Film Notes: Two theaters raising funds for digital projection; Anime Film Series at ToonSeum

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Some theaters are scrambling for ways to raise money to convert to digital projection or face going dark.

The Guthrie, a small family-owned movie theater in Grove City, is running a "Seat Backs for Greenbacks" campaign. For $250, you can "buy a seat" and affix a vinyl decal on a seat with your choice of content to raise money for digital projection.

Go to and click on "News & Events" for more information.

On March 2, members of The Living Dead Festival -- an organization that celebrates director George A. Romero's groundbreaking 1968 chiller "Night of the Living Dead" -- will host a fundraiser at the Hollywood Theater.

The event will feature a meet-and-greet session with "Night" cast members, raffles, auctions and a 35mm film screening of the classic movie. All proceeds will go toward the Dormont theater's Go Digital or Go Dark campaign.

Doors open at 2 p.m., and the celebrity meet-and-greet begins at 4 p.m., and "The Night of the Living Dead" screening is at 8 p.m. The $25 ticket includes a commemorative event poster, which can be signed by "Night" cast and crew for free.

General admission (no poster) is $10. Celebrity guests are expected to include Kyra Schon, Russ Streiner, George Kosana, Joe Unitas, Ella Mae Smith, Paula Richards and Gary Streiner. Go to for tickets.

As explained in an email, the Friends of the Hollywood Theater organization needs to raise $75,000 to make the film-to-digital conversion in 2013 or face going dark. The nonprofit organization is exploring grant opportunities, will host fundraisers and has mounted an Indiegogo campaign to raise additional funds.

The Indiegogo campaign, which offers perks for donating, will end March 20. You can donate at

Anime all the way

Pittsburgh Anime Film Series, with movies (in Japanese, with English subtitles), lectures and an exhibition of original artwork, will launch at 7 p.m. Tuesday with a showing of "Akira" and a talk at the ToonSeum, 945 Liberty Ave., Downtown. All events are open to the public.

Tuesday's showing of "Akira," a landmark sci-fi epic set in Neo-Tokyo and filled with humor, action and suspense, will be followed by a lecture by film writer Joe Peacock, owner of a number of the pieces on display in the exhibition. Screening is free with museum entry. (Suggested admission, $5.)

"5 Centimeters per Second," the bittersweet story of two young students that paints a picture of love, loss and hope, will screen at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Frick Fine Arts Building on the University of Pittsburgh campus, Oakland. Admission is free.

At 7 p.m. Feb. 18, "Memories" with three sci-stories, will be shown at the Frick Fine Arts Building. Free admission.

"Summer Wars," about two teens fighting a computer program run amok in a virtual game world, will be shown at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Frick Fine Arts Building. Also free.

The series will conclude at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 with a lecture, "Relational Visuality, or, What's the Point of Studying Anime?" at the Frick Fine Arts Building. Steven Ridgely from the University of Wisconsin-Madison will deliver the free talk, with reception afterward.

The series is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures along with its Asian Studies Center, Japan Iron and Steel Federation, Mitsubishi Endowments, Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Modern Languages, and ToonSeum.

See for more information.


Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: or 412-263-1632. Read her blog: First Published February 4, 2013 5:00 AM


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