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Sharing the big screen

Home Movie Day showcases candid footage from both stars and ordinary people.

August 09, 2007|Susan King | Times Staff Writer

ALWAYS wanted to be on the same screen as Bogey and Bacall? Now, here's your chance.

This Saturday, the fifth annual Home Movie Day takes place at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood, with films from your average closet scrounger shown during the day and candid reels from the academy's archives at night.

The commemoration of amateur filmmaking provides families and individuals with a chance to share their movies with the community, said Lynne Kirste, the academy archive's special collections curator, who coordinates the international event. "I think this year we have 60 venues, and we also have venues in six other countries. It gets bigger every year."

Those who want to see their home movies flicker on the big screen locally can check in between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday. Archivists with editing equipment will be standing by to ensure films won't be damaged.

This year is the first time Home Movie Day will accept DVDs, but Kirste pointed out that the day's main objective is to allow people to see their movies on film. "We do Super 8 and 16 millimeter," she said. "We take one reel from each person. We will make any repairs and make sure it's in good enough shape."

Kirste has discovered people often stay several hours to watch. "You would think that they would find other people's films boring, but actually it's really fun," she said. And often very sentimental, as she recalled the time an older couple brought in footage from their wedding. "They hadn't seen it in 40 years, and they were so delighted. There is a lot of laughter and tears."

A microphone is passed around so that the person whose movie is being shown can provide narration. "That adds a lot," she said. "You can hear the emotion."

The event also gives the archivists a chance to explain the finer points of film care. "We will talk about storing your film where it's cool and dry. We pass out fliers. We emphasize that if they transfer their films to DVD they should make sure they never throw their films away; they will last longer than the DVD."

Later that night, the academy will show a 90-minute program from Hollywood's past.

The archive has about 1,500 reels of home movies. "Some of them are from people who have worked in the film industry, and a lot of them are from regular people who have a lot that shows Southern California over the years," Kirste said. "We're focusing on footage of stars and also L.A. and environs. "

That means you'll see Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall at play and Alfred Hitchcock with his family in England from 1928 to 1932.

"We also have several different clips of Disneyland, including some from opening day, as well as Esther Williams and Steve McQueen's family running around Disneyland," said academy programmer Randy Haberkamp.

He'll also be screening footage of Hollywood Boulevard shot by tourists in the 1930s and '40s. "People can't get enough of it," Haberkamp said. "You can still relate to the architecture, but you can also relate to what kind of change has happened, both positive and negative."

susan.king@latimes.com

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Home Movie Day

Where: Linwood Dunn Theater, 1313 Vine St., Hollywood

When: Noon to 4 p.m. and 7 to about 9 p.m. Saturday

Price: Afternoon session, free; evening session, $3 to $5

Info: www.oscars.org, www.homemovieday.com

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