Category Archives: The Reel Thing

Fotoplayer (and Joe) Applauded at Preservation Event

Style 40 FotoplayerIllustration of the Style 40 Fotoplayer. The Academy’s installation is the Style 41, built in 1917.

Following the enthusiastic response at the Fotoplayer’s inaugural program at the Academy of Motion Pictures Linwood Dunn Theater, Joe Rinaudo was asked by Jon Erland of the Academy’s Science and Technology Council to speak at the yearly Los Angeles gathering of The Reel Thing, a group that addresses current thinking and most advanced practical examples of progress in the field of preservation, restoration and media conservation. 

On August 20, 2016, Mr. Rinaudo gave the group the “fifty-cent tour” of the restoration process needed to restore the Academy’s 1917 American Fotoplayer. 

Afterward, the Fotoplayer was demonstrated by Joe, showing off all its bells and whistles (literally), and then several musical selections were played as the group was exiting.  Playing the machine with his back to the audience, Mr. Rinaudo was surprised when he turned around to find that nobody had left—they all stayed to watch him perform and applauded enthusiastically.

The Reel Thing demonstrationWatch The Reel Thing demonstration video, filmed and posted on Joe Rinaudo’s Facebook page by Stan Taffel.

Mr. Erland has discussed the possibility of Joe returning at next year’s meeting for a more extensive discussion of the laborious effort to restore the Fotoplayer to its better-than-original condition.

Learn about The Reel Thing here and Joe Rinaudo’s explanation of the Fotoplayer here.

Beverly Gray has written an enlightening piece about the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study. You’re sure to enjoy the article by “a show biz survivor who believes movies can change lives.”

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