Wednesday, May 02, 2018

The 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival: Days One and Two

The 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival officially began on Thursday, April 26th, but as usual there was a full day of activities on Wednesday.

My Wednesday schedule started picking up my credential; this year's media bag included the new book MUST-SEE SCI-FI: 50 MOVIES THAT ARE OUT OF THIS WORLD by Sloan De Forest and a bottle of wine from the TCM Wine Club.

In the next couple hours I also did my souvenir shopping in the festival boutique, reunited with my festival roommate KC, and had lunch at 25 Degrees in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The food there is always great!

KC and I also checked in at the Hollywood Celebrity Hotel; we've stayed there four years now and always been happy with it, including the clean rooms and friendly staff.

Over the course of the afternoon a steady stream of classic film bloggers and members of the TCM Twitter community poured into TCM Headquarters at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Here are a baker's dozen of film bloggers and Twitter users, shot in the hotel against a backdrop of Ben Mankiewicz's living room set.

This year TCM did something different and replaced the annual press conference with a media reception in Club TCM. (The posters decorating Club TCM this year were from Robert Osborne's personal collection.) Here are Illeana Douglas and Ben Mankiewicz:

Longtime friends, film historians Leonard Maltin and Scott Eyman, share a lighthearted moment:

New TCM host Alicia Malone (third from left) poses with a half-dozen classic film bloggers:

TCM General Manager Jennifer Dorian welcomes the media:

The scene in Club TCM:

Again this year I enjoyed dinner with a number of my fellow bloggers at Kitchen 24. I love our annual reunion!

During the course of the evening I even won a tote bag with a $100 Netflix gift card, that was a lovely surprise!!

Finally it was back to the Hollywood Roosevelt for the annual bloggers' party organized by TCM. Getting together with movie-loving friends every year is the best part of the TCM Festival.

The next morning a whopping 22 of us gathered for breakfast at Mel's! We ate while we could, as it's very difficult to find time to eat after breakfast during the festival...this year I didn't manage to eat a "real meal" sitting down at a table on either Saturday or Sunday! (But it was worth it!)

We spent some time shopping at the famed Larry Edmunds Cinema Bookshop. On the way back I snapped this photo of the intersection of Hollywood and Highland as the Chinese Theatre made ready for the red carpet festivities that evening:

After a late lunch/early dinner, KC and I decided to go see if anyone was in line yet for FINISHING SCHOOL (1934), which we knew from Twitter conversations would be a hot ticket. (Pre-Codes are some of the most popular films at the festival.) Sure enough, there were already a half-dozen or so people in line at 4:15 -- and the movie didn't start till 7:00! We got in line for what proved to be a sold-out show; in fact, it was one of the presentations repeated on Sunday.

It's always great to see Wyatt McCrea (on right), who was interviewed about his grandmother, Frances Dee, by Jeremy Arnold. Wyatt shared that Frances and costar Ginger Rogers became lifelong friends, visiting back and forth over the decades which followed. Wyatt is a congenial speaker, and I'm sure the audience would have been happy if he and Jeremy could have chatted even longer!

I've always liked this movie, which was shown in 35mm, and it was great fun to enjoy Ginger Rogers' terrific one-liners with an appreciative audience. What a wonderful way to kick off the festival!

Then it was down the street to the Egyptian Theatre to see STAGE DOOR (1937) in a 35mm nitrate print. I love the extra sparkle of a nitrate print and really enjoyed seeing this favorite film again.

Coming soon: A report on my first full day of movie viewing!


Blogger Walter S. said...

Thank you Laura for the good article on the Turner Classic Movie Film Festival activities. I enjoyed it and I am envious. Also liked the photographs.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you, Walter! I'm very glad to be able to share this wonderful experience with my readers, and I hope some of you who haven't previously attended might be able to do so in the future!

Best wishes,

10:25 PM  

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