Comments from bigjoe59

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bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Sep 14, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Hello to patryan6019-

as I said I was 98% accurate in my memory so I
don’t mind you adding new info. to which two new
question-

*the souvenir program I bought at The Lion In Winter was the traditional one with staples in the spine. I bought it at the film’s premiere roadshow run at the Lincoln Art Theater on 57th Street. I never knew it had a hardcover edition as well.at what theater did you by yours?

*also while its not perfect I find Kim Holston’s book “Movie Roadshows” fascinating since its the only book I have ever come across on the subject. now during the silent era the author lists 85 feature films as having opened on roadshow runs
in Manhattan. now whether I own them or have read about them i know of only five souvenir programs- The Birth of A Nation, The Big Parade, Ben-Hur, Don Juan and The King of Kings. i can’t believe of the 85 films Holston lists only 5 had souvenir programs. what’s your best guess at finding out which of the other 80 films had souvenir programs?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Pantages Theatre on Sep 11, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Hello From NYC-

i recently got the Blu-ray disc of The Great Race which has always been my favorite of the large scale action comedies released in the 60s. if I am not mistaken TGR played at this theater in a traditional roadshow engagement which lased I think between 5 and 6 months.

did anyone happen to see it during said run?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Sep 8, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Hello to All-

in reference to Al A.’s comment about the 3 big AMC multiplexes being cash cows. you have to remember these three big complexes have a policy of discount prices before 12:00p.m. on Fri., Sat. and Sun. for any film regular, 3D or IMAX. I’m surprised this theater doesn’t offer the discount.

oddly enough eventhough this policy is the reason for these three multiplexes raking in the bucks for early shows Fri., Sat. & Sun. which they’ve been doing for years the Regal 42 St. multiplex and the Regal Union Square 14 multiplex still don’t offer the discount. I think the only other chain to offer the before 12:00p.m. discount on Fri., Sat and Sun. is City Cinemas.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Sep 7, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Hello to All-

we are having a lively discussion aren’t we? Al A. makes some valid points but it is still my belief that the one main reason the Ziegfeld rarely has a full house is because whatever big film plays there is also playing at 12 other theaters in Manhattan. its NOT because of the location. after all if the theater was hard to find why was the 1st show of the day of Les Miserables the day after Christmas 2012 rather well attended? not only that but when I left the theater there was a line half down 54th St. for the next show.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Uptown Theater on Sep 5, 2014 at 10:22 pm

to richmurphy-

I guess no matter how well reviewed or not a roadshow film was its theatrical shelf life still varied from city to city. now I don’t remember how long Circus World’s roadshow run was at the Warner Cinerama at Bway & 47 St. but it was most certainly longer than 3 weeks. so I’m guessing whatever merits the film may have had were more inviting to NYC moviegoers than D.C. moviegoers. still a roadshow run of only 3 weeks especially for a big well publicized film regardless of whether is was Oscar material still seems inordinately short. hey the biggest roadshow disappointment in the prime Oct. 1955 thru Dec. 1972 period in Manhattan was Half a Sixpence which ran 6 weeks.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Sep 5, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Hello to All-

I have an interesting question pertaining to roadshow films. some studios seemed more adept at keeping complete roadshow prints in good condition than others. for instance all of MGM’s roadshow epics released by Warner Home Video first on dvd and now blu-ray are the original roadshow prints. yet on the available dvd and blu-ray of South Pacific and The Sand Pebbles only the general release prints are in good condition. the accompanying roadshow prints are quite uneven. any thoughts?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Sep 5, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Hello to All-

I thank all of my fellow posters who commented on my question as to how “off the beaten track” the Ziegfeld is. the reason the Ziegfeld rarely has anything amounting to a decent sized audience is because any “big” film which opens there also opens at a dozen other theaters in Manhattan. my point being said lack of a decent sized audience has nothing to do with it “being off the beaten path” in the strict sense of the term. after all people had no trouble
finding it in the 70s and 80s when it still played exclusive 1st runs.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Sep 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm

to CConnolly1-

you certainly make a valid point about the foot traffic around the Ziegfeld once the workday is over. but and there’s always a butt.

though Marooned was the theater’s one reserved seat engagement studios continued to use the theater for exclusive 1st runs even after the reserved seat policy was discontinued. these exclusive engagements were for both new films and restored classics(My Fair Lady, Vertigo etc..). so if people were able to easily find the Ziegfeld when studios still used it for exclusive 1st runs I don’t see why people should have trouble finding it now. plus I bet the foot traffic after the work day was over was no different then than it is now.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Sep 3, 2014 at 1:32 am

Hello to All-

thanks Al for validating my inquiry as to whether CAGS opened at this theater on a traditional roadshow engagement. its possible the recently released blu-ray disc is the general release print since of all the roadshow films i went to I never remember one without an intermission.

also to techman707. I don’t wish to sound vain in my knowledge of roadshow souvenir programs but I am confident that Hawaii was the last such film to have a hardcover one.

also to answer your question. I do not have a souvenir program for The Jazz Singer. my oldest souvenir program is for the silent version of Ben-Hur which opened Dec. 1925.

while we’re on the subject. I am one of the few people I know of who collects souvenir programs that has a complete one for 1926’s Don Juan with John Barrymore. I say complete because in the center of the program they placed a large sized color post card of Barrymore in costume. I should think programs which still have the card are more valuable then those that don’t.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Sep 2, 2014 at 2:13 am

Hello to All-

hey I’m not 19 anymore either but I pride myself on being say 98% correct in my recollections. according to “Movie Roadshows” by Kim Holston CAGS opened at this theater March 30, 1966 on a roadshow engagement. in fact I can remember seeing a full page ad about advance tickets sales in the Arts and Leisure section of the Sunday Times weeks before the film opened.

also I happen to like “Hawaii”. its one of the big roadshow films of the 1955-1972 period that is better than its slightly off reputation. I saw it at this theater during its original roadshow engagement. I just hope at whatever point they release a blu-ray disc of the film it is in fact the complete roadshow print.

also “Hawaii” has interesting distinction. its the last of the roadshow films to have a hardcover souvenir program.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Aug 31, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Hello-

I just watched the Blu-ray disc of Cast A Giant Shadow which was released this past Tues. a very entertaining though fictionalized account of the events. rather a well done grand scale film.

to which my question. the film opened at this theater the Spring of 1966 on a roadshow engagement. the interesting part is that on the blu-ray disc the film has no intermission. I thought intermissions were part and parcel of roadshow engagements?

also the blu-ray disc has a running time of 2 hrs. 18mins.. yet the Wikipedia page on the film gives the film a running time of 2hrs. 26mins. what happened to the other 8 minutes? if you are going to release a blu-ray disc of a roadshow film shouldn’t it be the roadshow print?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 31, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Hello Again to Joe Vogel-

from the wording of your reply about the Fine Arts it appears you might be an administrator of this site. if you are a question for you-

the golden age of grand old movie theater building was approx. 1914-1941. now many of said grand old theaters built during this period were built from the get go as 2nd/3rd run neighborhood houses. the Castro in S.F. a perfect example. which brings me to my question. I created a project to see how many of said grand old movie theaters that were built from the get go as premiere 1st run venues have continued to operate as such since the day they opened. the only one I have been able to find is the Chinese. so is it really possible that of all the grand old movie theaters built 1914-1941 from the get go as premiere 1st run venues the Chinese is the only one in all 50 states that has continued to operate as such? very sad if that’s the case.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 31, 2014 at 7:13 pm

to Joe Vogel-

I looked again at the 1968 page for 70MM in L.A. to make sure I hadn’t gotten the name wrong. but for the Oct.25 opening of The Charge of the Light Brigade it is in fact referred to as the Fox Fine Arts Theater.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 29, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Hello-

I clicked on the link Coate included for 70MM in L.A. and clicked on 1968. that year the Chinese hosted two roadshow engagements. I was familiar with all the theaters on the 1968 list except for two- the 4 Star and The Fox Fine Arts. as in NYC the studios would occasionally book reserve seat runs into theater not traditionally used for such engagements. now the 4 Star which has been a church for many years is in the process of being razed. but I could find no mention of the Fox Fine Arts on this website. what name is it listed under?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 28, 2014 at 10:44 pm

to E. O. Norton and Coate-

many thanks for your assistance with my inquiry. as Norton suggested I looked at the theater website and clicked on “every film to play the Chinese”. and found that in addition to West Side Story and Hello Dolly the Chinese hosted 3 other roadshows-Windjammer, Half A Sixpence and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

a question for both of you. in the prime roadshow period of Oct. 1955 thru Dec. 1972 i have always found it interesting that whatever studio was involved would open a film on a traditional roadshow engagement in city but not another. for instance Cast A Giant Shadow opened on a traditional roadshow run at the Demille in Manhattan but opened on continuous performance at the Chinese. in reverse The Great Race opened on a continuous performance run in Manhattan but on a traditional roadshow run at the Pantages. i have always found that a odd way of doing things. what’s your take?

and for Coate-

i posed a question for you on the page for the Uptown in D.C. that i would greatly appreciate your thoughts on. its dated Aug. 5th 2014 2:16p.m.. thanks for your assistance.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Hello From NYC-

before I found this website I was unaware that this theater hosted roadshow engagements or reserved seat movie as me and my friends called them. to which my question. the period from the Oct. 1955 opening of Oklahoma to the Dec. 1972 opening of Man of La Mancha I refer to as the prime roadshow period. now during this period did the Chinese host any roadshow engagements other than West Side Story and Hello Dolly?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Hello From NYC-

before I found this website I was unaware that this theater hosted roadshow engagements or reserved seat movie as me and my friends called them. to which my question. the period from the Oct. 1955 opening of Oklahoma to the Dec. 1972 opening of Man of La Mancha I refer to as the prime roadshow period. now during this period did the Chinese host any roadshow engagements other than West Side Story and Hello Dolly?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Hello-

this question is for devotees of the good olde reserved seat policy or to use the trade term roadshow policy. of course the only roadshow engagement this theater hosted was its initial film “Marooned”. so for the Oct. 1955 to Dec. 1972 prime roadshow period did anyone attend or know of a reserved seat run that did not have a souvenir program?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Hello From NYC-

I refer to the Oct. 1955 opening of Oklahoma to the Dec. 1972 opening of Man of La Mancha as the prime roadshow period. so from its opening Nov. 1963 to when the roadshow policy was discontinued the Dome hosted many a reserved seat engagement. to which my question- can anyone remember a roadshow engagement at the Dome that did not have a souvenir program?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 10, 2014 at 3:56 pm

to Escott O. Norton-

thanks for the reply to my inquiry. to which I want to make sure I understand your reply. so are you saying that although the Chinese is now a state of the art IMAX theater following its Sept. 2013 reopening that it still faces the same problem as the Ziegfeld in Manhattan? a companion question. since its reopening have there been any “big” films that had almost sell out crowds? when the theater reopened last Sept. its new sound and projection was highly lauded by everyone. yet from the posting by the person who saw Catching Fire on Sun. two days after it opened the person was shocked the theater was at the most 20% full. to bad if that’s the case.

in Manhattan many theaters have discount rates for shows before 12 noon but the Ziegfeld is not one of them. so if a “big” film opens at a number of theaters in Manhattan that offer the discount rate I will see it at the Ziegfeld because while it may sell out at the smaller theaters I know no matter how critically lauded the film is the Ziegfeld will be at the most 25% filled.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Aug 8, 2014 at 3:02 pm

to Ed S.–

it is certainly sad especially since I remember the Mayfair/Demille as one of the prime roadshow houses from 1955-1972(its last roadshow was The Shoes of the Fisherman Nov. 1968).

to which a question. after I discovered this wonderful site the last week of Jan. 2012 I created a project for myself. said project being to find the 1st theater built in Manhattan brick by brick from the ground up with the intent of showing movies or flickers as they were called. using this site the oldest I was able to find is the Crescent which was located at 36 W. 135 St. and opened on the site the night of Dec. 16, 1909 as a combo picture house and vaudeville theater.

I contacted the New York Historical Society and asked them since if anyone could say authoritatively they could. guess what? the Reference Librarian e-mailed back and said even they are a tad fuzzy on the 1st purpose built brick by brick from the ground up movie theater in Manhattan. since whatever “movie theaters” existed in Manhattan in the first several years of the biz were music halls, vaudeville theaters, legitimate theaters or decent sized unused retail spaces that were simply converted to show films you would think the first purpose built brick by brick from the ground up movie theater would have been made note of in the press of the day.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Uptown Theater on Aug 6, 2014 at 5:45 pm

to Coate-

again many many thanks for the list of the other D.C. houses the studios used for roadshow engagements. it was rather kind of you to do so. added to the Uptown list you kindly provided for me I guess this covers all the prime Oct.1955-Dec.1972 roadshow engagements. also when you have a spare moment I would greatly appreciate your take on why Circus World’s roadshow run at the Uptown lasted only 3 weeks whereas other hyped roadshow epics which likewise received critically mixed reviews sometimes lasted 15-20 weeks.thanks in advance.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 6, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Hello From NYC-

in Manhattan the Ziegfeld is still in my opinion the theater to see a big action and or science fiction/fantasy film. this is for both sound and projection which brings me to my question.

no matter how critically well received a film might be and no matter how popular it is with moviegoers the Ziegfeld is never very full even at optimum times like Sat. or Sun. screenings. this is of course due to the fact that every action/science fiction/fantasy film opens on 2,000-3,000 screens on the same day. now I’m assuming no film which plays the Chinese will be playing in another theater in the immediate Hollywood area. but there is all of L.A.. so even with the recent upgrade at the Chinese does it in fact have the same problem as the Ziegfeld?

I remember last Nov. a poster mentioned he and friends went to a Sun. afternoon screening only two days after it opened of Catching Fire and the theater was at the most 20% full.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Uptown Theater on Aug 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm

to Coate-

many many thanks for your detailed list. it was quite kind of you. since you appear to be quite well versed on the subject a two part question.

*during the prime roadshow era(Oct. 1955-Dec.1972) Manhattan had 7 large 1st run venues that the studios used for roadshow engagements-Criterion, Loew’s State, RKO Palace, Demille ,Warner, Rivoli and the Loew’s Captiol. while it would be nice to have as detailed a list per the Uptown for all of D.C.’s roadshow houses that’s asking a bit much so could you at least name what other D.C. houses were used by the studios for roadshow runs.thanks.

*I’m not saying it was Oscar material or one of the best large scale action epics but Circus World’s 3 week roadshow rum seems inordinately short. I don’t know how long its roadshow run at the Warner Cinerama was but it was way longer than 3 weeks. you would figure with all the pre-lease hype for CW and whatever advance sales were in place before opening night what’s up. again I’m not saying it was Oscar material or one of the great large scale action epics but there were a number of roadshow epics in New York that got a mixed critical response but still ran for 15-20 weeks.
so what’s with CW’s 3 week D.C. roadshow run?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Aug 3, 2014 at 10:18 pm

to Al A.–

as always thanks for your reply. while I am happy this theater is still alive and well as stated in my last e-mail as hard as I have tried I can’t remember the last time this theater hosted an exclusive engagement. so i suppose it had to be before the opening in 2,000 to 3,000 theaters on the same day trend started. for instance were Close Encounters of the Third Kind(Nov. 1977) and The Rose(Nov. 1979)exclusive runs?