John Calvert Dies At 102; Stage Magician Was Also In Movies

Notable deaths of 2013

“Killer Klowns From Outer Space” on Oct. 16. “Suspiria” on Oct. 23. “Saw” on Oct. 30. The movies are shown on the lawn outside the theater, so be aware that bad weather might mean there’s no movie. Check the theater’s Facebook page or call 407-629-1088 if the weather is questionable. Enzian Theater is at 1300 S. Orlando Ave. in Maitland.

His most famous role was as the detective Michael Watling, better known as the Falcon, in 1948’s “Devil’s Cargo” and two more movies. He also worked as a Hollywood stuntman, and his hands stood in for Clark Gable’s in a card-playing scene in the 1941 movie “Honky Tonk.” As a technical advisor on “The Silver Chalice” in 1954, he taught Jack Palance the tricks of the trade for the role of a magician. In 1956, he produced, wrote, directed and starred in “Dark Venture,” an adventure tale about a reporter in Africa. Calvert was born in 1911 in New Trenton, Ind. When he was 8, his father took him to see magician Howard Thurston in Cincinnati. The young Calvert was smitten and started performing for friends almost immediately after. His career took off when an agent spotted him during a performance he gave while attending college. Calvert remained active well into his later years, traveling the country with his magic acts and entertaining audiences with a mixture of charm and storytelling panache. At 100 he appeared at the London Palladium. He accumulated numerous awards and was regarded by many in the field of magic as its most distinguished elder member. “God has been good to me,” he told the St. Petersburg Times in 1998.

$35,000 Prima Cinema Player brings movies home as soon as they hit theaters (eyes-on)

Prima Cinema

Movies download automatically to its hard drive in the background so they’re already there when the owner chooses to unlock them for viewing. That privilege costs $500 ($600 for 3D), good for one showing within 24 hours. Check after the break for more of our impressions after a quick preview at Prima’s CEDIA 2013 booth, then prep your black card for the pricey purchase. We saw a bit of Ron Howard’s new flick, Rush, a movie that popped up on Prima’s systems last week even before it was available at most theaters nationwide. The movies play in 1080p/24 and are encoded in “higher than Blu-ray quality” with lossless PCM or Dolby TrueHD audio. In our brief viewing it certainly seemed on-par with a theater experience, although at this price we’d hope a 4K option arrives sooner rather than later. Of course, other than the steep entry fee there are a few other hurdles to jump before you can obtain one of these. It’s only for home use in theaters that seat fewer than 25 people, with a check of the purchaser’s background to weed out pirates, and the box requires a public static IP to make sure it stays where it’s registered. Past that process, once it’s all set up owners enjoy the kind of access usually restricted to the well-connected studio elite, screening the newest flicks at their leisure. Or, almost at their leisure, because while there’s a pause button and a five minute skip, the usual playback controls aren’t present here. The other fly in the ointment is a relatively short list of available titles. Universal is an investor and its movies are among those listed, with selections also popping up from others like Millennium Films.