Intolerance R10-2A beautiful 35mm nitrate print of the silent film will be screened on Thursday, May 30

Rochester, N.Y., April 11, 2024—To kick off the eighth annual Nitrate Picture Show, the George Eastman Museum will screen a unique tinted nitrate print of D.W. Griffith’s silent masterpiece Intolerance (1916) on Thursday, May 30 at 6:30 p.m. The Nitrate Picture Show is the first festival in the world entirely dedicated to screening original nitrate prints from the 1910s to the 1950s, from silent cinema to Technicolor spectacles. The full program of film titles being shown this year will be announced at a press conference at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 30 at the Dryden Theatre.

Intolerance is one of cinema’s first and greatest epics, spanning the course of 2,500 years. It examines human failings and prejudices through dramatic set pieces depicting ancient Babylon, the story of Jesus Christ, sixteenth-century France, and “modern” America at the turn of the twentieth century. Its innovative editing and narrative techniques influenced generations of filmmakers, starting with Erich von Stroheim and Sergei Eisenstein. Not surprisingly, Intolerance became one of the first motion pictures to be added to the National Film Registry.

“We’re thrilled to screen this impressive print of a tinted silent film,” said Peter Bagrov, senior curator of the museum’s Moving Image Department, “Someone compared watching a nitrate print on the big screen to viewing an original painting. Well, Intolerance is not just any silent film. If we continue the analogy, Griffith would be pretty close to Leonardo da Vinci. This screening promises to be quite an event.”

The Intolerance print has taken an epic journey. Originally created for the Museum of Modern Art in the 1930s from the camera negative, it traveled to Germany and survived World War II as well as the Cold War period, and transferred to three different archives in East Germany and the unified state. The print, which is still in great condition despite its ninety years, came to the George Eastman Museum from a loan by the Library of Congress.

The film will also feature a live musical performance provided by pianist Philip C. Carli, one of the world’s leading silent film accompanists.

Passes to the Nitrate Picture Show are $275 for a patron pass, $200 for a festival pass, and $150 for students and Eastman Museum members, and are available for purchase at Tickets include admission to all of the weekend’s screenings and lectures, tours of the projection booth, a reception, plus complimentary entrance to the George Eastman Museum during the run of the festival. Patrons will receive a special gift and recognition on-site and in print. All Dryden Theatre seating is general admission.

A limited amount of individual tickets for Thursday’s Intolerance screening will be available at a later date. Secure your seat with a festival pass.

The majority of motion pictures produced before 1952 were filmed and printed on nitrate stock. Praised for its stunning image quality, nitrate film is, at the same time, subject to chemical decomposition, even in ideal situations. Nitrate stock is highly flammable, and its improper storage has led to several fires—some of them deadly. The Eastman Museum is one of the very few institutions to project nitrate prints, some of them more than a hundred years old.

About the George Eastman Museum Nitrate Collection
The museum holds one of the country’s largest collections of nitrate prints, preserved at the Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center, a state-of-the-art facility located 12 miles southwest of Rochester. The George Eastman Museum is also a member of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), the world’s leading group in the field of film conservation and preservation, and the museum’s collection of over 28,000 titles covers the entire history of cinema, from Edison and the Lumière brothers to contemporary works by Peter Greenaway and Tacita Dean.

About the Dryden Theatre
The 500-seat Dryden Theatre is an exhibition space for the art of cinema as championed and interpreted by the George Eastman Museum. The Dryden Theatre is devoted to screening films in their original formats—whether 35mm or 16mm, video or digital—and is one of the very few theaters in the world equipped for the projection of original nitrate film. Since its curtain was raised in 1951, the Dryden Theatre has supported the growth of the museum’s cinema collection, provided a forum for discussion on the history of the medium, and screened more than 16,000 titles.

About the George Eastman Museum
Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs, 31,000 motion picture films, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program and, its L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation’s graduate program (a collaboration with the University of Rochester) makes critical contributions to film preservation. For more information, visit and follow the George Eastman Museum account on Facebook, as well as the @eastmanmuseum accounts on Instagram, TikTok, and Threads.

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ATTN. Media: A high-res promotional image for Intolerance can be found here: For more information on nitrate films and the Eastman Museum’s efforts in preserving more than 28,000 reels of nitrate stock, check out this In Focus talk with Peter Bagrov, Senior Curator of the Moving Image Department, and Collection Manager Deborah Stoiber,