George Eastman Museum logoThe film festival will be held on June 3–6, 2021

Rochester, N.Y., April 8, 2020—The George Eastman Museum is postponing the 6th Nitrate Picture Show, originally scheduled for June 4–7, 2020, until June 3–6, 2021. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the museum has decided not to present the film festival in this calendar year. More than 80 percent of current festival passholders would need to travel to Rochester from across the country or overseas, making their attendance inadvisable and nearly impossible in the current environment.

“Postponing our sixth Nitrate Picture Show festival by a year was an unenviable decision,” said Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director, George Eastman Museum. “Our festival co-directors have invested countless hours into planning and preparing for the festival, and we are disappointed that festivalgoers will have to wait a year to see the wonderful program they have curated on the silver screen. Yet, we know this is the right decision for attendees, prospective attendees, program participants, and festival staff and volunteers. We wish all of the friends of the Nitrate Picture Show good health and equanimity during this difficult time. We will cherish the opportunity to present our nitrate film program when it is again safe for us to share its joys in the Dryden Theatre.”

Registration for the 6th Nitrate Picture Show has been closed. Those who have already purchased passes and tours will have three options:

  1. The Eastman Museum would greatly appreciate any donation of the purchase price of the passes to support our Moving Image Department during this uncertain economic time. This donation will be tax-deductible for US taxpayers.
  2. We invite transfers of 2020 passes and tour registrations to the 2021 festival (June 3–6, 2021).
  3. Current passholders can choose to receive a full refund of the price of their 2020 pass and tours.

Current passholders should receive an e-mail with further instructions to make a donation, transfer their passes to 2021, or request a refund by June 30, 2020. The museum will begin to process refunds by May 11, and perhaps earlier. Passholders may also visit Questions may be directed to

“The Eastman Museum is committed to the health and safety of our guests, volunteers, and staff, and we are taking all necessary steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Jared Case, Festival Executive Director. “We are disappointed that we won’t be able to gather together this June, but we look forward to welcoming everyone to Rochester next year.”

Visit for more information.

Support the George Eastman Museum

This is a critical time for museums across the globe. The George Eastman Museum encourages individuals to visit if you are able to contribute to the museum’s Annual Fund at this time. Donations of all amounts are appreciated. The unrestricted dollars that membership and annual fund gifts provide are essential to the museum's operations—and to the film screenings, exhibitions, public programs, and online content that bring cinema, photography, and our National Historic Landmark to life for our audiences. Given the current economic environment, these donations have never been more critical.

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, 28,000 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, through its L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation, makes a critical contribution to preserving our cinematic heritage. For more information, visit



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Media Contact: Eliza Kozlowski

(585) 230-4991