A Vintage Film Posters exhibit in the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery at the Staller Center for the Arts complemented the 20th annual Stony Brook Film Festival last week. The exhibit will be featured in the gallery until July 31 and has already welcomed 1,000 visitors.
Typically, the Zuccaire Gallery does not host an exhibit in the summer. However, the director of the gallery, Karen Levitov, saw a unique opportunity that broke the precedent.
“I thought about doing the show because the Staller Center for the Arts is doing the 20th anniversary of the Stony Brook Film Festival this year,” Levitov said. “I thought it would be really fabulous to do vintage film posters in conjunction with the Stony Brook Film Festival.”
The white walls of the Zuccaire Gallery are currently covered with old-time movie posters in all sizes and languages. The posters were all borrowed from the Chisholm Larsson Gallery in Manhattan. This exhibition’s oldest poster is a Charlie Chaplin poster from 1931.
Alan Inkles, director of the Staller Center and the Stony Brook Film Festival, accompanied Levitov to pick out which posters should be in the exhibition.
“We were looking at ones that had kind of a combination of some really iconic films and some well known actors, as well as some more rare films and unknown actors and unknown movies, but that had a beautiful visual impact,” Levitov said.
Well-known actors whose faces appear in the exhibit include Audrey Hepburn on a “My Fair Lady” poster, Uma Thurman on the “Pulp Fiction” poster and Ralph Macchio on a poster for the Italian version of “The Outsiders.”
Macchio, a frequent attendee of the Stony Brook Film Festival, made an appearance at the gallery and took a photo in front of his poster.
The exhibition also featured a film reel of old Charlie Chaplin films playing on the wall. Samantha Clink, the Gallery and Community Relations Assistant, said it was nice to see children come to the exhibit and laugh at the Chaplin films.
“That’s probably my favorite part of the show,” Clink said. “You’ve got these little kids and they are watching Charlie Chaplin, which was filmed in 1916 and they’re hysterically laughing. It’s kind of neat to see that old film style now being reborn and watching the kids enjoy it as well.”