Where Was This Theatre?

posted by Ron Newman on May 31, 2005 at 6:06 am

Yesterday’s New York Times has an article about The Sound of Music, accompanied by this photo:

The caption reads:
The sound of protest: college students in Minnesota in 1966 saying “enough” to “The Sound of Music.” The photo is credited to 20th Century Fox.

Anyone recognize this theatre? Where was it? Is it still standing and operating?

Comments (8)

William
William on May 31, 2005 at 9:10 am

The Moorhead Theatre is located in Moorhead, Minnesota. The address is 412 Center Ave. and is listed as closed. During the 1940’s it was operated in the Paramount Theatre chain and was listed as seating 784 people.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 31, 2005 at 9:24 am

Thanks for your speedy reply! Where is the theatre “listed as closed”? I can’t find it here at CinemaTreasures.

I’ve never before heard of people picketing a movie theatre to protest an excessively long run. The student “protesters” look like they were having fun. It would be cool to hear from one of them, if they happen to visit this site and see my query.

In case the photo disappears from the NYTimes site, the “protester” signs say, among other things, “Pooie with Julie” and “Down with the Sound”. One of them is standing on a box with the words “Soap Box” painted on its side.

William
William on May 31, 2005 at 9:26 am

It was listed over at CinemaTour’s site and the 40’s info came from the Film Daily Yearbook.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 31, 2005 at 9:34 am

Barnes & Noble has an excerpt from a book called Widescreen Dreams: Growing up Gay at the Movies. The quote below is actually from a November 1966 New York Times Magazine article by Joan Barthel:

Like the people in Moorhead, Minn., where the picture ran for more than a year in the town’s only movie house and sparked a protest demonstration by students of the local college who, under the name POOIE (People’s Organization of Intelligent Educatees), picketedâ€"“49 Weeks of Schmaltz is Enough”; “Don’t Get Caught in the von Trapp” â€" for a change of bill.

I found this by asking Google to search for:
Julie pooie “sound of music”

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 31, 2005 at 11:29 am

I suppose this super-long-run phenomenon would have been less controversial if the cinemas of that time were multi-screened. Having other screens would have allowed more frequent changes of programs while continuing with this blockbuster. A recent example of this is “Gloomy Sunday,” the Hungarian film which was a hit at the West Newton Cinema (Newton, Massachusetts) and played for over a year, while other screens had regular changes. I believe the same thing happened there with “Cinema Paradiso.” Decades ago at the Central Square Cinema in Cambridge, “King of Hearts” became a cult hit and ran for something like four years on one of the two screens. Some pranksters one night re-arranged the wording on the marquee to voice their disapproval. (Don’t recall what the resulting wording was.)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 31, 2005 at 12:45 pm

At least towards the end, the West Newton was scheduling Gloomy Sunday for just one show a day, sometimes at odd times like 11:30 am.

kateymac01
kateymac01 on May 31, 2005 at 3:05 pm

If you have information about this theater — even bare bones info — you should add it to the listings here.

Coate
Coate on June 4, 2005 at 2:01 pm

I posted this in the other “Sound Of Music” thread (“The Sound Of Music — 40 Years!”), but I think it is appropriate here too. Plus, the Moorhead Theater, the subject of this thread, is included in the article to which I will provide a link.

Related to the film’s anniversary is a tribute article and original roadshow engagement list that I’ve been working on for a while. I think this is right up the alley of the average Cinema Treasures regular, so I’d like to bring this to your attention in case you’re not already aware of it.

View link (for the Moorhead reference, scroll down to the October 1965 section)

Non-fans of “The Sound Of Music” and those unfamiliar with the roadshow era will likely not understand or appreciate the list. But those of you who are fans of the movie and/or understand the appeal of the roadshow-style presentations will probably like the list and will “get” the nostalgia and history.

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