Jerry Beck is one of the US’s foremost animation historians, with dozens of books on the form to his name and many years working as an executive at Nickelodeon Movies and Disney under his belt. But long before all that, he was screening classic cartoons from his personal collection of 16mm prints to crowds of artists and bohemians at Club 57 in Manhattan’s East Village. On Saturday, as part of the film program accompanying the Museum of Modern Art’s historical exhibition on the cultural impact of the Club 57 community, Beck will recreate the experience of screening early cartoons in the famous nightclub on St. Mark’s Place.
Setting up a 16mm projector inside the theater and reminiscing about the Club 57 days between shorts, Beck will show nine favorite shorts spanning 1933 to 1954 and featuring early iterations of Bugs Bunny and Betty Boop, among other beloved characters. Also on the program are the dazzling holiday musical Bon Bon Parade (1935), the very meta Popeye short Cartoons Ain’t Human (1942), and the stereotype-filled Tall Tale Teller (1954).
When: Saturday, February 10 at 2pm
Where: Museum of Modern Art (11 West 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)
More info at the Museum of Modern Art.