Visit with Bob Gitt!
On my recent visit to Los Angeles I was able to visit with Bob Gitt from UCLA. After reading about him and his work with restoring film for so long I just had to make a visit with this great film preservationist!
I met with Bob at the film preservation vaults of UCLA. This building at one time was the original Technicolor building built in 1924.
Bob gave me a tour of the old buildings. The most interesting place was the vaults. Inside this building are the film vaults where the decomposing nitrate films are kept. It's overwhelming to see vault after vault filled from floor to ceiling with with old film, knowing that not all of these films are going to make it. Bob opened one vault, which is behind a double door. As the room opened the smell of decomposing film, vinegar as it's called, comes out. Bob opened a couple reels of film to show me how they are warped, and cracked, or stuck together. These films are lost. It's sad to think that these could be the only copies of some films. "We just don't have the money, the time, or the people to help restore these films."
Bob then took me to see a recently restored reel from Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929) with Winnie Lightner. This one reel, about 10 minutes, was early color, and looked fantastic! It was a production number for Tiptoe Through The Tulips.
Thank you Bob Gitt for all your wonderful work!!
and John Newton:
Do you have film soundtrack discs (Vitaphone, Paramount, MGM, etc.),
production information, stills, or other ephemera on pre 1940 short films?
We urgently need this data for a major film restoration program.
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THE VITAPHONE PROJECT
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