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Exhibits & Events

The Secret Cinema revives its SCOPITONE PARTY
screening and talk at Maas Building

Friday, February 24, 2023
8:00 pm
Admission: $10.00

The Maas Building
1325 N. Randolph Street, Philadelphia, PA

On Friday, February 24, The Secret Cinema will revive its popular SCOPITONE PARTY presentation, a unique collection of music films from the early and mid 1960s. They were originally made for a French film jukebox called Scopitone, which entertained patrons in bars, cafes and bus stations in Europe and America. The film clips, featuring performers both famous and obscure -- and which are considered to be among the more important of the many predecessors to the modern rock video -- are today quite scarce, and difficult to see in their original form.

Shown will be a large assortment of the precious prints (most of which were discovered by a film collector, in pristine, never-used condition, in the long-warehoused inventory of a retired Virginia jukebox dealer). Adding interest to the SCOPITONE PARTY program will be a special talk about the history of film jukeboxes (which date back to the 1940s), illustrated with rare photos and original advertising materials.

This program will be the last "Secret Cinema classic" offering of our 30th anniversary celebration (which began March 2022). SCOPITONE PARTY was last presented 11 years ago -- and was first shown 25 years ago, at Moore College of Art & Design. The talk will be given by Secret Cinema director Jay Schwartz, who has now presented the SCOPITONE PARTY program at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Columbia University in New York, the Festival Internacional de Cine de Gijón (Spain), the Benicassim music festival (also Spain), and a rock film festival in Athens, Greece. And for the first time, the illustrated talk will be updated to include new information about (and images of) Scopitone, which has emerged since we first pieced together the history of this pioneering music technology.

There will be one complete show at 8:00 pm. Admission is $10.00.

AS ALWAYS with Secret Cinema events, the films will be shown using real film (not video) projected on a giant screen.

SCOPITONE PARTY will include performances by such well-known oldies icons as Dion, Nancy Sinatra, Paul Anka and Procul Harum. Also on view will be many French pop performers, including currently in retro-vogue names like Francoise Hardy, Sylvie Vartan, Michel Polnareff, Juliette Gréco, rockabilly-belting Johnny Hallyday, and doomed chanteuse Dalida. And then there are mystifying, bizarre clips by the British Elvis imitator Vince Taylor, a quartet of singing Jerry Lewis-types named I Brutos, and even a few songs by performers whose names were lost to history.

For further press information, call Jay Schwartz (Secret Cinema) at 215-360-2708 (this number is not for publication).





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