collection and to provide access to the films under his care. He was patient, generous, and knowledgeable, and learned his skills on the job. Ed loved films. And he shared that love with everyone he came in contact with.
Ed curated exhibitions, introduced films in the Dryden Theatre, and represented the museum worldwide at festivals and conferences. He was a founding member of AMIA and served as Secretary to the Board from 2002-2004. He presented on numerous panels, and enjoyed meeting other archivists and exchanging ideas and opinions at the annual AMIA conference. He was the recipient of Pordenone Film Festival Preservation Award in October, 1998, and in December of that year AMIA conferred upon him The Dan and Kathy Leab Award. He was a long time member of FIAF’s North American Sub-committee on Preservation and was an active member of SMPTE from 1992 until his death.
He knew a great deal about film – the movies, the flicks – how they were made and how to reconstruct and repair them. Ed was largely self-taught and his skills were formidable. Ed’s main legacy resides in the dozens of films he preserved and restored for the museum, and if one stands out with great pride, it would be The Lost World (Harry O. Hoyt, US 1925). Ed spent 10 years reconstructing this remarkable silent film and the result of his diligent work has been seen and enjoyed by audiences all over the world.
His legacy also lives on through everyone he touched, especially the graduates of The L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation. It was Ed who took the first class (1996-1997) of six students and provided the structure and one-to-one training of hands-on film handling and preservation. They stuck to him like glue and followed him in and out of the vaults, to screenings, and to work benches to learn what he knew. And he gave his attention and expertise generously. The next year he had twelve film preservationists in training, and he still managed to keep up with his heavy preservation work load and teach us at the same time.
Ed was exceedingly kind; he was always available to answer questions and to be there to help. His retirement in 2016 took us all by surprise – it was inconceivable that Ed wouldn’t be here every day, working in his office or, more often than not, at a workbench or a Steenbeck. He left formally, as Curator Emeritus of the Moving Image Department, but he stayed to come back and teach each new class in the Selznick School and to be a grounding presence at the annual Nitrate Picture Show. He demonstrated handling nitrate film, chatted with patrons, and connected with friends and Selznick graduates. It would not be too strong a statement to say that Ed was an institution within an institution. Everyone on the staff at the Eastman Museum knew Ed and loved him.
He was so dedicated to his work, that when stored nitrate films caught on fire, he spent hours on a forklift ferrying exhibition crates to safety from the barn next to the fire. He had to be dragged off the forklift to get him away from the nitrate fumes.
Ed will be sorely missed by his many friends and colleagues at the museum. But we will have stories to tell about the legendary Ed Stratmann. He was one of a kind.

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Comments

Will you be announcing January movies soon?
I've never been to the theatre but we are interested in seeing White Christmas. Can we get tickets at the door or do we have to get them ahead of time?
I'd like to suggest a Walter Hill Revival. The Warriors (2nd fav) Streets of Fire (1st fav) 48 Hrs. (3rd fav)
Since the showing of It's a Wonderful Life is sold out, will you be having a second showing of this movie and if so when? Thank you
It would be nice if you had the movie schedule posted. Wondering what the movie is today at 130pm...free for 55 and above