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.”

The End