Reels of classic films tend to melt into goo; philanthropist David W. Packard won’t let that happen

Kenneth Turan profiles David W. Packard and his Packard Humanities Institute has become one of the leading philanthropic organizations funding film preservation.

David W Packard

If you care even a little about the art and history of American motion pictures, about being able to see classic films now and forever, you owe a debt of gratitude to David W. Packard.

Packard, the son of Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard, has never seen a Steven Spielberg movie and takes pleasure in reading Homer in the original Greek. But he cares deeply about film history, and his Packard Humanities Institute has become one of the leading philanthropic organizations funding film preservation.

Now a landmark moment in that cause is nearing completion on 65 acres in the hills of Santa Clarita: a $180-million facility that houses vintage movies in the UCLA Film & Television Archive, including “The Maltese Falcon,” the Flash Gordon serials, Laurel & Hardy’s “Way Out West,” Cecil B. DeMille’s personal collection and producer Hal Wallis’ own print of “Casablanca.”

LA Times | Read the Full Article