As the friends, families and colleagues commemorate the tenth anniversary of the passing of our foundation’s co-founder, Chris Holter, we re-dedicate our efforts to support the arts and education in Chris’ name, with a special new project, The Preservation Project Partnership, which focuses on the importance of preserving home movies which contain material of cultural or historical significance.
Working in a dedicated space, kindly provided to us by The Center of Asian American Media, we have set up a film handling and inspection room, with a film scanner for 8mm and super 8mm film. The film scanner was kindly donated to us by Pixcel, Inc. and has been lovingly supported by the manufacturer, Moviestuff. Our special thanks to Eugene Gekhter and Roger Evans for their kindness, help and support of our film scanning operations.
Working with a small staff of mostly volunteers, we have acquired, inspected, and catalogued more than 800 collections of home movies from the U.S.A. and around the world, and in doing so, we have made some amazing discoveries, including 38 minutes of never-before-seen footage of President John F. Kennedy. Our film program director, Ron Merk, was seen on NBC’s The Today Show, when the film was given a world premiere on November 15, 2013, just one week before the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death.
The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed Ron on January 23, 2104, about our film preservation project. This prompted many people holding home movies to contact Ron, and offer them to the project for preservation. Many treasures were found amongst this material including rare home movies of actor Charles Laughton at the Golden Gate Theater, and interviews of Dr. Benjamin Spock and Margaret Mead. The Sterud Family collection, a rare portrait of San Francisco life from the beginnings of 16mm home movies through the late 90s was also discovered.
Our plan for 2015 is to acquire two new High Definition scanners and support equipment, and add one full-time preservation specialist to our staff, in order to expand this program.
2012–2014 A Rich History of Supporting the Arts
It is with great pride that The Metro Theatre Center Foundation continues its commitment to the principle that a multiplicity of voices must be heard in film, television, the stage and the media. We are pleased to support all of these wonderful programs and artists in memory of our co-founder, Chris Holter, so that their important work, and Chris’ vision, will continue to inspire all of us.
The Film Preservation Partnership Initiative for the project: “A Trip Down Market Street” for preservation, restoration and presentation of this 1906 film shot just weeks before the 1906 earthquake and fire. This is a pilot program to bring attention to the many orphan films which must be saved.
The Filmmaker Resource Sharing Group (now re-named Indieplex) for providing services, information and events for independent filmmakers in the San Francisco Bay Area, and throughout the United States, including the online resource www.indieplex.org.
FILMMAKER SUPPORT GRANTS
The Roxie Theater to support programming and development of San Francisco’s only remaining independent cinema, in honor of George M. Rush for his leadership and dedication to the Bay Area film community.
James Racioppi of The Paper Moon Puppet Theatre, Atlantic Highlands, NJ, to support development of their Shakespeare for Children program and the production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” narrated by Richard Burton and London’s Old Vic Company.