Saturday, September 08, 2007

You can own 'The Biograph'

When the Biograph Theatre was converted to a twin cinema in the late summer of 1974, I assembled a collage in the hallway from the lobby to the larger auditorium, No. 1. That collage -- made up mostly from publicity materials and memorabilia for feature films, photos from magazines, etc. -- was about 12 feet high, it was some 30 feet long. Taking on that large a space was fun.

In 1982, for what was the Biograph’s 10th anniversary it was completely reworked, this time with quite a bit of help of the staff.

Then, in 1985, a couple of years after leaving my theater-manager job, I used up several boxes of old movie memorabilia, photos of the staff, images from handbills, and such -- stuff I had saved for years -- to make the collage which is represented above. One last stab at the theme. Beyond the cut paper it relied upon, I used transparent inks and various opaque paints on it to tint it and give it a fractured look. At the time I meant it to be a scattered collection of freeze-frames, perhaps as seen by a dreamer.

Naturally, I named the then-new piece “The Biograph.”

It was one of four large collages on plywood panels I did that same year (one of them was displayed at the 3rd St. Diner for years), all of them having to do with time. By the way, the 16 mm reel can be switched on so it turns by a little electric motor behind the plywood panel on which the paper, paint, etc., were placed. The little mirror lights up, too. The entire piece was glued together and covered with Roplex, making it quite resistant to damage. Framed with black two-by-fours, it is an extremely sturdy package.

The collage inside the frame, what you see above, is five feet wide and stands four feet tall. It showed in couple of gallery settings in the late-‘80s and early-’90s. Now, in a time in which I need to put some money together and clear some space, it is up for sale.

No one else has seen it in about 15 years. Push has come to shove and sitting in storage this artifact isn’t doing anybody any good. To move it fast, just $500 will make you the owner of this unique piece -- the perfect souvenir of Richmond’s storied repertory cinema, the Biograph Theatre (1972-87). If your best friend is a film buff, why not buy them a one-of-a-kind present?

To see an enlargement of the art just click photo of it above. Inquires should be sent by email (, or call (804) 359-4864. If you want it, don't wait.

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