Memories

  • December 24, 2009

    Remembering Cinerama (Part 45: Las Vegas)

    REMEMBERING CINERAMA
    Part 45: Las Vegas

    The following is Part Forty-Five 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

    And now…Part 45: Cinerama Presentations in Las Vegas, Nevada!

  • December 15, 2009

    [i]Star Trek: The Motion Picture[/i] – Movie Memories 30 Years Later

    I can’t believe that its been 30 years since I saw this movie. It was a bitterly cold Saturday night, December 8, 1979. There was a line of 800 or so movie patrons that lined around the block of the KB Langley in Langley Park, MD. It was a midnight show that my older brother and I were attending as the previous shows had sold out prior.

    As the previous show’s audience filed out, we could see much chatter, smiles and heavily clothed patrons filing out eager to get to their cars and brave the wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain to get home. As we were about to file in, an individual came out to inform us that the film had broken and we would have to wait before we could get in? Wait before getting in? It’s already in the single digits outside, its freezing raining outside, can’t they still fix the film while we are inside the warmth of the theater? Besides, customers would be spending more money on food and drink waiting for the movie to start.

  • December 14, 2009

    Remembering Cinerama (Part 44: Sacramento)

    REMEMBERING CINERAMA
    Part 44: Sacramento

    The following is Part Forty-Four 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

    And now…Part 44: Cinerama Presentations in Sacramento, California!

  • December 4, 2009

    Former Maryland chief movie censor and theater owner passes

    BALTIMORE, MD — During her life spanning over ninety years, Rosalyn Shecter co-owned with her husband a number of Baltimore area theaters, including the still-operating Charles, the former Roxy, and the demolished Roslyn, named in her honor. In the 1960s, she had the power to order cuts made to films before they could be exhibited in the Old Line State; she later softened her stance and supported the film rating system.

    Born Rosalyn Margareten in New York City, she was granddaughter of the woman who founded the Horowitz-Margareten matzo and kosher foods business. She attended Hunter College and later studied sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

    She met her future husband, Baltimore advertising executive Lois E. Shecter, in Miami Beach. They married in 1939.

    Her husband bought several Baltimore theaters during this period, including the Charles, then called The Times because it showed newsreels on a continuous basis. She joined him in the operation of his other theaters – the Rex in Govans, the Roxy in East Baltimore and one he named for her, the Rosalyn, on Howard Street. It was torn down for an expansion of Maryland General Hospital many years ago.

    Read more in the Baltimore Sun.

  • November 30, 2009

    Memories of Tulsa’s theaters

    TULSA, OK — In a recent article, columnist David Jones shares memories of Tulsa’s theaters, including the Ritz, Majestic, Orpheum, and Rialto in downtown Tulsa, and the Will Rogers, Delman, and others further away from the city center.

    Back in those World War II days, there was a schedule for Hollywood’s product that seemed etched in stone. The four grand theaters were the Ritz, Orpheum, Majestic (just south of Fourth Street on Main) and the Rialto (between Boulder and Main on Third). They were all owned by the same firm, and every Thursday they would change their features. That meant, for a movie-mad tyke like me, the Wednesday Tulsa Tribune was a treasure indeed. Each Wednesday evening would feature lavish advertisements of a quarter page or more enticing fans to the theaters. The Ritz and the Orpheum got the cream of the crop. The Majestic got the best of the lesser product (the B movies) while the Rialto featured Roy Rogers or Hopalong Cassidy or my favorite: “Two-features-two Brought Back to Thrill You Again.”

    Most new movies played the downtown theaters a week. Occasionally one would be held over a week. Not until “Quo Vadis” played the Ritz in 1951 did I see a feature last more than two weeks, although I’m told “Gone With The Wind” managed a triple week booking.

    The whole article is here in GTR News.

  • November 18, 2009

    Happy 50th, “Ben-Hur”

    BEN-HUR
    50th Anniversary — The Roadshow Engagements

    Compiled by Michael Coate

    Commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s 1959 production of “Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ,” I would like to present a list of the award-winning film’s original North American roadshow engagements.

    The list, created for the sake of nostalgia and historical record, is noteworthy as it represents a breakdown of the first theaters anywhere to have played the film, and, as far as I know, such a list has never before been published. In addition, this (work-in-progress) article is a celebration of the fondly-remembered “Cinema Treasures” in which the film played as much as it is a celebration of the classic film.

    The bookings are listed chronologically by premiere date. Duration data has been included for selected entries, many of which are/were a record for a given market or theater.

  • November 11, 2009

    Memories of the downtown theaters of St. Paul

    ST. PAUL, MN — In a recent article in the Pioneer Press, writer Tom Webb, former movie critic Bill Diehl, and others recall the movie theaters of downtown St. Paul. The article focuses on the Paramount, Orpheum, Strand, Tower, Riviera, World, and Lyceum, Now only the World (now the Fitzgerald) and the Orpheum are still with us, the latter currently vacant and decaying. The article includes a slide show with pictures of each theater.

    Today, in an era of suburban multiplexes, video rentals and movie channels, the movie theater business model is radically different.

    Yet, to those who loved downtown’s Technicolor era, the memories are like something from the movies.

    ‘Wabasha and Seventh was the busiest corner in St. Paul in those days,’ said Rod Ripley, a retiree who remembers the heyday of the ‘40s and '50s. 'All the streetcars met there for transfers and would line up there after midnight to leave on the hour.’

    Read the whole article at TwinCities.com.

  • November 10, 2009

    Encore showings of “The Wizard of Oz” on Nov. 17, but has it peaked in terms of its appeal?

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The successful one-night showing of 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz” in hundreds of theaters across the country in September is prompting a second round of screenings in over 300 theaters on November 17.

    Tickets for The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Encore Event are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com For a complete list of theater locations and prices, please visit the web site (theaters are subject to change).

    “Tens of thousands of fans nationwide celebrated the 70th anniversary of this beloved family classic in local movie theaters in September and due to the overwhelming response, we are proud to present a final opportunity for fans to gather again and experience ‘The Wizard of Oz’ on the big screen,” said Dan Diamond, vice president of Fathom.

    Read the full announcement at Reuters.

  • November 2, 2009

    Those delightfully goofy William Castle promotional gimmicks

    SEATTLE, WA — A recent article in the online Seattle P-I notes that while the internet has been used to promote the success of low budget films such as “Paranormal Activity” and the “The Blair Witch Project,” those of us “of a certain age” fondly recall how schlockmeister William Castle used memorable “promotional innovations” as effectively to create buzz around movies such as “House on Haunted Hill” and “The Tingler”. Many will recall the theaters – many, if not most, themselves now just memories – where we experienced “Emergo,” “Percepto,” and “Illusion-0”

    William Castle didn’t just produce scary movies, he PRODUCED scary movies. To him, filming the movie was one thing, but marketing it was quite another. His promotional innovations (or “gimmicks” for you less romantic souls) earned him the title “The Schlockmeister” and he reveled in his reputation. Like a carnie barker, Castle would appear in a filmed segment before the start of each of his movies to hype the special “icing” associated with that particular film.

    Read the whole article at Seattle Pi.

  • October 30, 2009

    Happy 50th, “Sleeping Beauty”

    Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty"
    50th Anniversary — The Original Engagements

    Commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Walt Disney’s animated film production of “Sleeping Beauty,” I’ve put together a list of the film’s original roadshow* bookings. These were the first cinemas anywhere to play the film and, for the most part, the only ones to showcase the film in 70mm and stereophonic sound. This article is a celebration of the cinemas in which the film played as much as it is a celebration of the classic film.

    (*Officially, “Sleeping Beauty” was not a roadshow release since screenings were continuous and seats were not reserved. However, many moviegoers and historians tend to remember the film as a roadshow because the film was booked initially as a 70mm exclusive in roadshow markets.)

    The original “Sleeping Beauty” presentations included the CinemaScope short film “Grand Canyon.”