Samantha Glasser admits to having something of an obsessive personality.
“When I really like something, I really, really like it,” said Glasser, a 35-year-old Columbus resident.
The main thing that Glasser “really, really likes” — loves might be the better word — are classic films.
“My family didn’t have cable growing up, and my parents were a little bit strict about what we could watch, so we lived at the library,” Glasser said. “I could check out as many not-rated movies as I wanted. Black-and-white movies were perfect. We used to watch a lot of ‘Our Gang’ films, we used to watch ‘Three Stooges.’”
In time, Glasser found her way to Cinevent, an annual classic film convention held every year in Columbus from 1969 until 2019.
“Cinevent feels like a family reunion every year,” said Glasser, who began attending the event at age 19 and, about seven years ago, became a staff member. “A lot of these people have been coming to the show for decades. I’m almost to the few-decades point myself.”
After presenting one final edition of the convention last fall, Cinevent leaders tapped Glasser to head up a freshened-up version of the annual classic film extravaganza, rebranded the Columbus Moving Picture Show. The convention will take place Thursday through next Sunday at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel.
“The show is very much the same format,” said Glasser, who, in her day job, is a deputy clerk at the Franklin County Municipal Court. “We’re at the same hotel. I think consistency is important since we have a name change.”
Four days of screenings will include Glasser’s beloved comedy shorts — including films in the “Our Gang” series at 2:40 p.m. Thursday and films starring silent film comic Charley Chase at 10 a.m. Friday — as well as a plethora of other rarities.
“We try to really have something for everyone,” Glasser said.
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Episodes of the 1940 serial “Adventures of Red Ryder” will be shown daily — at noon Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday through Sunday — along with one of the stars in attendance, Tommy Cook.
“He played Little Beaver way back in the day. He’s almost 92 now,” Glasser said. “He’ll have a table where he can sign autographs for people and talk to fans.”
Other highlights include the 1919 film “The Little Cafe,” starring French silent film comic Max Linder. Film historian Lisa Stein Haven, a professor of English at Ohio University, will introduce the flick at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
“People who know (Charlie) Chaplin probably know Max Linder,” Glasser said. “Chaplin was a big fan of Max Linder. . . . (silent film actress) Florence Lawrence is always given the title of the first movie star, the first person whose name was known by the audience. Lisa found evidence that says, ‘No, Max was the first one.’”
Also highly anticipated is the 1940 comedy “Love Thy Neighbor,” starring radio stars Jack Benny and Fred Allen. The film shows at 1:45 p.m. Sunday.
“(Benny and Allen) had a famous feud on the radio, so this is the movie version of that feud,” Glasser said. “That appeals to the old-time radio crowd as well.”
All but one film will be shown on 16mm, which Glasser sees as preferable to showing films in digital formats.
“You’re going back to the source,” she said. “It’s kind of like people who do organic farming . . . You get a certain satisfaction about going back to basics and showing things in the most pure form.”
In addition to the screenings, dealers will be selling countless movie-related wares, including original film posters, lobby cards, still photographs as well as DVDs, Blu-rays and laserdiscs.
“There are people who sell things for a dollar apiece — I got my first lobby card from one of those tables — and then you can spend hundreds, sometimes thousands on lobby cards,” Glasser said.
The main difference between the Columbus Moving Picture Show and Cinevent, then, is the name change — but even that confirms that the spirit behind the gathering has remained the same.
“‘Moving pictures’ is such an archaic term,” Glasser said. “It really takes you back and lets you know that our show is all about nostalgia.”
At a glance
The Columbus Moving Picture Show will take place Thursday through Sunday at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel, 50 N. 3rd St. Single-day admission costs $25 and weekend passes cost $75; both are available at the door. For more information, visit www.columbusmovingpictureshow.com.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Columbus Moving Picture Show vintage film event opens Thursday