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Yet More Praise for DVD, Which Is Helping to Save Old Movies

2 Jun, 2003 By: Stephanie Prange

Introducing the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's gala premiere of Charlie Chaplin's masterpiece City Lights May 31, gala co-chairman and Turner Entertainment Co. president and COO Roger Mayer credited the market for DVD with helping to preserve old movies such as the one being screened.

While the DVD hype can often be overblown, I can't help but take pride in the fact that our business is helping to safeguard old treasures in the studio vaults. Studio execs salivating over potential disc profits are taking the time and money to restore and preserve old celluloid. Indeed, City Lights was so pristine it almost looked as if it were shot yesterday; on disc, it will be preserved in numerous homes in wonderful condition. Add to those feature masterpieces the odds and ends of outtakes and shorts through which studios are sifting to find extras to feed the DVD market, and you've got a medium that not only satisfies consumer appetite but preservationists and historians as well.

It's not often that commerce can serve such a good cause. DVD will assist in creating a legacy that will be appreciated for years to come. Mayer marveled and took obvious delight in the fact that the cause of old movie preservation had found a friend in DVD. It's a kudo that should go to the whole industry, especially Warner Home Video, the studio releasing the Chaplin collection on disc, for providing the kind of cash flow that can help studios preserve film history.

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