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What is Cinecon?

If you've never been to a Cinecon you might ask "What's it all about?"   Well…

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Taking place in the heart of Hollywood, Cinecon is a five-day celebration of film featuring screenings, celebrity guests, and one of the best movie memorabilia shows in the country. This Labor Day weekend, beginning Thursday night, August 31 and continuing through Monday afternoon, September 4, film fans attending the show will be treated to nearly fifty rare features and shorts, special shows, celebrity guests and have an opportunity to purchase rare stills, posters and other collectibles.

CASABLANCA and GONE WITH THE WIND? Great movies, but you won’t see them at Cinecon. We specialize in running rare, unusual and unjustly forgotten movies from the silent and early sound era. Most films are screened in 35mm and silent films include live piano accompaniment. Cinecon is truly 7th Heaven for Cinephiles who have seen nearly everything TCM and AMC have to offer.

For fifty years, Cinephiles from across the nation and around the world have come together over Labor Day weekend to celebrate the movies.

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Beginnings

The Society for Cinephiles, Ltd, as our group was first known, was established in 1965 by Tom Seller, an avid reader of The 8mm Collector magazine, and Cinecon 1 was sponsored by Samuel K. Rubin, publisher of The 8mm Collector, in Indiana, Pennsylvania. It was a small affair with only a handful of die hard film fans. They gathered in a small room at the local Holiday Inn and showed each other 8mm silent films from their personal collections. This was 1965 before videos and DVDs, a time when, if you wanted to see your favorite old film, you had to wait until it turned up on TV or else you had to buy a projector and start your own film collection in 8mm or 16mm.

The following year another cinephile, Clark Wilkinson, hosted the show in Baraboo WI and Cinecon officially became an annual event. For the next several years the Cinecon moved from city to city as a sort of moveable cinematic feast. Today, the fanzine 8mm Collector is known as the respected Classic Images magazine, and since 1990 Cinecon has made its home in the Los Angeles area.

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Cinecon screenings take place at the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian located at 6712 Hollywood Blvd. The historic Egyptian theater was renovated and restored in 1998 by the American Cinematheque group. They managed to maintain the historic integrity   of the theater while installing state of the art projection and sound equipment making it the optimum venue for all formats of film.

Our Memorabilia show and book signings take place a few blocks down the street at the Loews Hollywood Hotel at 1755 North Highland Avenue. The Loews Hollywood Hotel is the cornerstone of the Hollywood and Highland Entertainment complex which features retail stores, fast food eateries, movie theaters, restaurants and also houses the Dolby Theater which is the home of the Academy Awards. Cinecon attendees receive a special discount when booking their accommodations at the Loews. Our Memorabilia show and book signings will be located in the 3rd floor meeting area of the hotel along with our registration table.

The festival begins Thursday afternoon with pre-registration packets available at noon at the hotel registration table and walk-up registration will begin shortly after that. The packets contain the Cinecon program, film schedule, and Cinecon badge. This year our Thursday night festivities will begin with a opening night reception in the Eqyptian Theater forecourt to be followed with a special screening of Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill, Jr. witch will feature a live score performed by the Famous Players Orchestra. The rest of the films will run to about midnight. (See the Cinecon schedule for show times for the rest of the weekend).

The Memorabilia show (and book signing event) will run Thursday through Saturday (click here for hours).

The Cinecon Classic Film Festival is open to the public and you can attend by buying a full festival pass or a single day pass. No admissions to individual films are sold. Passes also include free entrance to our memorabilia dealers' rooms but for those who only want to shop we do offer a separate dealers-room-only admission. Visit our registration page for more information on admission prices.

One of the best parts of Cinecon is the opportunity to meet like-minded film enthusiasts.  Film historians, preservationists, film distributors and interested industry professionals, as well as collectors and film buffs all come to celebrate the movies at Cinecon over Labor Day weekend.

    Won’t you join us?


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