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February 2, 2019 - Today we had a special treat by attending the annual American Society of Cinematographers Open House at their historic home in Hollywood.  The ASC was founded on January 8, 1919 and its declared purpose is to advance the art of cinematography through artistry and technological progress, and to cement a closer relationship among cinematographers to exchange ideas, discuss techniques and promote cinema as an art form.  It is not a labor union or a guild, but an educational, cultural and professional organization.  Membership is extended by invitation to those who are actively engaged as directors of photography and have demonstrated outstanding ability.

In 1936, the ASC, after occupying offices at two different locations on Hollywood Boulevard, bought and converted silent film star Conway Tearle’s 1920's home into their Clubhouse that served as a focal point where cinematographers informally gathered at the end of their studio work days.  The grand opening for the Clubhouse was held February 28, 1937.

It was raining heavily all day today.  However the ASC had installed several tents outside, primarily for the bar, and everyone received a voucher for two free drinks.

There was a cool demonstration of a camera revolving around a stationary platform.

In addition to the booze, there were plenty of hors d'oeuvres supplied by the hosts.

During the early part of last century, westerns were filmed using live ammunition!

That's Gloria Swanson during the filming of Sunset Boulevard.

And James Dean during the filming of Giant.

It was a unique experience to walk around the clubhouse of these cinema legends.

Before the open house, we had lunch at Mel's drive-in, which is close by.

I had their chili with onions and cheese and Judy had their corned beef hash with eggs.

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