URGENT – LOOKING FOR “THE GRADUATE” MARQUEES

posted by robzimm on April 18, 2005 at 4:46 am

I’m a producer working on a documentary about 1967’s “The Graduate”. I’m looking to this community for help. Does anyone have photos related to theatre marquees or lines of people waiting to get into “The Graduate”?

The film played in many (now) historic theatres, and unfortunately, a number have since closed, making contacting the theatres directly difficult, if not impossible.

Thanks so much.

Comments (13)

JimRankin
JimRankin on April 18, 2005 at 7:10 am

Dear Mr. Producer: I do hope that some such photo can be found for your use, but you must not have your heart set on this, since, as was explained to your duplicate inquiries at www.BigScreenBiz.com as well as the Guestbook of www.HistoricTheatres.org, such specific photos of titles and growds are as rare as hen’s teeth. Possibly your only real hope is to scan the back issues of newspapers during the film’s issuance and hope for such a photo and that it is still in their ‘morgue’, but rarely were such photos taken by the media unless it was somehow a newsworthy event, as when someone may have thrown a smoke bomb into the waiting crowd, or the theatre could not open for some reason and thousands standing in lines had to be turned away.

The original Hollywood producer/studio might still possibly have such a promo photo in their files, but by this late date, that is highly unlikely, especially if you don’t find such an image on the CD of the movie that must be out by now.

As stated in previous replies, it is not difficult for a photo studio to ‘fudge’ a photo of a crowd in front of a theatre anywhere to have this movie’s title on that maraquee. It is isn’t cheap to have this done, but not beyond the budget of most. The Theatre HIstorical Society linked above (www.historictheatres.org) does have dozens of such street queues photos and can likely arrange to sell you the rights to have one adapted to your purposes. You should go to their site and arrange for an appoint to look at such phots in their Archive. Best Wishes.

William
William on April 18, 2005 at 10:56 am

Well in the Los Angeles market it opened at the United Artists Four Star Theatre on the Miracle Mile. Since the film was orginally released by Avco Embassy Films the people that might have some press materials, Panavision. They had some rights to the feature at one time for overseas. I ran Mike’s personal print of the film last fall here in NYC. I shot many front of house marquee shots for Warner Bros. Publicity in Los Angeles over the years.
I would first try United Artists home office and see if they had anything in their archives.

robzimm
robzimm on April 18, 2005 at 2:52 pm

Thanks… I did see that one. Not exactly what I had in mind, but it’s something…

meheuck
meheuck on April 18, 2005 at 5:23 pm

William’s comment I think has a misspelling and a couple small errors.
What I recall is that THE GRADUATE went out first independently through Embassy Pictures, before they were acquired by the Avco company. After which, for a brief time, United Artists picked up the theatrical rights: there are posters touting the Academy Award nominations with the Transamerica UA logo on them. Then, the combined Avco Embassy would have taken over distribution until their demise in the ‘80’s.
The company William is likely thinking of is Paravision or Parafrance, not the Panavision camera company. That company inherited the Embassy library for reasons too convoluted to explain, but now that company’s holdings, including the Embassy titles, are controlled by StudioCanal, a subsidiary of the French cable outfit Canal+. They would be the first stop for any research on Avco Embassy movies.
Another place you may try for materials is Strand Releasing. I don’t know if the deal is still in effect, but back in the mid-'90’s when Mike Thomas was launching the Rialto Pictures reissue company with Strand’s help, they did a major theatrical reissue of THE GRADUATE complete with posters and trailers. Maybe they will have some historical photos of significance.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on April 18, 2005 at 7:24 pm

I think there is a line missing from William’s comment. While I am no expert on the subject I believe that Embassy then Avco Embassy had the distribution rights in the U.S. and United Artists had the non-US rights. It just so happens Transamerica bought UA the same year The Graduate was released (1967). In any event, Levine sold Embassy to Avco shortly after The Graduate and The Lion in Winter were released. In 1982 Norman Lear bought the company. Today, through Studio Canal, The Graduate is in the MGM/UA DVD library (while many MGM classics are now on Warner Home Video). It’s no surprise with so many hands in the pot that many Embassy releases wound up in the public domain. Oh, and William, in the South Bay the film also played the UA Theater in Torrance.

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on April 18, 2005 at 7:38 pm

I would also suggest contacting the Academy library in Beverly Hills (for the B'hend-Kaufmann collection), but no doubt that is probably where you looked first. :)

johnlauter
johnlauter on April 19, 2005 at 5:33 pm

The Graduate screened exclusively at the Redford Theater in Detroit for the first several weeks. I don’t know of any pics that are as you wish, but can look around town.

cdougher
cdougher on April 20, 2005 at 7:53 pm

I know the picture had an exclusive run at Walter Reade’s Baronet/Coronet Theatre in NYC and ran there for an entire year.
I suggest getting pictures of the theatre in 1967

JimRankin
JimRankin on May 5, 2005 at 7:10 am

Here is an image that you might be able to adapt:
View link
Supposedly, it is the former COLESEUM theatre in Seattle.

Brigdysart
Brigdysart on May 21, 2005 at 9:21 pm

I saw “The Graduate” five times at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco; a treasure that’s still alive and well, though I haven’t been there in years. Check out their website. Also, the SF library has a nice gallery of theatre photos, but I didn’t run across what you were looking for. Good Luck in your venture!

MPol
MPol on October 13, 2008 at 3:08 pm

The first time that I saw The Graduate was at the Fine Arts Theatre, in Maynard, MA, which was a very popular theatre. It was not uncommon to see other kids that we knew from school there on a given night, especially on the weekends.

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