Ken Kramer opened his Burbank business, “The Clip Joint for Film,” to license film footage to movies and television shows but it’s his office he is especially proud of. He built an extraordinary screening room for business associates and friends to watch movies the way they were meant to be watched. Equipped to run 16mm and 35mm film, videotapes of all formats and high-definition DVD, it is one of the few screening rooms in Los Angeles that can handle original 35mm magnetic stereo soundtracks. The screening room seats up to 45 people, and a popcorn machine supplies freshly popped treats to munch on.
A longtime movie buff and memorabilia collector, Kramer has been a fan of the movies for decades. He designed his screening facility as a true movie lover’s paradise, decorated with an astounding collection of lobby cards, movie posters, incredibly rare memorabilia and personally signed photographs from some of Hollywood’s most legendary figures.
Among the many celebrities who have enjoyed watching movies at The Clip Joint, actress Shirley Jones calls the room “an overpowering time machine. The old movie town ambiance textured on the walls and tables of the entryway are just a hint of the journey ahead.” Academy Award-winning composer Richard Sherman states, “It is a warm and inviting treasure trove of movie memorabilia that greets you as you enter Ken Kramer’s Clip Joint. The theater itself is a professional screening room, intimate and comfortable so that everyone has the best seat in the house.”
Joe Dante, the director of “Gremlins” says, “If you’re looking for a place to screen your movie that’s not just the usual cold, impersonal black box with wall curtains, you should take a jaunt out to The Clip Joint, a cozy, intimate theatrical setting with all the amenities that spell M-O-V-I-E-S. Classic movie memorabilia, popcorn and abundant treats will bring back the memories of your favorite movie going experiences, and create new ones as well; and the projection is top notch. See for yourself. Get more out of life; see movies at The Clip Joint.”
George Chakiris, Academy Award-winning actor of “West Side Story,” says, “I have been in a lot of screening rooms over the years but this is like reliving the movie-going experience of years past, not to mention it’s like a visit to a movie museum as part of the bargain. The posters, photographs and the popcorn machine take you into a truly unique atmosphere and experience. It’s back in time and back to the future, a place full of movie magic and history. Ken Kramer, who owns and runs the room, lives and breathes movies. That’s why I love seeing movies there and I’m sure you will too. A great place. See you soon.”
Since his days running movies in high school, Kramer has been active in movie collecting and film preservation circles. He promoted and sponsored screenings of historically important films at various venues in Los Angeles for the past 20 years. Kramer organized a series of films at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2003 for the 50th anniversary of CinemaScope. He arranged for studios to provide 30 rarely seen 35mm preservation prints of movies like “The House of Bamboo,” “Man of a Thousand Faces” and “Garden of Evil.”
Previously, Kramer hosted a showing of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” at the Los Angeles Theatre for the Los Angeles Conservancy, at which special guests Patricia Hitchcock-O’Connell and Henry Jones were interviewed. He also organized a farewell to the La Reina Theater in Sherman Oaks, where he had seen many films as a youngster, reuniting some of the stars of “The Robe” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business” for a showing of those films.
Through the years, Kramer nurtured a passion for certain films from his childhood like “Damn Yankees.” In 1994, he organized a screening of a pristine original Technicolor print and trailer of the film at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which was followed by a Q & A session with stars Tab Hunter, Ray Walston, Gwen Verdon and Jean Stapleton. It was one of the most popular screenings the Academy had ever hosted.
Last year, Kramer’s own print of “Porgy and Bess,” the only known surviving 35mm Panavision and Technicolor magnetic stereo print of the 1959 film, screened in New York and Los Angeles in conjunction with the release of the Otto Preminger biography, “Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King.”
In film preservation, Kramer was responsible for buying some “scrap” film and then realizing that the reels contained ten cartoons made by David Hand, the legendary animation director of Walt Disney’s “Bambi.” Along with Hand’s son, Kramer released the cartoons to home video so new generations could enjoy them.
Kramer has decided to make his private theater available to the public for studio screenings, birthday parties or special get-togethers. If there is a movie you’ve been dying to see or can’t seem to locate, Ken Kramer can find it for you. Burt Reynolds, who worked with Kramer on a project, says that Kramer can find anything.
The Clip Joint for Film is located at 833-B N. Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505 (one mile from the Warner Bros. and Walt Disney Studios and conveniently accessible from the 101, 134 and 170 freeways). For more information on rates and availability, contact Ken Kramer at (818) 367-4083 or (818) 621-0136. For an online tour, visit www.youtube.com/clipjoint4film