Exhibition Reel of Two Color Film (ca. 1929)

An experimental color short in Brewster Color, preserved by George Eastman House and presented on the More Treasures DVD set.


Contact: Jeff Lambert (415-392-7291, lambert@filmpreservation.org)

San Francisco, CA (May 27, 2009)—Dinner for Eight (1934), one of the first live-action films made in the three-strip Technicolor process, and 78 other culturally and historically significant films will be preserved through grants announced today by the National Film Preservation Foundation. All told, 31 institutions from Alaska to Mississippi received cash awards to save and make available American films that would be unlikely to survive without public support.

Dinner for Eight is among the earliest live-action films produced in the color system that revolutionized Hollywood filmmaking,” commented UCLA film restorer Bob Gitt. “It deserves to be seen again on the big screen and will, thanks to this NFPF grant.” The ten-minute short, produced in February 1934 for Southern California Edison, promotes the use of electrical appliances in the home and was shot by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Ray Rennahan. The work will be preserved by the Huntington Library.

Among the other award-winning projects are Mary Ellen Bute’s 1965 adaptation of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake; The Story of Matzo, Part 1 and 2 (1930s), profiling the last matzo factory in Manhattan; Undersea Gardens (ca. 1938), by underwater photography pioneer E. R. Fenimore Johnson; the only known sound footage of legendary jazz guitarist Snoozer Quinn; The Magic Key (1950), a Chamber of Commerce short about advertising; Diamonds (1915), a crime drama made by the Eastern Film Company of Providence, Rhode Island; the Keystone comedy The Camera Cure (1917); Art Discovers America (ca. 1944), with rare footage of artists Raphael Soyer, John Sloan, Thomas Hart Benton, and Reginald Marsh in their studios; avant-garde works by Ericka Beckman, Andrea Callard, Manuel DeLanda, Joe Gibbons, Marjorie Keller, and Dean Snider; and home movies of the 1939 Atlanta premiere of Gone with the Wind, the mountaineering adventures of the American Alpine Club’s president in the late 1920s, and left-wing activist Allard K. Lowenstein crashing Princess Grace’s wedding.

The grants distribute federal funds authorized by The National Film Preservation Foundation Act of 2005 and secured through the leadership of the Library of Congress. The awards provide funds to create a preservation master and two public viewing copies of each work. Films saved through the NFPF programs are made available for on-site research and are seen more widely through screenings, exhibits, DVDs, television broadcasts, and the Internet. Since created by Congress in 1996, the NFPF has supported film preservation in 197 archives, libraries, and museums across 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and has helped save some 1,500 films.

The spring grant recipients are:

  • Academy of Natural Sciences (Pennsylvania)
  • Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association (Alaska)
  • American Alpine Club (Colorado)
  • American Baptist Historical Society (Georgia)
  • American Museum of Natural History (New York)
  • Anthology Film Archives (New York)
  • Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.)
  • Atlanta History Center (Georgia)
  • Bard College (New York)
  • Center for Visual Music (California)
  • Children’s Hospital Boston (Massachusetts)
  • Country Music Hall of Fame (Tennessee)
  • Duke University (North Carolina)
  • Filson Historical Society (Kentucky)
  • George Eastman House (New York)
  • Hagley Museum and Library (Delaware)
  • Huntington Library (California)
  • Johns Hopkins University (Maryland)
  • Lees McRae College (North Carolina)
  • Louisiana State Museum (Louisiana)
  • Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Mississippi)
  • National Center for Jewish Film (Massachusetts)
  • New York Public Library (New York)
  • New York University (New York)
  • North Carolina State University (North Carolina)
  • Northeast Historic Film (Maine)
  • Rhode Island Historical Society (Rhode Island)
  • Science Museum of Minnesota (Minnesota)
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (North Carolina)
  • University of Washington (Washington)
  • Yale University (Connecticut)

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America's film heritage. The NFPF is the charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress. For the complete list of projects supported by the NFPF, visit the NFPF Web site: www.filmpreservation.org.

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