Out of all the cons that we set up each year, there is none that we do that is quite like Cinevent. By that statement, I don’t mean that it is better or worse than the rest of them, just completely different. This show is like stepping back in time, to an era when conventions where just about memorabilia. A place where movie fans would go hoping to find some new pieces for their collections. Or spend time in the movie room where there is a constant stream of movies being screened on 16mm. The only thing that you paid for was to get into the show and then whatever you were buying from the dealers. There were posters, pressbooks, stills, lobby cards, soundtracks, books, and of course, movies, but in many different formats from 8mm, 16mm, to VHS. Today at this show, it is still the same. Cinevent has been around longer than any con that I know of, with next year being their 50th anniversary. So the fact that they have been going for 5 decades is pretty damn impressive. You won’t see the huge crowds here like at the bigger shows. But with the several hundred people that do come through the door, it is definitely worth it for us to come back each year.
One of the co-founders of this event was Steven Haynes, had remained part of the show from the beginning until he passed away in April of 2015. His son Michael has taken over the show and has been running it for the last three years, and from what I see, he is doing a hell of a job. Between him and his lovely wife Angela, they wander around the dealer room checking with the dealers on how they are doing and if they need anything. Super nice people, and I’m glad to be a little part of the Cinevent family.
Now there is one part of this show that I don’t like, so let’s get this out of the way…it’s the hours. The show opens at 1pm on Thursday and goes until 10pm that night. Then the next two days, the dealer room in open from 9am to 10pm. That’s right…13 hours, which makes for a very long day. Now, you can cover up your tables and head out for lunch or dinner at any time. Or close up at 8pm or so. No big deal. But for me, I always figure someone might come shopping and if I’m not open, they could spend their money on another dealer! Plus, because of the long hours, it could be a few hours in between sales, which makes the day seem even longer, sometimes making the day just seems to drag. If the hours were shorter, like other shows, the crowds and sales wouldn’t be so drawn out. Then again, maybe the long hours are just so people have time to chat with all their old friends and have time to spend watching the films that are being screened all weekend long and still have time to shop. The bottom line is that even though the days seem long, at the end of it all, we are having fun, and the sales are there, at times better than how we do at the bigger shows that draw in quite a few more people. So there you go.
One of the things that you will notice right away at this show is the age of the dealers. Being in my lower 50s, I think I was one of the youngest ones there. There were a few guys there that had to be in their 80s, yet here they were, sitting behind their table chatting up people about what they are selling, but also about the movies they love. That is what sets this show apart from others. These guys have been movie fans for probably longer than I’ve been alive. It is a deep passion for them. It is what they live for. I really think that is why that these guys, at their age, are still travelling across the country to a show like this, setting up and sitting there for 13 hours a day for 4 days. It makes me wonder if this isn’t doing something to them that is keeping them young at heart. Sure, there were a few there with physical difficulties, from wheelchairs, crutches and canes, but they were still there setting up as dealers and/or shopping! I really do believe that when you have a passion so great that it really does consume you, it will keep you going in your later years, in fact, keeping you young. At least, that is what I’m hoping, because I really hope to be still setting up at these shows in another twenty years, having just as much fun as I am now. So yes…for you youngsters out there….whatever you do in life, find something that you feel passionate about and feed it! Make it flourish.
Stay tuned for Part 2….The Dealer Room and Fantastic Finds!