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'Palace of Silents: The Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles' - On Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles there is a 150-seat movie theater that for over sixty-eight years has doggedly dedicated itself to the exhibition of silent films. Built in 1942 by maverick film preservationist and collector John Hampton, the theatre championed silent film at the very moment when the Hollywood studios across town were busily destroying their nitrate inventories. With hard chairs, jazz-record accompaniments and sometimes dubious prints, the dingy mom-and-pop operation was nonetheless a palace to the fanatical few who became its loyal audience. Through the theatre's tumultuous years of operation, its owners and employees have struggled to keep a cherished art form alive, often paying a heavy price in the personal tragedies that have stemmed from this struggle: obscurity, financial ruin, and even murder.
'When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose' - In the early 1980s, documentary filmmaker Stephen Schaller was instrumental in the rediscovery and restoration of 'The Lumberjack' (1914), the oldest surviving film made in Wisconsin, and produced by a group of itinerant filmmakers who traveled from town to town making "local talent" pictures. Schaller's lovely and sometimes deeply emotional, 63-minute journal/essay film offers a look at the making of the Wausau, Wisconsin classic, including interviews with the one surviving cast member and the relatives of others who appeared in the movie. His investigation includes moving remembrances of the people and town of Wausau as it was, and even reveals the on-set accidental death of one of 'The Lumberjack's' top cameramen. More than just a piece of local history, 'When You Wore a Tulip' is also of interest to anyone who cares about film history and preservation. Discovering Schaller's gentle, artful movie is just as exciting as finding a lost family album.