A fun, lively, entertaining and hilarious afternoon of silver screen riffs were enjoyed by many fellow MSTies in the Frederick area!
Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff’s “The Mads Are Back!” at the Weinberg Center for the Arts!
Mr. Hamby meets the Mads of MST3K! Trace Beaulieu, Chris Hamby and Frank Conniff; taken after the Mads’ afternoon show at the Weinberg Center For the Arts in Frederick, Maryland on Sat., Nov. 18, 2017! Both Trace and Frank admired my official “Svengoolie” “official chicken thrower” T-shirt! Several fellow attendees of Trace and Frank’s “The Mads are Back” show also recognized the iconic Sven T-shirt! Woo-Hoo! Hooray! “Hi-Keeba!”
**UPDATE (Jan. 10, 2016): The Marx Brothers double-feature screening of “A Night at the Opera” (1933) & “Duck Soup” (1933) was cancelled by the Weinberg Center due to unforeseen circumstances. -C. Hamby
PROLOGUE:This is the second part of two articles on classic/cult film screenings at the Weinberg Center for the Arts. This was originally written as part of a group multimedia blog project in my Online Journalism class at Hood College (with two fellow “friends of the Matinee”). Enjoy!
Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo’s zany antics. Margaret Dumont’s deadpan reaction to Groucho’s wisecracks. “Hooray for Captain Spaulding.” “Hail, Hail Freedonia.”
Fans of slapstick and classic comedy in the Frederick area may start the New Year by treating themselves to an afternoon of iconic comedy classics at the Weinberg Center for the Arts.
The theater will showcase a double dose of films featuring the Marx Brothers on the afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 10 at 2 p.m., as part of the Weinberg’s “Cinema Classic Series.”
The first film that will be shown in the Marx Brothers double feature event will be the 1935 film, “A Night at the Opera,” directed by Sam Wood. This was the brothers’ first film for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, alongside Margaret Dumont and Kitty Carlisle.
Vintage Tivoli Memorabilia booth, inside the lobby of the Weinberg Center for the Arts. Photo: Chris Hamby.
Then, the Weinberg will showcase the 1933 motion picture, “Duck Soup,” directed by Leo McCarey. “Duck Soup” was the brothers’ last film for Paramount Pictures, featuring Dumont and the “fourth” Marx brother, Zeppo Marx.
This would be Zeppo’s last film with his brothers, as he later pursued a successful career as a talent agent. According to “A&E Biography,” he also worked as a successful inventor, notably helping the Allied effort during World War II on developing special clamping devices for secure transportation of atomic bombs on the “Enola Gay.”
Out of all the Marxes’ comedies, both “A Night at the Opera” and “Duck Soup” have been considered the best out of the Marxes’ film career, according to the movie guide, “VideoHound’s Golden Movie Retriever.”
The two films were shown at Frederick’s crown jewel theater, when it was known as the Tivoli cinema during their general release years. Both Marx Brothers films were made by two different studios, and the theater was owned by rival studio Warner Bros. Pictures, which owned the Tivoli from the late 1920s until 1948.
Interior of the Weinberg Center (former Tivoli) stage with movie screen. Photo: Chris Hamby.
John Healey, executive theater director of the Weinberg Center for the Arts, said that the upcoming Marx Brothers double-feature screening of “A Night at the Opera” and “Duck Soup” is important to the theater’s motion picture heritage.
“Film is a very large part of the history of the Weinberg Center,” Healey said.
Jef Cliber, box office manager of the Weinberg Center, said that he was delighted that the two Marx Brothers films would make their return to the big screen.
“It’s nice to see some of those older films make a return to us,” Cliber said. “There was enough of a demand for us to create another niche where there are different kinds of films.”
Katherine Orloff, an assistant professor of journalism at Hood College, said that the timeless humor of the Marx Brothers would be a great way to kick off the New Year.
“What better way to start 2016 with laughter and happiness,” Orloff said. “Laughter is the best medicine.”
The cost of admission for the Marx Brothers double feature screening at the Weinberg Center is $7 for adults and $5 for children, students, senior citizens, Frederick city employees and members of the military.
Marx Brothers Double Feature Screening: “A Night at the Opera” (1935)/”Duck Soup” (1933)
PROLOGUE:This is the first in a two-part series on film screenings at the Weinberg Center for the Arts. This was originally written as part of a group multimedia blog project in my Online Journalism class at Hood College (with two fellow “friends of the Matinee”). Part II (in relation to an upcoming film screening in the Weinberg Center’s “Cinema Classic Series”) will appear here next week. Enjoy!
Cult movie fans in the area were excited to end their Black Friday by watching a non-holiday film favorite at the Weinberg Center for the Arts.
Patrons who came in for the screening of “This is Spinal Tap” treated themselves to craft beer provided by Flying Dog in the lobby of the theater and participated in a movie trivia game before the screening. Attendees who answered correctly won a custom-made “Spinal Tap” movie poster, designed by the brewery’s graphic artists.
Christopher Guest as Nigel Tufnel in “This Is Spinal Tap.” (Taken inside the Weinberg Center, film content: StudioCanal/Rialto Pictures)
The theater showcased Reiner’s fictional documentary on a fake British rock band, featuring Harry Shearer as bassist Derek Smalls, Michael McKean as lead guitarist David St. Hubbins, and Christopher Guest as guitarist Nigel Tufnel.
The Flying Dog-sponsored series showcases cult film favorites from the 1980s and 1990s. It is different from the theater’s classic film series, which is focused on silent and sound movies from Hollywood’s “golden age.”
During the film’s general release in 1984, it was not screened at the Weinberg. “This Is Spinal Tap” was originally shown at the now-defunct “Cinemas III” at the Francis Scott Key Mall, according to the May 21, 1984 edition of The Frederick News-Post.
Representatives from Flying Dog Brewery, showcasing their latest craft beers at the Weinberg Center before the screening of “This Is Spinal Tap.” Photo by Chris Hamby
Ashley Birdsell, marketing manager of the Weinberg Center, said that the marketing plan for “Spinal Tap” and other films in the cult movie series have been successful.
“The Flying Dog film series has enlisted a cult following in itself,” Birdsell said. “The brewery does a really good job of promoting it out there and they’ve got a lot of clout.”
Rohry Flood, digital marketing manager for Flying Dog Brewery, said that the company’s social media marketing methods have been successful for promoting the brewery’s movie series at the Weinberg Center.
“We are heavy on social media,” Flood said. “The Weinberg Center works with us in order to advertise our film events.”
Flood said that the film would be a great escape from the stress of the holidays, since “This is Spinal Tap” would not fall under the holiday film category. “It’s an excellent way to wind down after all this holiday madness,” Flood said.
Tim Jacobsen, adjunct instructor of visual media at Hood College, said that the Flying Dog film series was a great showcase for all cult movie fans in the area.
“For the ticket price, it’s a great atmosphere,” Jacobsen said. “I like the fact that they offer snacks, beer and it’s a good ‘date night’ or someplace to go with friends.”
Audiences are watching the latest policy slides for events sponsored by Flying Dog Brewery. Photo by Chris Hamby.
For those that are looking for one last holiday treat, the Weinberg Center will showcase the 1989 cult comedy favorite, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” featuring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo on Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
A “happy hour” event will take place in the lobby at 6:30 p.m. The cost of admission for the Flying Dog movie series is $7 for adults and $5 for students, senior citizens, city employees and members of the military.
Ticket for the revival screening of “Abbott & Costello meet Frankenstein” (1948), which was shown at the Weinberg Center for the Arts on Halloween afternoon, Oct. 31.
Over 100 spectators in the Frederick area, young and old enjoyed the comic antics of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, along with three iconic characters in Universal’s horror franchise.
“Who’s on first?“ I mean… who’s in it?
In addition to the comedy duo, the film featured Lon Chaney, Jr. as the “Wolf Man,” Bela Lugosi as “Count Dracula” (this was his only other Universal feature film reprisal as the vampire) and Glenn Strange as Frankenstein’s “monster.”
“Wait… there’s more than just ‘A&C meet Frankenstein’!”
Photo of the Weinberg Center for the Arts, featuring “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.”
Why it looked great on the “big screen:”
“Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein” is the best of the duo’s pairings with the Universal “monster” characters. The film brought lots of laughter and chills to theatergoers at the Weinberg Center on Halloween afternoon, Oct. 31.
It is an entertaining motion picture for lovers of classic comedy and horror movies. Highly recommended (if you missed out on seeing it on the big screen)!
Can’t get enough of “Abbott & Costello?”
Me-TV airs two vintage episodes of the comedy duo’s 1952-57 TV show, “The Abbott and Costello Show,” which airs Sunday mornings at 6:00 a.m. Eastern/5:00 a.m. Central (in the Washington/Frederick, Maryland area, Me-TV is on WJLA-TV 7.2/Comcast 204, and in the Baltimore area on WBAL-TV 11.2/Comcast 208).
Don’t want to get up early to watch “Abbott and Costello?”Don’t worry-Hulu.com has select episodes from the first and second seasons of the show (under license from the heirs of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello).
The film features the legendary comedy duo, along with Glenn Strange as “Frankenstein,” Bela Lugosi as “Dracula” (his only other Universal film appearance as the vampire), and Lon Chaney, Jr. as the “Wolf Man.”
Later that evening, the theater will showcase the 1956 sci-fi thriller, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” featuring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. It will be shown at 8:00 p.m.
Inside of the Weinberg Center for the Arts (the former Tivoli cinema) in Frederick, Maryland.
Watching classics on the “big screen”
This series will be different from the theater’s other cinema offerings, including the “Flying Dog movie series,” which screens modern films from the 1980’s and 1990’s.
John Healey, executive director of the Weinberg Center for the Arts, felt that watching classic films on the big screen would be great for younger audiences.
“A lot of times, people have watched these films on television or DVD,” Healey said. “It just gives you an opportunity to sit through with your box of popcorn and see them on the big screen.”
Donna Bertazzoni, professor of journalism at Hood College, expressed her fondness of vintage cinema palaces.
“You can’t beat the experience of that old-time movie theater,” Bertazzoni said. “It is a different experience than the cinemas of today, and it’s not incredibly expensive.”
Katherine Orloff, assistant professor of journalism at Hood, is excited about the upcoming film series.
“It’s such a joy,” Orloff said.
Vintage Tivoli (Weinberg Center for the Arts) program guide from the early 1930’s, when the theater was owned by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Why you should see the “Cinema Classics Movie Series” at the Weinberg Center (when you’re in the Frederick area):
From the zany comedies of the Marx Brothers, to Kurosawa’s “The Seven Samurai,” to Steve McQueen’s iconic car chase in “Bullitt,” there’s something for everyone at the Weinberg Center’s “Cinema Classics Movie Series.”
If you’ve seen these, or if you’ve never seen these classics before, you can now experience these classics the way they were meant to be seen, on the big screen at the former “Tivoli” cinema.
Comments/questions about the “Cinema Classics Movie Series,” or any of the other movie screenings offered at the Weinberg Center? Want to know what my “top picks” are for any of the movie series? Drop a line at the comments section!
Out of the numerous group entries that were shown during the festival, 7 professional film groups were nominated, 4 amateurs were nominated, along with two student group works in the festival.
In the audience choice category, two amateur teams made it to the finalists’ stage of the festival.
Out of the 44 group film entries that were judged, scored and showcased on the first night of the 72 Hour Film Festival, a total of 16 combined film groups (along with audience choice entries) made it to the finals stage.
Each of the final film groups had won by category in the competition, after being judged and scored.
Best Acting Ensemble
Winning Group: Laserstar*
Group Nominees: Crowded Elevator, Pecos Bill and the Wranglers and Stepdad Productions
Winning Group: Missing Link Cinema
Group Nominees: Crowded Elevator, Nas-t Productions, Moonslaves and Pug Media
Winning Group: Moonslaves
Group Nominees: Missing Link Cinema, Nas-t Productions, Pecos Bill and the Wranglers and Pug Media
Best Music & Sound:
Winning Group: Missing Link Cinema
Group Nominees: Crowded Elevator, Moonslaves, Pecos Bill and the Wranglers and Pug Media
Best of the Rest:
Group Nominee: Nas-t Productions
Best Student Group Film (“Head of the Class”):
Winning Group: Average Society
Group Nominee: Molten Llama Films
Best Amateur Group:
Winning Group: Stepdad Productions
Group Nominees: Inkling Adrift, Nas-t Productions, Noticeable Grain
Best Professional Group:
Winning Group: Moonslaves
Group Nominees: Laserstar*, Missing Link Cinema, Pecos Bill and the Wranglers, and Pug Media
“Best of the Fest”
Winning Group: Moonslaves
Group Nominees: Missing Link Cinema, Pecos Bill and the Wranglers, Pug Media and Stepdad Productions
It’s that time of the year again, and Frederick’s film fans are excited about an iconic event that takes place every October. The 72 Hour Film Festival, a two-night marathon of short films from area film groups, will take place at the Weinberg Center for the Arts, with the premiere showcase on Friday, Oct. 9.
The top finalists’ exhibition and awards ceremony will take place on the evening of Saturday, Oct.10.
This will be the 10th year of the festival, presented by Fool Martyr Productions. Over 47 groups, consisting of student, amateur and professional filmmakers, are competing in this year’s event.
Poster for the 2015 72 Hour Film Festival, done in the style of a 1980’s Apple Computer advertisement.
The objective for the 72 Hour film teams is to write, direct, produce and edit a short film within the given 72-hour window, and based off an assigned theme. The theme for this year’s event is “binary opposition.”
The participating teams were assigned a pair of opposites for their film projects.
According to the official guidelines for the participating groups, they were required to make their opposites the significant conflict of their film projects.
Donna Bertazzoni, professor of journalism at Hood College, expressed that the filmmakers’ limited deadline was an essential part of the creative workflow.
“It forces you to work on deadline, but to be creative at the same time,” Bertazzoni said. “It gets the creative juices going.”
Could it lead to careers in Film & TV?
The festival could be an essential stepping stone for all participating members, especially those who are interested in careers in film and television.
“I think any chance that anyone has an interest in film, is a great opportunity,” said Katherine Orloff, an assistant professor of journalism at Hood College.
Several members of the “Great Vengeance & Furious Anger” team from the 2013 “72 Fest” (from L to R: Cal Calcagni, Lance and Alanna Duvall
The film groups are not only anxious about seeing their films on the big screen; they are also concerned about winning in the festival.
Josie Wawrzyniak, alumnae of Hood College and part of the “Ophiuchus Pictures” group, felt that her team’s film would be good, yet all groups are competing on the same level.
“We have a good movie this year, but everyone is on equal footing,” Wawrzyniak said. “We never know what the other teams are going to turn in.”
Lance Duvall, of the “Great Vengeance & Furious Anger” group, felt that his team’s production had strong story elements.
“Our film is a good mix of visual storytelling, and a story with heart,”