Cinevent dealer Gene Arnold has passed away.
Jean "Gene" Arnold, 84, of Stafford, Virginia passed away on May 31st after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
Gene was a native son of Texas. He was born on November 16, 1935 in Houston, to Frank and Beulah Arnold. While his earliest years were spent in the middle of the Great Depression (and the Arnold’s were certainly financially depressed!) young Gene had the happiest childhood imaginable. He was surrounded by extended family who loved him, particularly his cherished grandmother, PaPa. When he was ten his baby sister Judy was born and Gene loved her deeply and protected her fiercely as he would their entire lives. Gene devoured (and collected) comic books, movies, radio programs and his mother’s meringue pies. He particularly loved sports and followed St. Louis Cardinals baseball (the Houston Buffs were one of their farm teams) and Southwest Conference Football radio broadcasts religiously. Something in the cadence and phrasing of the announcers caught his ear and young Gene dreamt of one day being in a press box himself, painting vivid word pictures for radio listeners. He could often be seen walking down the streets of their neighborhood with a toy microphone in hand, describing anything he saw. People parking their cars. Birds landing in trees. It would lead to bigger things.
He attended Lanier Junior High and Lamar High school where he became the cartoonist of the school newspaper and the yearbook. He considered pursuing cartoon art as a profession but his passion was broadcasting and he went on to study Radio-TV at the University of Houston.
His early career in radio included stints in Raymondville, Baytown and Waco, Texas in the latter part of the 1950s. Then after a tour in the Army National Guard with his cousin, Bo, he started receiving bigger broadcasting opportunities in his hometown of Houston. Gene honed his skills and a beautiful baritone voice and became a known radio and television personality throughout the city, reporting on everything from local and national news to sports. Throughout the 1960s he gained tremendous experience by calling Friday night high school football games on the radio.
In 1963, by chance, Gene met and immediately was smitten by a beautiful, dark-haired young woman named Laurel Anne Ricke. They were married in the Catholic Church and would spend the next 56 years together, joyfully raising three loving children. The Arnold family had wonderful and memorable adventures such as traveling by train from Houston to Los Angeles in a sleeping car and spending many happy days at their farm in Shiner, Texas. Gene had an actual train caboose shipped by rail to Shiner and fitted out as a guest house!
Divine providence stepped in again for Gene one day in 1967 while he was working at KODA. One of his broadcasting heroes, Kern Tips, came in to record a commercial and Gene had to meet the legendary Southwest Conference play-by-play man. He mentioned that he had always wanted to work for the Exxon Football Network and Tips asked Gene for an audition tape. Many weeks went by when Gene received a letter in the mail inviting him to join the Exxon Football broadcasting roster. He began traveling the country doing color commentary and occasionally play by play for the likes of University of Texas, Arkansas, Baylor, SMU, Texas A&M and his alma mater, University of Houston. These years were some of the happiest of his career. Gene was prodigious throughout the 60s and 70s, calling U of H basketball, Astros baseball, Oilers football and even professional hockey. Gene was the PA announcer in the Astrodome for one Astros season in the 1970s. He had his own newspaper column, appeared in TV commercials, filled in on nightly sports reports on Channel 13, had his own sports program on Channel 26 and spent one major league baseball season as the PA announcer in the Astrodome.
Gene eventually left radio in the late 70s to open a retail establishment in the Montrose neighborhood called “Great Things”. The store offered unique items for the home that leaned toward the nostalgic. Old pinball machines, gumball machines, juke boxes, architectural “gingerbread”, high quality ceiling fans and vintage movie posters. Within a few years the store was a big success. When Gene’s father, Frank, passed away in 1978 he left his own store, “The Emporium”, to Gene and the two stores merged. Gene eventually sold “The Emporium” in 1984 and focused solely on dealing in vintage movie memorabilia. Gene became widely known in the burgeoning hobby and industry that he helped pioneer for his decency, kindness and honesty.
In 2013 Gene and Laurel left Houston to move to Virginia to be near their children and grandchildren. Nothing meant more to Gene than family, especially his grandchildren. While Gene liked living in the Old Dominion he (and Laurel) never quite got over having to leave their beloved homeland of Texas.
The most important milestone in Gene’s life took place on June 8, 1984 when Gene was baptized into the Catholic Church. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he spent the final three decades of his life being an example of Christian virtue and living out the beautiful teachings of Christ. He received the last rites of the Church and a papal apostolic blessing mere minutes before his passing.
In a beautiful demonstration of Our Lord's love for him, Gene will be buried on June 8, 2020, 36 years to the day since he became a child of God.
Gene leaves behind his loving wife, Laurel, sons Mark, Dan (and wife Meg) and daughter Sarah Arnold Gasper (and husband Rob). His grandchildren are Michael, Katherine, Mary, William, Joseph, Christopher and Elizabeth Arnold and Peter, Andrew, Jane, Anne, Thomas, Paul, Isaac and May Gasper. He is also survived by his dear sister, Judy Seré of Houston, his daughter-in-law, Teresa Arnold and his son-in-law Robert Gasper. His two grandchildren-in-law are Benjamin Scrivener and Maggie Arnold. Gene is also survived by two beautiful great-grandchildren, Caroline Darby Scrivener and Matthew Gene Arnold.
Gene’s viewing will take place on Sunday, June 7th at Covenant House Funeral Home in Stafford, Virginia. His funeral will be held at St. William of York Catholic Church in Stafford, Virginia at on Monday June 8th after which he will be laid to rest at Oak Hill Cemetery in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
In lieu of flowers please consider sending a donation in Gene’s name to Texas Right to Life (https://www.texasrighttolife.com/donate/) or St. William of York Catholic Church, Stafford, Virginia (https://www.swoycc.org/).
Author, dealer and film program contributor Jeff Gordon has passed away.
GORDON, Jeffrey Adam On March 24, 2020, his family learned that Jeffrey Adam Gordon, born February 24th 1954, had, after a brief illness, passed away. Jeff's family and the many friends he made were blessed by his unstinting kindness, generosity, and love. He wanted to help everyone he knew to be happy. Jeff also wanted, from the time he was a young teenager, to share his limitless enthusiasm for and growing knowledge of American films, particularly the classics of the 1930's-60's, with everyone he met. He delighted in vintage movie posters, collected them, established a business to buy and sell them, and gave them away - exactly the most appropriate poster for each person and each occasion. Jeff was, early in his career, a staff member at New York's Lincoln Center, regularly wrote encyclopedic articles for Films of The Golden Age and other journals and magazines, and authored Foxy Lady, the definitive biography of the American actress Lynn Bari. At the time of his death, Jeff lived in Dallas where he enjoyed a formal relationship with the Hamon Arts Library of the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, to which he has willed his extensive collection of vintage movies, movie posters, and other salient memorabilia. Jeff was wonderfully sensitive to and thoughtful of the people who lived around him. For forty years he gathered his friends together in movie clubs and warmed them with hospitality as he regaled them with stories drawn from his limitless knowledge of films and the people who made them. He did it on the Upper West Side of New York City not far from where he grew up on the Upper East Sid, and then in Knoxville, Tennessee, before he moved to Dallas. Wherever he lived, Jeff was excited to make friends and open to new possibilities - singing, psychology, spirituality, and swimming, and, most recently learning Russian, and exploring his Russian Jewish heritage. Jeff Gordon's inspiration, zest for life, inclusive laughter, and embracing love will be deeply missed by his brothers, Jim and Andy Gordon, his niece Rebecca Gordon, nephew, Daniel Gordon, all the many friends he made in his lifetime, and his canine companions: Alfred, Daphne, Lora Mae, and Porter. Rebecca and Daniel will especially remember Uncle Jeff for his genuine thoughtfulness, his playful antics that would leave them laughing for days, and most of all, for how much joy he brought into their lives from the moment they were born. We will all remember Jeff's radiant smile that lights up every room, his love for friends, family and neighbors, and his joyous way of bringing us all together. Contributions in Jeff's memory will be appreciated by G. William Jones Film & Video Collection of the Hamon Arts Library at Southern Methodist University.
Cinevent 2020 has been canceled due to coronavirus.
The final Cinevent will be held Memorial Day weekend in 2021.
Given the current coronavirus situation and to protect the health and wellbeing of our attendees, we have made the decision to not hold the convention in 2020. Our current plan is to hold Cinevent 52 in 2021, over Memorial Day weekend.
Email messages have been sent out to dealers and to those who had registered for the show already with information about logistical matters. If you have registered for the show for this year or were attending as a dealer and did not receive one of these emails, please let us know.
Rooms reserved at the Renaissance for 2020 as part of our room block will be cancelled by Marriott. I believe this will be done automatically but if you haven't received a cancellation confirmation from them in the next week, you might want to follow up with them. Rooms reserved at the hotel outside the room block would need to be cancelled separately.
On the one hand, this was a hard decision to make; on the other, an easy one. Thank you for your support of Cinevent, past and future, and for your understanding. I look forward to welcoming you to Cinevent 52 in May of 2021.
Chair, CINEVENT LLC
We are sad to announce that Cinevent 2020 has been canceled due to the coronavirus. The final Cinevent will take place in 2021.
Many of our guests live out of state so here is some context behind the decision we made. In the past week Ohio governor Mike DeWine has closed schools until April. The Wexner Center, the Ohio History Center, Franklin Park Conservatory, CAPA theatres and all library branches have closed. Gathering places have been advised to limit their spectators to fewer than 100 people which would be impossible for us to sustain our event.
Yesterday the president declared a state of emergency. Although the current projections are that these quarantine-like conditions are only until April, it is clear that these will likely be extended as needed when the situation has been re-assessed.
Planning for Cinevent, including postcard advertising and filling unclaimed dealer tables, had been put on hold while we waited for information from the hotel and from the CDC regarding the best route for the safety of our guests. We had to consider the demographic of our attendees, a significant amount falling in the most at-risk group for coronavirus.
We are sad to disappoint our guests and hope you will watch a vintage movie or two over Memorial Day weekend at home in anticipation of next year.
Tune into our podcast, beginning February 1st!
Long time Cinevent dealer Dick Dearwester has passed away. Our sympathies are with his family and friends.
Our contest to name the show is over. Everyone who submitted an idea was put into a hat and one name was chosen. Congratulations to Shellie Berg for winning free admission to the first annual Columbus Moving Picture Show! Jay Rubin also wins free admission for submitting the funniest suggestion with "Cineagog."
I also would like to thank David Kukowski for "Convention City," Joel Glasser for "OldMovie McOldMovieFace," and Adam Williams for "Hardly Profitable." Thanks for the laughs!