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FILM | The Nitrate Picture Show


Over the years, an air of mystery and danger has been cultivated around nitrate film, and not just because of its notorious reputation for catching fire and burning movie theaters to the ground. The dominant medium for motion pictures from 1895 to 1948, nitrate film has a picture quality that remains unparalleled for its vibrancy and clarity.

From Friday, May 5, through Sunday, May 7, The George Eastman Museum (900 East Avenue) will continue to ensure the volatile medium gets its due, bringing The Nitrate Picture Show back for its third year. Since its beginning, the festival's reputation has only grown, with past iterations garnering national attention everywhere from VICE to Film Comment magazine (among others). The weekend's events will include lectures by film scholars Hisashi Okajima and Alexander Horwath; workshops demonstrating how nitrate film is made; tours of the Eastman Museum's vaults and projection booths; and of course, the main event: nine feature film screenings, all shown on glorious nitrate film.

Tickets for individual film screenings are $20 ($18 students and museum members) and can be purchased at the Dryden Theatre box office starting Friday, May 5, at 9 a.m. Full festival passes are $150 ($125 for students and members), with a Patron Pass also available for $250. The specific film titles being screened will be kept under wraps until the morning of May 5, though a basic schedule of events can be found at

Check CITY's website,, early next week for a recap of the Nitrate Picture Show's festivities.