I’m in New York having a ball — except for the sob sessions that I won’t be in Los Angeles over Labor Day weekend when the annual Cinecon Classic Film Festival blasts off Thursday September 1. Gracing the Fest in its celebratory 58th year (a return to ‘in person’ with masks encouraged) will be the demur young lady pictured above. That would be the legendary Emmy® winning and Golden Globe® nominated actress, comedienne, and musical star Mitzi Gaynor. Ms. Gaynor will be making a rare public appearance to accept her Cinecon Legacy Award from friend and virtuoso performer, Michael Feinstein. Thereafter will follow a screening of the rarely viewed ANYTHING GOES (1956) courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Wait wait there’s more. On Friday, September 2nd, Friend of ArtsMeme (FOAM) George Chakiris, he of the high-kicking dancing-antihero Bernardo from the 1961 film WEST SIDE STORY (for which he won the Golden Globe® and the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor) will be honored by his pal Ruta Lee with the Cinecon Legacy Award after a screening of the 1964 action adventure 633 SQUADRON.
Those are the dancers, artsmeme people. Other honorees include actor Jimmy Hunt, on hand to receive the award from friend and co-star Janine Perreau, who appeared with him in the 1953 sci-fi classic INVADERS FROM MARS, which will be seen in a newly restored 4K version courtesy of Ignite Films. Finally, actress Patty McCormack, otherwise known as THE BAD SEED (1956) will be honored along with a screening of her KATHY O’ (1958), presented courtesy of NBC/Universal.
Cinecon is where archivists, authors, collectors and film fans and old friends congregate for five days of eyeball-scorching line-ups of classic films, special programs and celebrity guests. The venue for the festival, including the gala opening night reception, is the groovy Hollywood Legion Theater, a movie theater that has no bad seats. The movies, beyond being great, good, bad or indifferent have one thing in common: rare public screenings. Day passes are available. Treat yourself. Go.
Cinecon Classic Film Festival | Hollywood Legion Theater | Labor Day weekend