Thursday, April 30, 2015

Music, Movies & Magic

Note: The press release below went out to the local media via email today.

Date: April 30, 2015
To: All media for immediate release
Re: Music, Movies & Magic
From: The Bijou Film Center

At Hardywood Park on Sunday, May 17, 2015, between noon and 6 p.m. the nonprofit Bijou Film Center will present a springtime frolic -- "Music, Movies & Magic." The variety show will offer live performances by three bands: The Red Hot Lava Men; Happy Lucky Combo; Avers. Short films will be shown between the sets by the bands. A magician will also be working the room.

Admission will be free.

The beer will be cold. 


James Parrish: Email: Phone: (804) 564-3224.
Terry Rea: Email: Phone: (804) 938-7997.

The Event's Purpose:

Music, Magic & Magic will serve as the kickoff for a $15,000 fundraising campaign to buy the equipment needed to breathe life into the Bijou's film preservation/transfer business. The most important aspect of that equipment is a Tobin TST-8 Strobe Transfer Unit for Dual 8 (Standard 8mm and Super 8) Silent Film. It will transfer small format films, frame-by-frame, to computer hard drives. Our customers will then be able to watch their old home movies on DVDs or online without risking damage to the source material.

Once we have our ducks in a row, equipment-wise, the Bijou Film Center will open for business later this year in its studio/office space. We will make quality transfers of films shot in what might be considered out-of-date formats, such as 8mm, Super 8mm, VHS. etc., to digital files. More information about what we intend to do is here: Bijou Backlight: Liberating Grandma's Home Movies.

Note: The Bijou Film Center's fundraising drive will receive a percentage of Hardywood Park's take from beer sales during the event. 

About the Bands (all three are Richmond-based):
  • The Red Hot Lava Men are a surf-rock band that formed in 1997. They play righteous covers of classic surf guitar instrumentals from the late-'50s/early-'60s. Personnel: Mark Golden; John Gotschalk; Doyle Hull; Greg Weatherford. Video 
  • The Happy Lucky Combo originated 10 years ago as a trio of street musicians. Barry Bless, Pippin Barnett and Dave Yohe will be performing what STYLE Weekly's Chris Bopst says is, "timeless vaudevillian musical comedy." Samples of music.
  • Avers: Serendipitously, members of various bands with projects aplenty fell together a couple of years ago. Now they're a tight, six-piece, sort of psychedelic rock band that just knocked 'em dead at the South by Southwest Music festival (SXSW) in Austin. Tyler Williams, James Mason, James Lloyd Hodges, Alexandra Spalding, Adrian Olsen and Charlie Glenn are Avers. Cover story in Style Weekly. NPR story with video
Short Films, the Raffles and a Magician:

Silent comedies by Charlie Chaplin  and Buster Keaton will be screened between sets by the bands. Early on, Chaplin saw the making of films as akin to magic. Consequently, he went to great lengths to keep his tricks on the eye/special effects a secret.

Magician John Smallie, who busks regularly in Carytown, will also perform at various times as part of this variety show. And, raffles will be held with donated items (including Bijou T-shirts) from generous sponsors as prizes.

Sponsors for the Event:

The sponsors of the Bijou's third fundraising event helped in various ways to make it happen. They include: Candela Books + Gallery, Christopher's Runaway GourmayCrossroads Coffee and Ice Cream, Don't Look Back, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Michael Harl, Portrait House, Triple Stamp Press

About Hardywood Park: 

Inspired by their experiences in Australia, where they learned the art of brewing, Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh opened Hardywood Park Craft Brewery at 2408 Ownby Lane (near The Diamond) in 2011. The tasting room, live music and community events began a year later. Since then the warehouse and surrounding grounds have been the scene of many a lively event. In lingo borrowed from surf guitar times -- it's a hot spot.

About the Bijou Film Center:

The Bijou Film Center will be a nonprofit hub for all things to do with film exhibition, film preservation and film production in Richmond. Its studio/office is now at 1 E. Broad St. in Richmond's downtown "arts district." That temporary space is where the film preservation/transfer business outlined above will be established. And, it's the neighborhood in which we intend to open a 100-to-120-seat movie theater auditorium with an adjoining small café. The search for that location is ongoing.

A hundred years ago Richmond's first movie theater, The Bijou, was already a fixture in the city's thriving theater district, some seven blocks east of our current digs on Broad Street. Richmond's first Bijou was the brainchild of a former baseball player named Jake Wells, who had the vision to lead the way with film exhibition in Richmond. He went on to establish a chain of 43 theaters in the Southeast.

More information about the community that is forming around the Bijou Film Center can be found on the Bijou's Facebook page and its Bijou Backlight blogzine.

The Bijou Film Center's founders:

James T. Parrish, Jr. is a fundraiser, artist and leader in the Richmond arts community. He was founder of the Richmond Flicker (1998-2008) and co-founder of the James River Film Society. He currently serves as the Director of Foundation Relations for Virginia Commonwealth University.

F.T. "Terry" Rea was the original manager of Richmond’s repertory cinema, the Biograph Theatre (1972-83). He was the founder/editor/publisher of SLANT (1985-94), a Fan District-based periodical, devoted to popular culture and politics. He is now a freelance artist/writer.

More Info: and 

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