October 24, 2010
REMEMBER(ING) “THE ALAMO"
A 50th Anniversary Retrospective
Compiled by Michael Coate
Commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of John Wayne’s The Alamo, presented here is a list of the Batjac/United Artists film’s principal roadshow engagements and known Todd-AO general-release engagements in the United States and Canada. (Note that the first dozen or so bookings, in their initial weeks, had a longer running time than subsequent bookings.)
October 21, 2010
Has anyone ever heard of the Hippodrome Theatre in Denver – it would have been there in the 30s-40s….thanks!
October 20, 2010
BISMARCK, ND — The building that once housed the Dakota Twin theaters will probably soon be demolished and the site used for an office building. This fact prompted a reflection on it and other now-departed theaters in Bismarck and in nearby Mandan in this article from the Bismarck Tribune.
It closed in 1994 and has housed a number of businesses since then, but it faces likely destruction by the end of the year to make room for an office building.
“I think the minute theaters started going to multiplexes, they stopped making money,” Brekke said, referring to single-screen theaters. “In the 1970s, they started doing a lot of twinning and tripling.”
October 19, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC — NPR recently featured on its website a charming little video, submitted for an award, about a projectionist who currently works at the Screen on the Green in London who talks about himself and his craft. The video can be viewed here.
[Facts About Projection](http://vimeo.com/8972758) from [Studiocanoe](http://vimeo.com/studiocanoe) on [Vimeo](http://vimeo.com).
October 15, 2010
POMPTON LAKES, NJ — In the summer of 1993, the crew of the Colonial Twin Theater in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, videotaped a simple, little birthday greeting to their friend and former colleague, Glenn. Little did they know, nearly twenty years after it was made, that same video would resurface as a reality series!
Check out the hilarious clips from what has to be the most extensive collection of video footage ever documented at the Colonial Theater, since it opened in 1913! The original video was made three years before the Colonial Twin closed.
October 14, 2010
SEATTLE, WA — The online Seattle Post-Intelligencer recently featured a retrospective of some of the city’s theaters, some still with us and some demolished, most of them movie houses, though a few legitimate theaters also appear.
In the 1940s, nearly every Seattle neighborhood had a movie theater. Only a few remain as theaters, though some of the buildings still remain.
The Embassy Theatre, which was one of Seattle’s last outlets for projected porn, is now the Triple Door. The King Theatre became the King Cat, a venue for live music. The Coliseum, one of the first theatres built in Seattle expressly for showing films, was turned into the Banana Republic at 500 Pike Street.
My mom and dad ran the Isleta Theater in Albuquerque, NM, about 1950. At some point in time it appears to have been renamed the Esquire and perhaps later demolished.
If anybody could direct me to a photograph of the theater, I would very much appreciate it.
October 13, 2010
“OKLAHOMA!” 55TH ANNIVERSARY
The Original Todd-AO Roadshow Engagements
Compiled by Michael Coate
In commemoration of the 55th anniversary of the release of Oklahoma! and the introduction of the Todd-AO process, presented here is a list of the film’s original North American reserved-seat “roadshow” engagements. The classic Rodgers & Hammerstein film’s anniversary offers an opportunity to name-drop some famous theaters and to highlight for historical purposes those theaters which were the first anywhere in the world to be equipped for Todd-AO 70-millimeter presentation.
October 6, 2010
“SPARTACUS” 50TH ANNIVERSARY
The Roadshow Engagements
Compiled by Michael Coate
In commemoration of the golden anniversary of the release of Universal-International’s Spartacus, presented here is a list of the award-winning film’s principal roadshow engagements in the United States and Canada. The classic film’s anniversary offers an opportunity to name-drop some once-glorious theaters.
Directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier, Spartacus told the story of a gladiator who led a slave revolt during the 1st Century BC. Supporting cast included Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, John Gavin, and Tony Curtis.
Between the autumn of 1960 and the spring of 1962, U-I booked over 1,000 roadshow engagements of Spartacus before placing the film into general release. The vast majority of these were “modified” roadshows, which meant, essentially, exclusive engagements with an increase in admission price, reserved performances (without the reserved-seating component), two or three showings per day, and standard 35mm presentation. The “full” roadshow bookings (the focus of this article) meant, for the most part, reserved seating, ten scheduled showings per week, increased admission price, and presentation in 70-millimeter and six-track stereophonic sound.
I’m working on a documentary that talks about the closing of the old theaters, and the rise of hardcore in their place during the 60’s and 70’s in San Francisco. I’d love to talk to people who were there — who worked there, who frequented them (before and after) or can provide insight into how the neighborhoods changed.
Most of all, I’d love any feedback on the work I’ve done so far.