Cinevent Classic Film Fest Celebrates 50 Years
Cinevent Classic Film Convention returns this Memorial Day weekend for a 50th anniversary celebration of silver screen films and memorabilia. Event chair Michael Haynes talks nostalgia, Maltin and Fritz the Nite Owl.
Hope Madden: How has this Cinevent managed to stay fresh and popular for 50 years?
Michael Haynes: I think that there’s always a market for nostalgia, whether it’s people going back and revisiting things they enjoyed when they were younger or even looking back to earlier times. There’s also been some evolution over the years as we’ve started showing a few “newer” items. For example, the Jimmy Stewart teleplay Cindy’s Fella, which will be screening Thursday evening, was originally aired less than 10 years before the first Cinevent. Of course, now it’s almost 60 years old.
When we’ve included newer fare in the screening room we’ve definitely aimed to keep the feel of the material the same. That’s what our regular attendees are coming to experience.
Madden: The event kicks off on Wednesday with a 3D screening of William Cameron Menzies’s 1953 SciFi terror The Maze, as well as Herbert L. Strock’s 1954 robot thriller, Gog, both at the Wexner Center for the Arts. Tell me about the connection to the Wex.
Haynes: We’ve been working with the Wexner Center for about 20 years now. The first few years the Wexner screenings were part of the actual main Cinevent. Over time, it changed to being more of a “pre-Cinevent” activity on the night before the convention starts. One thing we did bring back this year, with the gracious assistance of the Wexner Center, was transportation between the hotel and the Wexner for our attendees who did not want to drive themselves.
Madden: Leonard Maltin is coming by—what can we expect from that visit?
Haynes: This is a very exciting aspect of our 50th show. Not only is he coming, but he’ll be launching his newest book, Hooked on Hollywood, at the show. This will be the only place people will be able to buy this new book until later in the summer, so we’re very excited to be able to make this available to our attendees. He’ll also be attending our Thursday evening reception, giving a talk about his new book on Friday, doing a joint conversation with New York Times bestselling author Scott Eyman on Saturday, and introducing the Jack Benny movie The Meanest Man in the World, also on Saturday.
Madden: What else should we know about the 50th bash?
Haynes: If you’ve never come to Cinevent, this is a great year to attend! I think our Saturday program this year would be a great first-time Cinevent experience for people. Not only will we have the Leonard Maltin events mentioned above on Saturday but we’ll have our usual Saturday Morning Cartoon program in the morning, a hard-to-find John Wayne movie The Sea Spoilers) in the early evening, and Fritz the Nite Owl will be on hand to introduce some jazz shorts in the late afternoon, sign some autographs in the evening, and then introduce our midnight movie Murder By Television starring Bela Lugosi.
Cinevent runs May 24 – 27 at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown hotel.
For tickets and information, visit cinevent.com.