Roadshows in Chicago

posted by telliott on December 12, 2008 at 7:42 am

I’m sure we’re all enjoying the Cinerama series that has been running weekly for several weeks now, but it got me wondering about other “roadshow” engagements, particularly in Chicago. I’m wondering if anyone there can remember where the following reserved seat movies played, how long, etc…“Ben-Hur”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Mutiny on the Bounty”, “Cleopatra”, “My Fair Lady”, “Doctor Zhivago”, “Hawaii”, “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, “Camelot”, “Doctor Doolittle”, “Funny Girl”, “Oliver!”, “The Lion in Winter”,“Finians Rainbow”, “Star!” “Sweet Charity”, “Paint Your Wagon” “Goodbye Mr Chips” and of course “Hello Dolly!”

Just wondering if anyone in the Chicago area can remember these engagements.

Comments (31)

Coate
Coate on December 12, 2008 at 8:54 am

Long-running Chicago roadshow engagements:

THIS IS CINERAMA — Palace — 98 weeks
THE SOUND OF MUSIC — Michael Todd — 93 weeks
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS — Cinestage — 90 weeks
CINERAMA HOLIDAY — Palace — 78 weeks
BEN-HUR — Michael Todd — 74 weeks
SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD — Palace — 70 weeks
SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE — Palace — 59 weeks
SOUTH PACIFIC — McVickers — 56 weeks
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF — McClurg Court — 57 weeks
OKLAHOMA! — McVickers — 47 weeks
HOW THE WEST WAS WON — McVickers — 37 weeks
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY — Cinestage — 36 weeks

Some others…
PORGY AND BESS — McVickers
SCENT OF MYSTERY — Cinestage
CAN-CAN — Palace
SPARTACUS — McVickers
THE ALAMO — Palace
EXODUS — Cinestage
KING OF KINGS — Michael Todd
EL CID — Cinestage
WEST SIDE STORY — Michael Todd
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY — Michael Todd
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA — Cinestage
55 DAYS AT PEKING — Michael Todd
CLEOPATRA — State Lake
BECKET — Cinestage
THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE — Michael Todd
MY FAIR LADY — Palace
CHEYENNE AUTUMN — McVickers

telliott
telliott on December 12, 2008 at 9:21 am

Thank you so much Michael! Always wondered where these great films were shown. On the “From script to DVD” web site they have 70mm in NY and 70mm in LA but don’t have Chicago. Seems like the majority of them played the Michael Todd or the Cinestage.

Coate
Coate on December 12, 2008 at 10:36 am

Tim… I parted ways with FromScriptToDVD.com before completing a “70mm in Chicago” project. I had also at one time considered such a project for the In70mm.com website. Perhaps some day I will revisit the project and complete it. In the meantime, I posted for you some of the info that had been researched, and I’ll also post a list of the Chicago area theaters known to have been equipped with 70mm projection capability not just during the roadshow era of the 1950s and ‘60s but through the 1980s and early '90s when the equipped venues and number of 70mm prints circulating was at its peak. I suspect looking the list over will bring back good memories for many of the Chicagolanders.

*The following is a list of theaters equipped for 70-millimeter film presentations in the Chicago, Illinois metropolitan area. This is not a list of theaters currently in operation that have 70mm presentation capability; many of the theaters are no longer in business, have been demolished, or have been stripped of their 70mm projection capability. This is a historical list which documents those theaters with 5-perf 70mm capability at one time or another between 1955 and the present. Many of the venues listed are closed and/or have been demolished. Some, however, are currently in operation and may still have 70mm projection capability. The chain/owners, number of screens, years of operation, etc. have not been included. *

BLOOMINGDALE
Stratford Square

CALUMET CITY
River Oaks

CHICAGO
900 N. Michigan
Biograph
Bricktown Square
Carnegie
Chestnut Station
Chicago
Cinestage / Todd’s Cinestage
Esquire
Fine Arts
Ford City
Lincoln Village
McClurg Court
McVickers / McVickers Cinerama
Michael Todd
Music Box
Navy Pier IMAX
Nortown
Palace / Eitel’s Palace / Bismarck
Pipers Alley
Plaza
Roosevelt
State Lake / State-Lake
United Artists

CHICAGO RIDGE
Chicago Ridge Mall

DOWNERS GROVE
Grove
Tivoli

ELGIN
Elgin Fox

EVANSTON
Evanston

EVERGREEN PARK
Evergreen

FOREST PARK
Forest Park Mall

HILLSIDE
Hillside Square 4

HINSDALE
Hinsdale

HOFFMAN ESTATES
Century

HOMEWOOD
Diana

LANSING
River Run

LOMBARD
Yorktown

MT. PROSPECT
Randhurst

NILES
Golf Mill
Niles Square

NORRIDGE
Norridge

NORTHBROOK
Edens

OAK BROOK
Cinema 150
Oakbrook

ORLAND PARK
Orland Square

SCHAUMBURG
Woodfield

SKOKIE
Old Orchard

TINLEY PARK
Bremen

WOODRIDGE
Woodgrove Festival

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on December 14, 2008 at 6:20 am

Tim…Back as a kid on March 23 1958 my brother and I went to the Cinestage in Chicago and saw “AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS”, ever since then I’ve been hooked on ROADSHOW/70mm. This of course includes CINERAMA (both kinds) which I’ve seen in Chicago, Memphis, Norfolk, New York, San Juan and Washington DC.

Sometime back I asked Michael Coate about a list for Chicago of 70mm films like the ones he had worked on for NY and LA and he mentioned then about “parted ways”, but you still gotta love the guy cause now he’s come out with these GREAT lists of CINERAMA movies in various cities. I really enjoy them!

Chicago really needs a list of Roadshow/70mm, so let me add and fill in on Michael’s list and I hope others will help out and let’s see what we come up with. If I don’t know the date the movie opened I’ve put in the Release Date knowing that it would have opened after that date. At the end, is a list of films that may or may not have been Roadshow/70mm in Chicago and I have no idea what theater they played at. For sure more flicks are listed then ever made it as a Roadshows in Chicago, but better to list too many then not enough and I may have still missed some. I have not listed movies that are a re-Issue for I doubt if they are Roadshow?? I make no gurantee that all the info is 100% accurate but it’s close and it’s a start. Any mistakes, please correct me.

Michael Coate… Don’t laugh, I know this list is really sick next to one of yours, but it’s better than nothing (which is what my wife says about me).

EVERYONE… Notice how many weeks films played! It’s a joke now days how a film is released plays in theaters for a short time, is out on DVD and on TV before you know it! I think that’s because the movies are no good, the theaters are no good, the projection and sound are no good and the audience takes no prize either! What do you think?

“A WORK-IN-PROGRESS-LIST”

CHICAGO ROADSHOW 3-STRIP & 70MM MOVIES

THIS IS CINERAMA, Palace, 7/29/53, 98 weeks, 3-Strip CINERAMA

CINERAMA HOIDAY, Palace, 6/15/55, 78 weeks, 3-Strip CINERAMA

OKLAHOMA!, McVickers, 12/26/55, 47 weeks, Todd-AO

SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD, Palace, 12/12/56, 70 weeks, 3-Strip CINERAMA

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, Cinestage, 4/4/57, 90 weeks, Todd-AO

SOUTH PACIFIC, McVickers, 3/26/58, 56 weeks, Todd-AO

SEARCH FOR PARADISE, Palace, 4/16/58, 22 weeks, 3-Strip CINERAMA

WINDJAMMER, Opera House, 6/20/58, 14 weeks, 3-Strip CineMiracle

SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE, Palace, 9/18/58, 59 weeks, 3-Strip CINERAMA

PORGY AND BESS, McVickers, after 6/24/59, Todd-AO

BEN HUR, Michael Todd, after 11/18/59, 74 weeks, MGM Camera 65

SCENT OF MYSTERY, Cinestage, 1/6/60, Todd-AO

CAN-CAN, Palace, after 3/9/60, Todd-AO

SPARTACUS, McVickers, after 10/6/60, Super Technirama 70

THE ALAMO, Palace, after 10/24/60, Todd-AO

EXODUS, Cinestage, after 12/15/60, Super Panavision 70

KING OF KINGS, Michael Todd, after 10/11/61, Super Technirama 70

WEST SIDE STORY, Michael Todd, after 10/18/61, Super Panavision 70

EL CID, Cinestage, after 12/6/61, Super Technirama 70

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM, McVickers, 8/8/62, 29 weeks, 3-Strip CINERAMA

MUNITY ON THE BOUNTY, Michael Todd, after 11/8/62, Ultra Panavision 70

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, Cinestage, after 12/9/62, Super Panavision 70

HOW THE WEST WAS WON, McVickers, 2/27/63, 37 weeks, 3-Strip CINERAMA

55 DAYS AT PEKING, Michael Todd, after 5/6/63, Super Technirama 70

IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD, McVickers, 11/19/63, 33 weeks, Uultra Panavision 70 CINERAMA

CLEOPATRA, State-Lake, 1/3/64, Todd-AO

BECKET, Cinestage, 3/11/64, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, Michael Todd, 4/17/64, Ultra Panavision 70

CIRCUS WORLD, McVickers, 7/8/64, 15 weeks, Super Technirama 70 CINERAMA

THE BEST OF CINERAMA, McVickers, 10/21/64, 9 weeks, 3-Strip CINERAMA

MY FAIR LADY, Palace, after 10/21/64, Super Panavision 70

CHEYENNE AUTUMN, McVickers, after 11/19/64, Super Panavision 70

MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY, Cinestage, 12/25/64, 13 weeks, Superpanorama 70 CINERAMA

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD, McVickers, 3/10/65, 29 weeks, Ultra Panavision 70 CINERAMA

THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Michael Todd, 3/17/65, 93 weeks, Todd-AO

THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL, McVickers, 9/28/65, 9 weeks, Ultra Panavision 70 CINERAMA

THE GREAT RACE, State-Lake, 10/12/65, 16 weeks, Panavision 70mm Blow-Up? Roadshow?

BATTLE OF THE BULGE, McVickers, 12/22/65, 14 weeks, Ultra Panavision 70 Cinerama

RUSSIAN ADVENTURE, McVickers, 3/29/66, 11 weeks, 3-Strip CINERAMA/KINOPANORAMA

KHARTOUM, McVickers, 6/22/66, 11 weeks, Ultra Panavision 70 CINERAMA

THE BIBLE…IN THE BEGINNING, Michael Todd, 12/23/66, DIMENSION-150

GRAND PRIX, Cinestage, 1/25/67, 24 weeks, Super Panavision 70 CINERAMA

GONE WITH THE WIND, after 10/10/67, UA Cinema 150 (Oak Brook IL), Academy image ‘tilt-and-scanned to fill the 70mm frame

DOCTOR DOLITTLE, Michael Todd, 12/20/67, Todd-AO

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, Cinestage, 4/11/68, 36 weeks, Super Panavision 70 CINERAMA

STAR! Michael Todd, 11/6/68, Todd-AO

ICE STATION ZEBRA, Cinestage, 4/17/69, 10 weeks, Super Panivision 70 CINERAMA

FUNNY GIRL, Michael Todd, 6/18/69, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA, Cinestage, 6/26/69, 12 weeks, Todd-AO CINERAMA

GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS, Michael Todd, 11/12/69, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER, Michael Todd, 8/14/70, 12 weeks?, Panavision, Roadshow?

SONG OF NORWAY, UA CINEMA 150 (Oak Brook IL), after 11/4/70, Super Panavision 70

RYAN’s DAUGHTER, Michael Todd, 12/18/70 Super Panavision 70

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, McClurg Court, 11/3 or 11/10/71, 57 weeks, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

PATTON, Michael Todd, 11/24/71, DIMENSION-150

MAN OF LA MANCHA, McClurg Court, 12/14/72, Spherical (1.66:1) 70mm Blow Up

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

?POSSIBLE?CHICAGO?ROADSHOW?70MM?THEATER?DATE?

SLEEPING BEAUTY, after 1/29/59, Super Technirama 70

THE BIG FISHERMAN, after 8/4/59, Super Panivision 70

SOLOMON AND SHEBA, after 10/27/59 Super Technirama 70

BARABBAS, after 2/4/62, Super Technirama 70

THE CARDINAL. after 12/12/63, Panavision 70mm Blow UP

ZULU, after 6/17/64, Super Technirama 70

THE LONG SHIPS, after 12/26/64, Super Technirama 70

LORD JIM, after 2/15/65 Super Panivision 70

IN HARMS WAY, after 4/6/65, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES, after 6/3/65, Todd-AO

THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY, after 10/7/65, Todd-AO

DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, after 12/22/65, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

BORN FREE, after 4/6/66. Panavision 70mm Blow Up

THE BLUE MAX, after 5/21/66, CinemaScope

HAWAII, after 10/10/66 Panavision 70mm Blow Up

IS PARIS BURNING?, after 10/10/66, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

THE SAND PEBBLES, after 12/20/66, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, after 3/21/67, Spherical (1.85:1) 70mm Blow Up

THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE, after 10/6/67, Panavision

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, after 10/18/67, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

CAMELOT, after 10/25/67, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

CUSTER OF THE WEST, after 11/9/67, Super Technirama 70

HALF A SIXPENCE, after 2/20/68, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

FINIAN’S RAINBOW, after 10/9/68, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN, after 11/14/68, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

OLIVER!, after 12/11/68, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, after 12/18/68, Super Panavision 70

SWEET CHARITY, after 2/11/69, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

WHERE EAGLES DARE, after 3/12/69, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

McKENNA’S GOLD, after 3/18/69, Super Panivision 70

THE LION IN WINTER, after 8/21/69, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

PAINT YOUR WAGON, after 10/15/69 Panavision 70mm Blow Up

MAROONED, after 12/13/69, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

HELLO DOLLY!, after 12/16/69, Todd-AO

ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS, after 12/18/69, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

WOODSTOCK, after 3/26/70, 16mm to 70mm Blow Up

AIRPORT, after 5/3/70, Todd-AO

KELLY’S HEROES, after 6/23/70, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

DARLING LILI, after 6/24/70, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

TOTO! TORO! TORO!, after 9/24/70, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

SCROOGE, after 11/5/70, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

THE LAST VALLEY, after 1/28/71, Todd-AO

WATERLOO, after 4/2/71, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, after 12/23/71, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

THE COWBOYS, after 1/13/72, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

THE CONCERT FOR BANGLADESH, after 3/25/72, 16mm to 70mm Blow Up

DELIVERANCE, after 8/16/72, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

YOUNG WINSTON, after 10/10/72, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

THE GREAT WALTZ, after 11/1/72, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, after 12/12/72, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

JEREMIAH JOHNSON, after 12/22/72, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

I THINK THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF ROADSHOWS WAS OVER BY 1972, DOES ANYONE AGREE OR DISAGREE?

“Ladies and Gentlemen, This is CINERAMA!” Lowell Thomas, September 30, 1952

telliott
telliott on December 14, 2008 at 11:29 am

Great list Bob! I know that almost all of the films mentioned on your list did play roadshow engagements in Toronto, so they must have in Chicago as well. Now we just have to find out where.

Coate
Coate on December 15, 2008 at 8:18 am

Bob…I’ll take a stab at clarifying some of your work-in-progress information by filling in some premiere dates and breaking down your lists as best I can into 70mm, 35mm, roadshow and non-roadshow categories. I’ll add a few titles, too.

Corrected Premiere Dates:
PORGY AND BESS, McVickers, >>> 7/22/59 <<<
BEN HUR, Michael Todd, >>> 12/23/59 <<<
CAN-CAN, Palace, >>> 4/19/60 <<<
SPARTACUS, McVickers, >>> 10/13/60 <<<
THE ALAMO, Palace, >>> 10/26/60 <<<
EXODUS, Cinestage, >>> 12/16/60 <<<
KING OF KINGS, Michael Todd, >>> 10/18/61 <<<
EL CID, Cinestage, >>> 12/21/61 <<<
MUNITY ON THE BOUNTY, Michael Todd, >>> 11/14/62 <<<
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, Cinestage, >>> 1/16/63 <<<
55 DAYS AT PEKING, Michael Todd, >>> 5/29/63 <<<
CLEOPATRA, State-Lake, >>> 6/26/63 <<<
BECKET, Cinestage, >>> 3/19/64 <<<
MY FAIR LADY, Palace, >>> 10/23/64 <<<
CHEYENNE AUTUMN, McVickers, >>> 12/22/64 <<<

70mm NON roadshow:
SLEEPING BEAUTY (premiered 2/12/59 at State Lake)
SOLOMON AND SHEBA (12/25/59 at Woods)
THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN (6/24/64 at Palace)
IN HARMS WAY
MacKENNA’S GOLD
AIRPORT
ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS
THE LAST VALLEY
THE CONCERT FOR BANGLADESH
THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE

70mm Roadshow:
THE CARDINAL
LORD JIM
THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES
THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY
DOCTOR ZHIVAGO
THE SAND PEBBLES
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
CAMELOT (Bismarck)
FINIAN’S RAINBOW
THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN
OLIVER!
FUNNY GIRL
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG
SWEET CHARITY
PAINT YOUR WAGON
MAROONED
HELLO DOLLY!
DARLING LILI
TORA! TORA! TORA!

35mm Roadshow:
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
THE LONGEST DAY
THE BLUE MAX
HAWAII
IS PARIS BURNING?
A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS
THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE
ULYSSES
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE
THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE
HALF A SIXPENCE
THE LION IN WINTER
YOUNG WINSTON
THE GREAT WALTZ

35mm Non Roadshow:
ZULU
THE LONG SHIPS
BORN FREE
CUSTER OF THE WEST
WHERE EAGLES DARE
WOODSTOCK
KELLY’S HEROES
ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE TOMORROW
SCROOGE
WATERLOO
MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS
THE COWBOYS
DELIVERANCE
JEREMIAH JOHNSON

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on December 15, 2008 at 10:38 am

Where was the Michael Todd and the Cinstage? The Chicago and the oriental never had roadshow engaements?

telliott
telliott on December 15, 2008 at 11:19 am

The Michael Todd and Cinestage were next door to each other on Dearborn, just north of Randolph, up the street from the Woods. I don’t think the Chicago or the Oriental had any roadshow engagements.

BruceHannover
BruceHannover on December 15, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Weren’t the Michael Todd and the Cinestage at one time known as the Harris and the Selwyn?
I seem to remember The Concert for Bangladesh playing at the Carnegie in 70 mm…
Bruce Hannover

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on December 15, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Bob, that was an excellent list. Even Michael, the Listmaster around here, would agree.

I’ve only been in one of these Chicago theaters, the State-Lake (“Return of the Jedi” in 1983, a 70mm blowup), but now you’ve got me wondering what “Cleopatra” looked like in there.

BruceHannover
BruceHannover on December 15, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Just an aside;
As I wrote this and the previoud post, I’m working in a projection booth with silenced 35 mm machines, showing “Dark Knight” on DVD, through a Barco NH12 Video Projector. It’s a better image than film ever was. I ran a film/video a/b comparison at an IATSE international convention, back in the 80’s. Film won, hands down. But this Barco’s another thing. Wow.

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on December 16, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Standard definition DVD? On a theatre screen? Too bad…

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on December 19, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Michael…Thanks for all the info, you filled in a lot of blank spots!

I thought it was interesting that that “THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN” played at the Place in 70mm. I did not know that. The only place I had recalled it had been in 70mm was at Radio City Music Hall.

I also see that “CAMELOT” played at the Bismarck. I had forgotten that the Palace for a time had been called the Bismarck after the Bismarck Hotel which was the hotel building the Palace/Bismarck Theater was located in.

I thought of a few more possible movies.

“A WORK-IN-PROGESS-LIST II”

???????????????????????????

?POSSIBLE?CHICAGO?ROADSHOW?70MM?35MM?THEATER?DATE?

CAROUSEL, after 2/16/56, CinemaScope 55 35mm

THE KING AND I, after 6/28/56, CinemaScope 55 35mm

BLACK TIGHTS, after 2/20/62, Super Technirama 70

LA FAYETTE, after 4/10/63, Super Technirama 70

THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, after 12/15/65, Spherical 35mm

THE DIRTY DOZEN, after 6/15/67, Metroscope 70mm Blow Up

WAR AND PEACE, after 4/28/68, Sovscope 70

DR. COPPELIUS!!, after 12/25/68, Superpanorama 70

TO LATE THE HERO, after 5/20/70, Metroscope 70mm Blow Up

NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, after 12/13/71, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

HOUSE OF WAX, 1953, Natural Vision (3-D) 35mm (Side-by-side Anamorphic) 70mm Blow Up 1972 re-issue

TOM SAWYER, after 3/15/73, Panavision 70mm Blow Up

Coate
Coate on December 19, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Bob… The engagement of THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN at Radio City Music Hall was 35mm; the Hall didn’t get equipped for 70mm until 1970, six years after MOLLY BROWN’s release.

So some might consider the Palace’s engagement of MOLLY BROWN unique in that Chicago ran it in 70mm whereas New York and Los Angeles (U.S. markets #1 and #2) played it in 35mm.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on December 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Michael…Interesting, somehow I knew a 70mm print of MOLLY BROWN was “floating” around. I don’t know why I thought it was at RCMH. I was In Norfolk, Virginia the summer of 1964, so I knew nothing about it being at the Palace in Chicago. Thanks for the info.

AryeDirect
AryeDirect on December 21, 2008 at 6:52 pm

‘Scent of Mystery’ was not actually a road show movie. It is the infamous Smell-o-Vision movie produced by Mike Todd, Jr. It played long at the Todd owned theater, because few other theaters were equipped for, or desired to, book that stinker.

After that Junior left the radar and returned to obscurity. His father had chutzpah and taste. Junior had chutzpah…

Coate
Coate on December 21, 2008 at 6:58 pm

SCENT OF MYSTERY was shown on a reserved-seat basis, so, yes, it is correct to consider it a roadshow movie.

AryeDirect
AryeDirect on December 21, 2008 at 6:58 pm

‘House of Wax’ opened at The Chicago Theater in ‘53, where I saw it as a ten year old. While it was magnificent in its first run with top projection, by the time it got to the neighborhoods with inferior projection and often spliced, worn prints, it wasn’t so much fun.

Looked forward to the ‘72 re-release, which I saw at the Chinese in Hollywood. Don’t think it was a 70mm print, because it was much darker and grainier than what I saw in '53. I suspected that it was standard 35mm, with essentially two 16mm size images printed side by side. Also the 3-D window was projected in a way that had the depth going inward from the screen surface, rather than outward. It was a very disappointing effort.

Coate
Coate on December 21, 2008 at 7:07 pm

The HOUSE OF WAX re-issue began in 1971, not 1972. The Chinese Theater in Hollywood, if the newspaper advertising was correct, did show it in 70mm.

AryeDirect
AryeDirect on December 21, 2008 at 7:10 pm

My personal, perhaps idiosyncratic definition for road show was big event, long run, special screen, reserved seat. I loved the hype theater owners once called ‘showmanship’. Seeing pictures in a non-descript box is about as much lasting fun as eating at Mickey ’D’s every night. And showmanship in exhibition long since has left the room.

Bought a reserved seat for ‘Scent of Mystery’. Needn’t have bothered, the theater was mostly empty. I sat close to the projection booth so that I could hear the mechanism of odoriferous jars roll into place.

AryeDirect
AryeDirect on December 21, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Working from memory impressions, the way dreams are implanted in our psyches. They weren’t called Dream Palaces for nothing.

Did see the seventies re-issue on opening night at the Chinese. I believe it was accompanied by ‘Mysteries of the Wax Museum’, in two color Technicolor, and a personal appearance by Fay Wray, who starred in it. I may be mixing two events together. But the lack of light pumped into ‘House of Wax’ dimmed the impact of the film. Have since seen it again, in double system 35 mm at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. All of the original snap was there. There also was a time when projectionists were king.

Coate
Coate on December 22, 2008 at 2:17 pm

I should probably point out that all the HOUSE OF WAX discussion is off topic since that film was not a roadshow.

chapcan
chapcan on April 20, 2010 at 1:26 pm

On A Clear Day You Can See F O R E V E R!

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm

And ever and ever more!

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm

By the way never been to Chicago!

RSM3853
RSM3853 on August 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

Enjoy these comments about Chicago theaters & what they played & when. The photo showing “How to Steal a Million” and “Duel at Diablo” had to have been taken sometime between 8/31/66 and 9/20/66. “How to Steal a Million opened at the Woods the week of 8/10/66, but "Duel at Diablo” didn’t open at the Oriental until 8/31/66. Their next films were “Fantastic Voyage” at the Woods (opened 9/28/66) and “Ambush Bay” at the Oriental (opened 9/21/66). Thus, the Bismarck Palace in the back had to have been showing “Doctor Zhivago” at the time.

JudithK
JudithK on May 17, 2014 at 6:43 am

I saw “Funny Girl” at the United Artists Theatre in Chicago during a road show engagement, and “Gone With the Wind” at the McVickers, also via road show. This was the booking where the film was “adapted” for wide-screen showing. Lastly, I saw “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” on a big screen (possibly 70 mm?) not in Chicago, but in Peoria, IL, perhaps at the Palace Theatre or the Madison Theatre, my guess the latter. It was a bit easier to see first-run films or films marketed as road-show engagements in Peoria than in Chicago and the theatres there had similar state of the art technology of that era (projection and sound). I am guessing that Peoria was considered a first-run market for film booking not unlike Chicago.

telliott
telliott on August 31, 2015 at 9:19 pm

So…does anyone know where Those Magnificent Men…Finian’s Rainbow, Paint Your Wagoon, Hello Dolly!, Sweet Charity, Oliver!, Doctor Zhivago, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Lion in Winter, The Sand Pebbles, Far From the Madding Crowd played??

RalphBenner
RalphBenner on September 8, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Those Magnificent Men, Cinestage, Reserved Seat Finian’s Rainbow, Palace, RS Hello, Dolly, Michael Todd NO RS Sweet Charity, Palace, RS Oliver, Palace, RS The Lion in Winter, Esquire, RS Dr. Zhivago, Palace, RS Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, MTodd or Cinestage, RS The Sand Pebbles, Cinestage, RS Far From the Maddening Crown, The Loop, NO RS Paint Your Wagon, don’t know.

Does anyone know what Chicago theatre played The Big Fisherman?

RalphBenner
RalphBenner on September 9, 2015 at 5:14 am

Perhaps this will be a bit more definitive as to what Loop theatre the 70mm version of “Gone with the Wind” originally opened in: http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1967/10/01/page/137/article/display-ad-128-no-title

Likely that the McVickers ran it some time down the road, and certainly the Michael Todd did, but only after its run at the Cinestage, starting October 25, 1967. Eight months later, it would be the premiere attraction at the UA Cinema 150 in Oak Brook.

The Chicago Trib’s 3/5/1970 edition confirms “Patton” played hardticket at the Bismarck Palace.

“Funny Girl” played the United Artists first, then moved to the Cinestage to continue HT.

“Marooned” played at the Cinestage.

“The Cardinal” ran sans HT at the Woods.

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