Going Back to the Classics

first_imgThis week visual arts in Oxford was nowhere near boiling-point. The new exhibitions in the Ashmolean such as Spectacular Impressions and An Englishman’s Travels in Egypt, despite their promising titles, were more lukewarm than usual. The former, showcasing prints from the 15th to 17th centuries by artists such as Mantegna, Durer, Rembrandt and Van Dyck, was definitely enlightening. Every one of the images on display has been recognised internationally as to be of the highest quality, and each could probably inspire an exhibition in itself. However, to the untrained and uninformed eye, they were impressive more in terms of technical skill than emotive power. Similarly, the Englishman’s Travels in Europe though interesting in its revival of the story of Edward Lane, a renowned Arabic scholar and fine draughtsman, invited only a passing glance.In the same way, Ornamentation: drawings for the decorative arts, running in the Christ Church Gallery from 30 April to 30 July, seemed to me to be pleasant but entirely insipid, drawing on the College’s existing collection of graphic art and featuring particularly prominently the designs of Giulio Romano. Apart from a slight physical resemblance to Punch cartoons, the collection was unremarkable, offering plenty of faint drawings of ornamental vases, curlicues and seals.In comparison to these, the permanent collection of paintings in Christ Church seems much more impressive. Needless to say, the 300 odd Old Master paintings and almost 2 000 drawings are definitely overwhelming in their grandeur and scope. I particularly enjoyed the detailed work in paintings such as The Devil, where a certain Abba Moses the Indian (i.e from Ethiopia) is painted a lurid shade of green, with sagging breasts, a beard, tails, winds and bird feet in one of the Nine Scenes from the Lives of the Hermits (Tuscan Schoolc.1440- 1450). Other gems include the Fragment from a Lamentation by Hugo van der Goes (the tears on the Virgin’s face glisten with tangible emotion), and Filippino Lippi’s The Wounded Centaur, which beautifully depicts the dangers of playing with love.These, of course, are just a few examples of the wealth of delights provided by this small gallery, mentioned in every tourist guide, but under-utilised by the members of the University to whom, after all, admission is free (on presentation of a Bod card). In fact, I would recommend any bored visual arts buff to go spend an afternoon at Christ Church. More often than not, the permanent collection of the  college shows more dynamism and promise than newer arrivals to the city.ARCHIVE: 2nd Week TT 2003last_img read more

Ocean City Tabernacle Closes Moorlyn Theatre, Lists it for Sale

first_imgBy Tim KellyOcean City’s historic Moorlyn Theatre, the first and now last movie house on the island, has closed its doors and is listed for sale, its owner confirmed this week.The Moorlyn is one of the oldest businesses in Ocean City and one of the first attractions on the Boardwalk. It began operations in 1901 as Moore’s Bowling Casino, housing a bowling alley and later a roller skating rink, according to the Ocean City Historical Society.The Moorlyn achieved its niche in town history in 1921 when a 200-seat theatre replaced the roller rink. The following year the property was renamed the Moorlyn Theatre, and save several interruptions in between previous ownership changes, it has been showing films ever since.Today however, the iconic property’s future is uncertain. The Ocean City Tabernacle, owner of the property since 2012, has listed it for sale with an asking price of $1.1 million, according to a Tabernacle official.“It wasn’t working out for us,” said Virginia A. Weber, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “We closed it permanently and we’re looking for a buyer.”The Tabernacle had renamed the property the Moorlyn Family Theatre and developed a programming mix of live stage performances, first-run films and classic movies from the theatre’s glory days. Concerts, stage plays, magic and comedy shows were among the live entertainment offerings. In this incarnation, the Moorlyn Family Theatre more closely resembled its original mixed use, which included Vaudeville and concerts.According to Weber, a lack of patronage was not behind the theatre’s closing but rather a full plate of building operations.“We had too many buildings to manage,” she said.Nevertheless, the Moorlyn was not immune to the trend of films being delivered digitally on smart television and handheld devices, which has eroded the number of people willing to go to theatres nationwide.In recent decades three other boardwalk theatres ceased operations showing movies. The Strand, which is now the home of Manco & Manco pizza; the Surf, since reborn as the Surf Mall; and the Village (demolished) left the Moorlyn as the lone remaining place to catch a flick on the boardwalk.Weber said the sale was being handled by the Linwood-based firm, Foresite Commercial Realty and the agent, Samantha Roessler. Efforts to reach Roessler were unsuccessful on Thursday.Earlier in the week prior to confirmation of the closing and pending sale, several people walking the boards waxed nostalgic about the movie palace.“I used to love coming here as a kid,” said “Boone” McCamey, a lifelong Ocean City resident. “I would ride my bike to the movie theatre.  How many kids have that opportunity?  Especially today, it just doesn’t happen.  But I would jump on my bike, grab a slice of pizza and go watch a movie.  It was great.”The Moorlyn marquee as it appears today (photo credit Ocean City Events and Activites on Pinterest)“It’s a shame (so many boardwalk theatres have closed),” said Marilyn Lippincott of Cinnaminson, Burlington County, who was strolling the boards Tuesday in front of the Moorlyn.  “There were (many more theatres) here at one time and you could choose from a wide variety of films. It was especially good on a rainy day when you couldn’t go to the beach.”The first films shown at the Moorlyn were silent movies. An organist provided musical accompaniment.  According to Wikipedia, Hollywood was producing sheet music for use with films and some big city theatres employed entire orchestras for this purpose.By the 1930s, the technology to make movies with sound became widely used and the so-called “talkies” made silent films nearly extinct. The Moorlyn kept pace with the changes and packed in large crowds.A few years earlier, a major fire ripped through the boardwalk, destroying much of it as well as many of the businesses. Somehow the Moorlyn escaped damage.  The boardwalk was then rebuilt atop concrete pilings and relocated a few dozen yards closer to the ocean.  The Moorlyn itself was physically moved.  It was placed on rails and dragged to its present location by horse-drawn teams.Over the next three decades the theatre thrived, bringing great films from Hollywood’s golden age to large audiences of vacationers and residents.However, the 1970s rise of TV made the first big dent in movie audiences. The Moorlyn’s auditorium was made into two theatres and in the 80s into four, according to the website cinematreasurers.org.  Thus, the historic theatre kept pace with an industry-wide trend of multi-screen theatres, also known as multiplexes.  The Moorlyn survived this way for a time, although it closed for several periods in between changes in ownership.Approximately 10 years ago the theatre took on its final structural reconfiguration as storefronts, which now include Kohr Bros., Starbucks and Verizon Wireless were built on the boardwalk side of the building.  The iconic Moorlyn marquee and ticket box office were removed.  A new art deco style marquee inspired by the one it replaced, was installed on the Moorlyn Terrace side.  A residence was added on a second story level above the storefronts.During this period, the facility was owned and operated by the Frank’s Theatres chain, which eventually sold it to the Tabernacle. The Moorlyn Theatre marquee overlooks the Boardwalk in a vintage postcard. last_img read more

Ireland defeat United States

first_imgIreland overcame a sticky start to beat the United States by 46 runs in Group A of the Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers in Belfast. The visitors’ response was hit by the loss of Akeem Dodson to a duck off the second ball of the innings, while fellow opener Fahad Babar went for 10 as the United States also dropped to 22 for two. Nicholas Standford top-scored for the visitors with 19 but after he fell lbw to George Dockrell the US resistance crumbled and they were all out for 100 runs in the 17th over. Victory leaves the Irish on top of their group with two wins from two games ahead of their third match against Nepal on Monday. The hosts’ hopes of a second straight win appeared to be in jeopardy when openers Niall O’Brien and Paul Stirling fell for seven and eight respectively, leaving them languishing on 22 for two. But a steady 44 by Andy Balbirnie came to Ireland’s rescue and some late fireworks from John Mooney – who hit 20 runs off just seven balls – helped the hosts set a reasonable target of 146. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more