The Secret Cinema Celebrates 30th anniversary

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 - 7:30pm

All Ages

March 2022 will mark the 30th anniversary of the Secret Cinema,
Philadelphia's floating repertory showcase for rare and forgotten
corners of cinema. And on Tuesday, March 15, the Secret Cinema will
return to the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, with a special program to
celebrate that anniversary.

be a feature-length program of assorted short films from the early
days of our now-extensive 16mm film archive. Each film to be shown --
including nostalgic school films, cartoons, television commercials and
industrial shorts -- was included in our first season of programming,
back in 1992. That means the film prints to be projected, old then,
are now mostly between 50 to 85 years old…yet they all still work, and
have a lot of entertainment value and history within them. We have not
screened most of them for a long time.

There will be one complete show at 7:30 pm. Admission is $12.50,
$8.00 (children/BMFI members), $10 (seniors and students).

This is one of several 30th Anniversary events that Secret Cinema is
planning for 2022.

As always -- still -- Secret Cinema programs are shown using real FILM
(not video, not digital), projected on a giant screen.

Since 1992, Secret Cinema has been the Philadelphia area's premiere
floating repertory cinema series, bringing countless unique screenings
to over 120 nightclubs, bars, coffee houses, museums, open fields,
colleges, art galleries, bookstores, and sometimes even theaters and
film festivals. Drawing on its own large private film archive,
containing thousands of reels of rare 16mm and 35mm film, the Secret
Cinema attempts to explore the uncharted territory and genres that
fall between the cracks, with programs devoted to educational and
industrial films, cult and exploitation features, cartoons, forgotten
television, local history, home movies, erotic films, politically
incorrect material, and the odd Hollywood classic. As long as they
exist on real celluloid, that is -- Secret Cinema screenings never use
video/digital projection. While based in Philadelphia, the Secret
Cinema has also brought its unique programming to other cities and

Just a few highlights of CELEBRATING THIRTY YEARS… are:

THE MORNING AFTER (1927, Dir: Paul Terry) - Silent, early effort from
the famed Terrytoons animation studio, this reel is unusually topical
in that it addresses still-current prohibition of alcohol -- and
resulting police corruption -- all portrayed by animal characters.

PLAY, GIRLS! (1937, Dir: Walter Graham) - A 1930s musical comedy in
two reels, using its miniscule plot as an excuse to showcase a variety
of singers, dancers and pretty girls. From the Educational Pictures
studio, which advertised its product as "The spice of the program."

THE SPONGE DIVERS OF TARPON (1932) - Radio and newsreel announcer
Lowell Thomas narrates this fascinating look at the natural sponge
fishing industry of Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Pro Kleen commercial (1950s) - A mind-numbingly crass eight minute TV
commercial in which an unappealing pitchman with a thick Baltimore
accent extols the wonders of a new spot cleaner.

THE STRANGER AT OUR DOOR (1940) - This dramatic two-reeler, made by a
religious group to promote ethnic tolerance, shouldn't be funny -- but
the outrageous overacting by Bowery Boys rejects and their
non-specific European-born target make it surreally so.

…plus much more.