The Outfest UCLA Legacy Project is always working to preserve LGBT film history. As part of that ongoing mission, we have recently begun restoring Sign of Protest (dir. Pat Rocco, 1970), which documents a Gay Liberation march opposing the “Fagots [sic] stay out” sign that hung at Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood until 1984. (One of the original signs is now held by the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, snap!)
The film is an invaluable document of our history and struggle, and, as you can see in the pre-restoration images here, it is desperately in need of some TLC! The preservationists at the UCLA Film & Television Archive are working on a full digital restoration of the image and soundtrack using the film’s best surviving element—a badly faded 16mm print.
Sign of Protest marks the fourth Legacy Project restoration of a Pat Rocco film. It will have its world premiere at Outfest Los Angeles in July as part of an event we’re calling Pat Rocco’s Birthday Party! in honor of the incredible filmmaker, activist, and all-around human being’s 80th birthday this year. Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, Rocco directed dozens of gay-themed erotic short films and erotica, in addition to extensive footage of the burgeoning gay rights movement in Los Angeles and beyond. He’s a living legend and we’re thrilled to bring him back to LA for this very special event—don’t miss it!
More information about Outfest Los Angeles will be announced soon. Keep checking Outfest.org for updates.