Film shipper's move brings MPAA detectives

The Motion Picture Assn. of America has reopened its investigation of an abandoned film depot in Pico Rivera following the discovery of more than 300 reels of member studio films in the one-time National Film Service facility, sources said.

The MPAA declined to comment, but sources close to the org’s anti-piracy unit confirmed that MPAA officers re-visited the former Gilboy Inc. facility Saturday morning..

Left behind

Among the property surrendered to the MPAA were film reels containing whole or partial prints of “Hook” and “Cliffhanger,” from Sony; 20th Century Fox’s “Predator”; Disney/

Touchstone’s “Dead Poets Society”; and “Black Beauty” from Warner Bros.; Castle Rock’s “A Few Good Men” and “The Princess Bride”; Universal’s “Harry and the Hendersons”; New Line’s “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday”; and 170 reels of United Artists’ “Comes a Horseman.”

The inventory had been left behind after the shipping company National Film Service folded its Gilboy Inc. franchise operation, which had been owned by Rodger Hunter.

Hunter could not be reached for comment. Don Trivette, general manager of NFS, has told Daily Variety that the company moved all its customers’ films from Pico Rivera to its new depot in Glendale during one week in July (Daily Variety, Nov. 7). NFS currently has 30 shipping customers, including Sony, Paramount and New Line.

Alfred Beardsly, one of several collectors who obtained a batch of remaining prints from the landlord, Samuel Rosen & Sons, says he turned over the prints in his possession to the MPAA on Saturday. Beardsly said he had bought the films from the building’s owner.

Landlord William Rosen has neither confirmed nor denied that sales of the abandoned prints took place.

Some collectors of film prints are said to have pulled a number of complete prints from the large warehouse, including some older classics of significant value such as “The Hound of the Baskervilles” starring Basil Rathbone and Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” that are being offered on the collectors’ market.

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