World's fairs and Disneyland in Secret Cinema program
On Monday, April 4, The Secret Cinema will present its first-ever event in The Rotunda. Shown will be a reprise of a past program
originally presented eleven years ago, HOPEFUL VISIONS: THE OPTIMISTIC FUTURE OF WORLD'S FAIRS AND THEME PARKS.
World's fairs have looked forward with a smile since at least 1851. Inherently optimistic about the future, they featured altruistic slogans like "Peace Through Understanding" and "Man and His World." If actual pavilion space sometimes prioritized multinational corporations over world peace, these giant event/spaces nonetheless required a level of global cooperation that is easy to feel nostalgic for now (the last continuous spurt of world's fairs ran from 1958 to 1970).
HOPEFUL VISIONS... features archival films from this heyday, with an emphasis on the best remembered fair of modern times, the 1964 New York World's Fair (attendance: over 51 million). The fairs are seen in documentary shorts, television specials, and even found home movie footage.
Harmonizing well with these upbeat statements will be a rare Technicolor, widescreen look at "The happiest place on earth." DISNEYLAND U.S.A. (1956) was a theatrical featurette designed to optimally show off the first theme park, as it appeared many evolutions ago in its 60-year timeline.
There will be one complete show at 8:00 pm. Admission is $8.00.
All Secret Cinema presentations are projected in 16mm film on a giant screen (not video).
Just a few highlights from HOPEFUL VISIONS: THE OPTIMISTIC FUTURE OF WORLD'S FAIRS AND THEME PARKS:
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR (1964, Dir: Kirk Browning) - Henry Fonda hosts this film that aired on NBC on April 22, 1964, and gave most American's their first good look at Robert Moses' popular yet financially disastrous creation. This production also manages to bring together Fred MacMurray, Lorne Greene, the Northport High School Band, and Carol Channing, who sings enthusiastically about such mundane populuxe wonders as an electric shoe buffer.
A BALLAD FOR THE FAIR (1964, Dir: Paul Cohen) - Bell Telephone sponsored this beautiful Technicolor short, which sets shots of the New York World's Fair's construction to the earnest folksinging of Oscar Brand.
THE SHAPE OF FILMS TO COME (1968, Dir: Willard Van Dyke) - This documentary, part of CBS' forward-looking series THE 21ST CENTURY, examines the many installations of "expanded cinema" -- films with multiple screens, gigantic screens, computer generated films, mixed media and interactive presentations -- that were featured in Montreal's Expo '67. Includes work by renowned experimental filmmakers Stan Vanderbeek and Ed Emswhiller, as well as a precursor of the IMAX process.
DISNEYLAND U.S.A. (1956, Dir: Hamilton Luske) - After the terrific success of it's first series of live action films, the nature-themed TRUE LIFE ADVENTURES, Walt Disney hit gold again with PEOPLE AND PLACES, which featured travel to exotic locales such as Morocco, Samoa, and...their own magic land, Disneyland. Made shortly after its grand opening, this 40-minute featurette showcased a park smaller and more modest than we know today, but DISNEYLAND U.S.A. must have still filled 1950s theaters with wonder. The little-seen film documents many park aspects that have since vanished, including a heliport, the Disneyland Motel, fishing for catfish at Tom Sawyer's Island (the practice stopped when people left their decaying catch throughout the park), and Autopia motorcars with no center safety rail. WE WILL BE PROJECTING A VERY RARE TECHNICOLOR, CINEMASCOPE PRINT OF THIS FILM
...AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!
SECRET CINEMA WEBSITE: http://www.thesecretcinema.com