×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Archive prints lost in Universal fire

Studio assesses damage of backlot blaze

Universal is coming to terms with what it lost in Sunday’s fire.

The studio sent out memos to film bookers on Tuesday that stated “nearly 100% of the archive prints kept here on the lot” were destroyed.

Those prints included “Flash Gordon,” “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” and “Out of Africa” that were housed in a vast vault destroyed on the studio’s backlot in the blaze.

The vault contained up to 50,000 videos or film reels, as well as music recordings that were destroyed in the blaze.

However, the studio is adamant that the contents of the destroyed vault only contained digital or film copies; All master negatives of classic films are kept elsewhere as part of the studio’s film preservation strategy.

Those most affected by the loss of the prints are smaller film festivals or repertory theaters that screened older movies from U’s film library.

For example, Mike Schlesinger, who organizes Cinecon, a classic film fest that runs over Labor Day weekend at the Egyptian, said, “This is a catastrophe on general principle and for Cinecon in particular. Universal was our principal supplier for the last few years, and this year we had upwards of a dozen pictures, or 40% of the schedule, from them. This will affect all of us for years to come.”

The studio will “be unable to honor any film bookings of prints that were set to ship from here,” said Paul Ginsburg, VP of NBC Universal Distribution. “Over the next few weeks and months we will be able to try to piece together what material we do have and if any prints exist elsewhere.”

If the prints were to be shipped from the studio, those are now canceled. However, Deluxe shipments will still be delivered.

More Film

  • J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church

    SXSW Film Review: 'J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius'

    Like 8mm films of 1960s “happenings” or videos of 1970s performance art, “J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius” chronicles a cultural footnote that perhaps should be filed under the heading You Had to Be There. The satirical-absurdist “religion” founded by some Texans actually caught fire among hipsters in the 1980s, influencing some [...]

  • 'Roll Red Roll' Review: Piercing Documentary

    Film Review: 'Roll Red Roll'

    “Roll Red Roll” is a piercingly relevant and disturbing documentary about an infamous high school rape case that took place in Steubenville, Ohio (pop. 18,600), on Aug. 11, 2012. Steubenville, the sort of Friday-night-lights small town that boasts signs that read “Kick off for Jesus,” is a place that’s good at keeping secrets. When the [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild, Hollywood Agents Negotiate With Deadline Looming

    The Writers Guild of America and Hollywood agents have held a sixth negotiating session with a deadline for a new deal 16 days away — and it’s uncertain whether progress is being made. The Association of Talent Agents made counter-proposals at Thursday’s session that contain provisions for more accountability and transparency by agencies for clients [...]

  • Fox Layoffs

    Fox Layoffs Leave Staffers Stunned and Saddened

    Fox employees knew this day was coming. For over a year, the men and women who work at the Century City lot have talked of little else but severance packages and job searches. They knew that when Disney wrapped up its $71.3 billion acquisition of much of 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets, thousands [...]

  • Alan Horn Disney

    Disney Clarifies Film Leadership After Harrowing Day of Fox Layoffs

    Following the dismissal of top executives in distribution, marketing and strategy on Thursday, new 20th Century Fox owner Disney has clarified its new top leadership. Five distinct Fox labels and a portion of their leadership have been welcomed into the Disney fold, the company said. This includes Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Family, Fox Searchlight Pictures, [...]

  • Janelle Monae

    Film News Roundup: Janelle Monae to Star in Film From Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz

    In today’s film news roundup, Janelle Monae will star in a Lionsgate movie, Bill Nighy joins “Emma,” and documentaries on surfer Bethany Hamilton and Asbury Park are dated. CASTINGS Janelle Monae will star in an untitled Lionsgate movie directed by the duo Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz. The film will be produced by QC Entertainment’s Ray [...]

  • Blair Rich Marketing Summit

    Studio Marketing Chiefs Discuss the Theatrical vs. Netflix Oscars Debate

    On a day where a large part of the Fox marketing department was wiped out in the aftermath of the Disney merger, a group of marketing chiefs from other studios and streamers sat down at the Variety Entertainment Marketing Summit presented by Deloitte “to discuss the issues shaping the feature marketing landscape today, including the theatrical [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content