THE OPENING OF UNION STATION

In honor of Union Station's 75th Anniversary, Metro and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in cooperation with the family of Ward Kimball, have restored the only known footage of the historic opening. Documented in the home movie, the parade drew half a million spectators to downtown Los Angeles.

The silent 6-minute color film clip features train engines, vintage automobiles, and spectators from the parade, which took place on May 3, 1939. The home movie was shot by legendary Disney animator Ward Kimball, creator of numerous classic Disney characters, including Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio, Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Alice in Wonderland, and Lucifer the Cat in Cinderella. In 1970, Kimball received an Academy Award® for Best Short Subject (Cartoon) for “It’s Tough to be a Bird.”

Kimball was an avid railway enthusiast and collector of old railroad memorabilia. His personal film collection at the Academy Film Archive includes footage of Kimball’s own Grizzly Flats Railroad and documentation of a range of transportation technologies.

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…And Now for Some Puppies

This vintage theater snipe comes from the Packard Humanities Institute Collection, the largest known acquisition of theatrical trailers on film, at the Academy Film Archive. The collection, which includes an array of theater advertisements such as this, was deposited at the Archive by David Packard in 2009. This historically significant collection contains over 60,000 moving images and has transformed the Academy Film Archive into the world’s foremost repository of motion picture trailers.

Join us for “Trailers in Love” a rare screening of vintage trailers at The Cinefamily on April 24th at 7:30, presented in partnership with the Academy Film Archive!


PRACTICALLY PERFECT IN EVERY WAY

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Illustrator Jim Schaeffing rendered this charming drawing for production designer Tony Walton for the Walt Disney movie Mary Poppins. After making his name in commercial illustration on the East Coast, Schaeffing moved his family west, where he landed a job at the Disney Studio. His first assignment was Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) before he was put to work on the studio’s adaptation of P.L. Travers’ novels.

Disney’s f...
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HIDDEN STORIES IN "THE COLOR PURPLE"

As Women’s History Month draws to a close, this week we take a look at the 1985 film adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple. The story centers on Celie Harris Johnson as she struggles to find her voice and self-confidence while coming of age in the American South during the first half of the twentieth century.

While the narrative of The Color Purple is told from Celie’s point of view, there are two other female character...
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TWO FACES OF EVE

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The Lady Eve (1941) was written and directed by Preston Sturges and began a string of hits for him, including Sullivan’s Travels(1942) and The Palm Beach Story (1942). Sturges’ witty dialogue and use of slapstick comedy p...
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PENELOPE SPHEERIS ON “THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION”

In this exclusive 2007 interview conducted by the Academy, filmmaker Penelope Spheeris explains the genesis of how she charted the Los Angeles music and social scene in the Eighties and Nineties. Catch her in person (with special guests to be announced) on April 4 and 18 when the entire “Decline of Western Civilization” series is screened by the Academy at LACMA’s Bing Theater.


ENNIO MORRICONE IN L.A.

Versatile, unique, engaging, passionate, magnificent, multifaceted. These words only begin to describe the complete works of film composer Ennio Morricone.

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The Italian-born artist’s music probably can be heard in more films than that of any other living composer. Spaghetti westerns such as Sergio Leone’s Once upon a Time in the West, gripping dramas including The Untouchables, heartwarming crowd-pleasers like Cinema Paradiso...
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THE ART OF INDEPENDENCE

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Independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has been writing, directing and producing movies since the early 1980s. Released in 1989, Mystery Train was Jarmusch’s first color film. The loosely-woven plot revolves around the occupants of a small hotel in Memphis, Tennessee with three separate stories: two young Japanese tourists visiting Elvis Presley’s hometown, a stranded Italian widow escorting her husband’s coffin back home, and three bar buddies on the run from the law.

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OUR SIGNATURE EVENT

The first Academy Awards ceremony was a banquet dinner held in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 1929, with winners selected three months prior to the ceremony. The tradition of revealing winners on the night of the ceremony began the following year, and all aspects of the event have grown ever since. The venues have gone from banquet rooms to theaters. The original 15 categories have swelled to 24, and an entirely separate show has been added for Scientific and Technical Aw...
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ACADEMY AWARDS DINNER... AND DANCING!

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Until 1943, the Academy Awards were handed out at banquets held in some of Los Angeles’s glitziest hotels. To celebrate achievements in filmmaking for 1932/33, the Academy chose the Fiesta Room at the Ambassador Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The sixth annual ceremony, held on March 16, 1934, was attended by more than 200 industry notables.

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At the festive black-tie af...
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