Wednesday, November 26, 2014

2014 Dear Old Hollywood Holiday Gift Guide

'Tis the time of year to start making lists and shopping for holiday gifts. For the first time here on Dear Old Hollywood, I've decided to help by putting together a few items that might make a perfect gift for that fan of old Hollywood or classic movies you need to shop for, even if that person is yourself. I've left out obvious things such as movie tickets, DVD box sets or silly things like popcorn containers and tried to come up with items that were either different or would just be great gifts. Here are ten items to get you started.

1. Newsboy Caps from Hat People

Wearing one of my many hats from Hat People.

Fans of classic movies and old Hollywood tend to also be interested in retro fashions. One popular accessory seen in classic films is the newsboy cap and some of the best are made right here in the U.S. of A. by Hat People. For over 30 years, in the mountains of Southern Oregon, Hat People has been making cloth hats by hand. Over the years I've accumulated four different hats from Hat People, thanks to my wife who has given them to me as gifts for different occasions. They never disappoint. All the hats are made to your specific size. You just pick out your fabric, the style hat, and send in your measurements. My wife says she has received excellent customer service each time and that after ordering the first hat, they had my measurements on file the next time she ordered.

Classic movie fan and artist Kate Gabrielle has designed numerous "fan club" pins for fans of almost anything, including many old Hollywood celebrities. The pins are simple black and white designs that wear well on a lapel, a tote bag, shirt or anywhere else you would display a pin. This is another item I received as a gift from my wife that I was excited to open. I've got a few pins including Don Ameche, Spencer Tracy and Vincent Price. I've already received a few compliments from people while wearing them out and about.

3. Classic Books that were made into Classic Movies from Random House

One activity I've been enjoying lately has been reading books that were eventually made into popular classic movies. Random House has a line of books called "Vintage Movie Classics" that include titles like Cimarron, The Bad Seed, Alice Adams and other popular titles. You can visit their site or find them available at other places that sell books.

4. Subscription to ClassicFlix

ClassicFlix is a DVD by mail service much in the way Netflix was before going the streaming route. What's great about ClassicFlix for classic movie fans is that they only have pre-1970s titles. Many are rare or exclusive titles, including releases from the Warner Archive, Fox Cinema Archives, and TCM Vault collections. If there are rare classics you want to see, but don't necessarily want to buy, then renting them through ClassicFlix may be a great option.

5. Subscription to Warner Archive Instant

Another great service is Warner Archive Instant. Much like ClassicFlix, Warner Archive Instant specializes in classic films, especially rare and off beat classics, but this is a streaming service you can use with a Roku set top box, on your computer or an iPad.

6. Roku Set-top box and Roku TV

The New Roku TVs.

If for some reason there is someone on your list who has managed to live the last few years without a set-top box and have not been able to take advantage of streaming Netflix, Warner Archive Instant, YouTube and other services on their television, I must recommend the Roku set-top box above all others. It's easy to use, the price is fair, and the quality and channel selection is superb. Better yet, Roku has now come out with a Roku TV which basically is a flat screen TV with the built in smarts of a Roku set-top box.

7. Frame a piece of classic movie art.

Do you know the favorite movie, actor or actress of the person you are shopping for? Why not purchase them a movie still, poster or other piece of artwork and have it framed. Ebay and other vendors online have millions of classic movie memorabilia available. Etsy even has available some reprints of classic movie posters that can be framed or laminated, like the one from BLONDE CRAZY above. Find the piece then take it somewhere to be nicely framed.

8. Classic Movie Themed T-Shirts, Tote bags from Redbubble.

The site Redbubble has a lot classic movie themed designs that can be used to make t-shirts, tote bags and other items - even pillow cases! I especially like the IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE themed "George Lassos The Moon" design that is available on a tote bag and the SUNSET BLVD design below available on a t-shirt.

SUNSET BLVD. T-Shirt from Redbubble.

9. Classic Movie Music from TCM.

Turner Classic Movies has released a collection of CDs featuring music from classic movies, including two featuring stars Fred Astaire and Doris Day. They can be found directly from the TCM Shop or elsewhere online.

10. Picnic Travel Backpack and Waterproof Picnic Blanket for outdoor movie screenings.

One of my favorite activities during the summer time is attending screenings of classic movies at outdoor venues, such as Cinespia at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. If you live in an area that has outdoor movie screenings (or any outdoor events) consider a picnic basket for bringing your wine and snacks. I prefer a backpack style which makes carrying a lot easier, especially if you have your hands full already with other items to carry. Another nice item to have is a waterproof picnic blanket. These ones from Brookstone are nice because they are waterproof on the bottom to keep from getting damp and stain resistant on top to easily wipe off spilled wine.


Philip Mershon said...

Great list Robby! Happy Thanksgiving.

Silver Screenings said...

I'll take one of each.

KC said...

Thanks for the tip about Hat People. I wanted to get my dad a new cap, but I had no idea where to go!

Robby Cress said...

FelixInHollywood, thanks! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving as well.

Silver Screenings, hopefully you'll be able to pick up a few items at Christams time :)

KC, I hope you can find a great cap for your dad. For the newsboy style hats, I prefer the "full cut" which most resembles something that might be worn on Boardwalk Empire.

Paul D. Marks said...

I'm late to the party, Robby, but great list. Some things I hadn't even heard of. All good ideas.


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