June 18, 2010
[b]HAPPY 35TH, “JAWS"
REMEMBERING THE ORIGINAL SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER ON ITS 35TH ANNIVERSARY
Compiled by Michael Coate[/b]
Robert Shaw (“Quint”), 1927-1978
Charlsie Bryant (Script Supervisor), 1917-1978
John R. Carter (Sound), 1907-1982
Verna Fields (Film Editor), 1918-1982
Howard Sackler (Screenwriter), 1929-1982
Murray Hamilton (“Vaughn”), 1923-1986
Roger Heman, Jr. (Sound), 1932-1989
Manfred Zendar (Technical Advisor), 1907-1990
Chris Rebello (“Michael Brody”), 1963-2000
Lew Wasserman (Universal Chairman), 1913-2002
Peter Benchley (Screenwriter), 1940-2006
Roy Scheider (“Brody”), 1932-2008
Shari Rhodes (Location Casting), 1938-2009
Ned Tanen (Universal Executive), 1931-2009
David Brown (Producer), 1916-2010
June 20, 1975…the day the modern summer blockbuster was born. (Or so goes the legend.)
May 27, 2010
The New York Times' Lens Blog of May 21, 2010, has an article on two Frenchmen, Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, who photograph 20th-century ruins. These are a lot of the same pictures from our post last month but this time, you can read about them in English. Among their favorite subjects are old American movie palaces, built from the 1910s to the 1930s. The article includes several pictures of theaters in big and small American cities, in various stages of renovation or ruin, some of them long demolished.
Among their favorite subjects are old movie palaces, built from the 1910s to the 1930s, when excitement about going to the movies was immense and theaters — like the films they showed — constructed fantasy and offered escape. Today, what remains of these spaces is poignant evidence of what going to the pictures used to mean.
“Fastuous and monumental buildings depict the way human beings projected their hopes and phantasms,” Mr. Marchand said.
You can see the article at the following link in the New York Times.
May 21, 2010
[b]HAPPY 30TH, “EMPIRE"
REMEMBERING "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK” ON ITS 30TH ANNIVERSARY
Compiled by Michael Coate[/b]
Leigh Brackett (Screenwriter), 1915-1978
John Barry (Second Unit Director), 1935-1979
Graham Freeborn (Chief Make-Up Artist), 1938-1986
Jack Purvis (“Chief Ugnaught”), 1937-1997
Alec Guiness (“Ben ‘Obi-Wan’ Kenobi”), 1914-2000
Terry Liebling (Casting), 1942-2001
Des Webb (“Snow Creature”), 1932-2002
Bruce Boa (“General Rieekan”), 1930-2004
Peter Diamond (Stunt Coordinator), 1929-2004
John Hollis (“Lando’s Aide”), 1931-2005
Michael Sheard (“Admiral Ozzel”), 1938-2005
David Tomblin (First Assistant Director), 1930-2005
Gareth Wigan (20th Century-Fox Executive), 1931-2010
Has it really been thirty years since the world was introduced to Yoda, the Imperial March and the thought that Darth Vader might be Luke Skywalker’s father?
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of (one of) the greatest sequel(s) ever made, I thought I’d present a package of information that includes some production history, historical data, trivia, and, for movie-theater enthusiasts, a list of the theaters in which Empire played upon its initial release. Those who saw the movie in one of the featured venues can reminisce about the experience while others can imagine what the experience must have been like.
May 17, 2010
SUN CITY CENTER, FL — Rosa Rio, one of the last surviving theater organists of the silent era (and one of the few who were female), died on May 13 at the age of 107. She practiced her craft in many of the famous movie palaces around the country including the Fox and Paramount theaters in Brooklyn; she later worked for both NBC and ABC, accompanying many of the original soap operas. She was active even as recently as last year, performing at the Tampa Theatre where a memorial will be held June 5.
She was extraordinarily positive, motivated and determined. She was able to seamlessly adapt to changes in the entertainment industry (silent films, talkies, radio, TV, and finally, back to silent films). “I can’t believe that I’ve been so fortunate to have been in so many things that went out and I bounced back,” she said in 2007. Her path was not without challenges. As the only woman in the orchestra pit, she routinely challenged men who considered her to be second fiddle because of her gender. She allayed those stereotypical reactions with talent, charm and a (sometimes bawdy) sense of humor.
Read the full story at the Tampa Theatre website.
May 14, 2010
June 20, 2010 will mark the 35th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking summer blockbuster, “Jaws”.
What can I possibly say that every fan of this film doesn’t already know? That it ushered in a new era of film marketing and wider theatrical releasing? That in between “The Exorcist” and “Star Wars” it was the highest grossing film of all time? That it instilled fears of going in the water that people probably still hold onto today? That it made Martha’s Vineyard more popular than it already was?
What’s the point? You already know all this. What I will, however, do is share a personal story with you regarding this film, and perhaps you will, too…
May 7, 2010
Need your help. What is the definitive itinerary for two movie freaks (especially vintage) visiting L.A. in September? What theaters, museums, locations must we see. Websites to visit, anything.
April 28, 2010
Can’t say I know French, but the pictures in this slideshow from Le Monde do a lot of talking. Check it out.
To know me is to know that I generally am not the blog or open web forum discussion type (this great website being the exception!). But I love movies (hate going!) and I love to write. So I decided that my own blog would be the best way to entertain both leisures.
Now I realize movie blogs are a dime-a-dozen all over the web. What I hope will make mine a little different is that I propose to watch every film in my collection (over 700 titles!) in their alphabetical order (from Abbott to Z) and then proceed NOT to write so much as a formal review (that is best left to professional film journalists), but rather to share my thoughts, my feelings, my memories and my favorite line or dialogue from the film.
April 23, 2010
Part 48: Orlando
The following is Part Forty-Eight in a series of retrospectives on Cinerama, the legendary motion picture process that kicked off the widescreen revolution. The series focuses on providing a market-by-market historical record of when and where Cinerama and its multi-panel clones were exhibited. The easy-to-reference articles serve to provide nostalgia to those who experienced the Cinerama presentations when they were new and to highlight the movie palaces in which the memorable screenings took place.
Part 1: New York City
Part 2: Chicago
Part 3: San Francisco
Part 4: Houston
Part 5: Washington, DC
Part 6: Los Angeles
Part 7: Atlanta
Part 8: San Diego
Part 9: Dallas
Part 10: Oklahoma City
Part 11: Syracuse
Part 12: Toronto
Part 13: Columbus
Part 14: Montreal
Part 15: Northern New Jersey
Part 16: Charlotte
Part 17: Vancouver
Part 18: Salt Lake City
Part 19: Boston
Part 20: Philadelphia
Part 21: Fresno
Part 22: Detroit
Part 23: Minneapolis
Part 24: Albuquerque
Part 25: El Paso
Part 26: Des Moines
Part 27: Miami
Part 28: Orange County
Part 29: Pittsburgh
Part 30: Baltimore
Part 31: Long Island
Part 32: Kansas City
Part 33: Milwaukee
Part 34: Nanuet/Rockland County
Part 35: Denver
Part 36: Worcester
Part 37: Toledo
Part 38: St. Louis
Part 39: Tampa
Part 40: Calgary
Part 41: Hartford
Part 42: Albany
Part 43: New Haven
Part 44: Sacramento
Part 45: Las Vegas
Part 46: Seattle
Part 47: Phoenix
And now…Part 48: Cinerama Presentations in Orlando, Florida!
April 21, 2010
RACINE, WI — You would not guess it look at his house, but Fred Hermes basement is a temple to movie palace nostalgia. Over fifty years ago, Fred bought, restored, and installed one of only three known Wurlitzer five manual theater organs that the company ever built, Opus 1531, originally installed 1926 in the Rapp & Rapp Michigan Theater in downtown Detroit. It is set in a 150 seat replica of a movie palace created out of elements from over four dozen now gone theaters.
There’s also a full complement of real percussion instruments: cymbals, a marimba, a harp, a glockenspiel—all controlled from the keyboard console. Thirty-five hundred wires connect the organ console to its thousands of voices. A room-sized fifteen horsepower blower powers the organ’s air supply. A separate two horsepower motor powers the current to the pipes and other instruments.
Hermes spent 46 years restoring this unique artifact of musical, cinematic, and technological history. His remarkable achievements have been recognized by the American Theatre Organ Society and other groups.