Opera House Cinema Series to screen ‘California Typewriter’

Submitted Photos: Actors in “California Typewriter” include Tom Hanks, left, and John Mayer, right.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will present the new documentary “California Typewriter” in a special one-night-only screening on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Critics are calling it “an ode to the iconic writing instrument.”

“California Typewriter” is a documentary portrait of artists, writers, and collectors who remain steadfastly loyal to the typewriter as a tool and muse, featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer, David McCullough, Sam Shepard, and others. It also movingly documents the struggles of California Typewriter, one of the last-standing repair shops in America dedicated to keeping the aging machines clicking.

In the process, the film delivers a thought-provoking meditation on the changing dynamic between humans and machines, and encourages us to consider our own relationship with technology, old and new, as the digital age’s emphasis on speed and convenience redefines who’s serving whom, human or machine?

“California Typewriter” has a 100% rating on RottenTomatoes.com. Pat Padua, in the Washington Post, calls the film “a love letter to an antiquated device — one that retains its charm and utility even in the digital age.” Owen Glieberman, in Variety, calls it “an ingenious meditation on what the digital era is doing to us – how it has taken us a step away from reality, even as it’s made everything easier.” Gary Goldstein, in the Los Angeles Times, calls it “rich, thoughtful, meticulously crafted tapestry about the evolution of the beloved writing machine for purists, history buffs, collectors and others fighting to preserve or re-embrace analog life.” Jeannette Catsoulis, in the New York Times, says “this quirky, obsessive documentary is about so much more than broken keys and busted type wheels. It’s really about how we create art.” Unrated, “California Typewriter” runs one hour, 43 minutes.

The Opera House Cinema Series is sponsored by Lake Shore Savings Bank. Tickets are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors & Opera House members) and $5 (students) the night of each screening. A book of 10 movie passes is available for $60 at the door or online at www.fredopera.org. For more information, call the Opera House Box Office at 716-679-1891.

Submitted Photos: Actors in “California Typewriter” include Tom Hanks, left, and John Mayer, right.

The Opera House is equipped with individualized closed captioning headsets for the deaf as well as with assistive listening headsets for the hearing-impaired. Simply request one from any usher or Opera House staff member.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit performing arts center located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.