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FILM | The Nitrate Picture Show


Not every film festival has the potential to kill you — but, well, the Nitrate Picture Show is something special. The dominant motion picture medium from 1895 to 1948, nitrate film is the notoriously combustible format responsible for the type of deadly theater fires seen in films like "Cinema Paradiso" and "Inglourious Basterds" (and yes, several real-life incidents as well). But danger aside, nitrate film has always been renowned for the depth and clarity of its image, which is what truly makes it the Holy Grail of film formats for cinephiles.

From Friday, April 29, through Sunday, May 1, the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman Museum (900 East Avenue) will present its 2nd Nitrate Picture Show, a weekend of events including lectures by film scholars, workshops demonstrating how nitrate film is created, tours of the museum's vaults, and nine feature film screenings, all projected on glorious nitrate film.

Prices range from $150 for a general festival pass to $250 for a patron pass, and $125 for student, Eastman Museum members, and Selznick School alumni. Tickets for the workshop and nitrate vault tour are available for $50 and require advance registration. Individual film tickets will be available for $20 ($18 for students and members) at the box office on the day of each screening. While the specific film titles being screened are being kept under wraps until April 29, a basic outline of the weekend's schedule can be viewed at