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Saving Brinton Debuts in Iowa at Sold Out State Theater

Posted: Monday, September 18th, 2017 at 6:29 am
Author: Sally Y. Hart - KCII News

Filmmakers Tommy Haines (from left), John Richard, and Andrew Sherburne stand with local historian and retired teacher Michael Zahs in front of the sold out theater as they introduce their documentary ahead of the screening of Saving Brinton. Photo by Sally Y. Hart

The gold curtain was pulled up and the screen’s opening scene was a man standing in snowy day in Iowa with his dog named Tuesday; Saving Brinton premiered at Washington’s State Theater Sunday afternoon.

The 87-minute documentary follows local historian Michael Zahs as he shares the Frank and Indiana Brinton early film collection that he saved decades ago, the same week he and his wife Julie were married.

Ahead of the red-carpet event KCII News spoke with Zahs about how he felt premiering the film where Brinton showed some of the first films Iowans ever saw, “Movies started to be shown here in 1896 and Frank Brinton was doing shows here probably as early as 1893, but not movies of course because they weren’t invented yet. Then he became manager of this building. So, it’s the heart of this whole project – the Graham Opera House State Theater. From the beginning I said this is where it was going to be, there wasn’t any other place it could be and have the significance of what it is.”

The project took nearly four years of filming by Andrew Sherburne, Tommy Haines, and John Richard to document the journey that included many settings in Washington County, and as far away as France and Italy. Haines was excited for the event, “It’s pretty special, I mean, this is where Frank Brinton used to show his films. So for us to be premiering here in Iowa at the State Theater is pretty amazing and the fact that the community is responding like this is pretty fantastic.”

The documentary was followed by the first known showing of a Georges Malaise film that was found in the Brinton Collection called “The Wonderful Rose Tree” from 1904.

Both Sunday and Monday showings of Saving Brinton at the State Theater were sold out, and an encore show will be held Saturday, September 30th, at 10 a.m.

To see the list of scheduled screenings and a trailer for the film click here.

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