Comments from edblank

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edblank commented about Radio City Music Hall on Jan 2, 2017 at 7:14 pm

Al, “Flying Down to Rio” was rated A-3 several years ago. It was never rated before. Indeed, it was released three years before the Legion of Decency came into existence (1936).

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edblank commented about Radio City Music Hall on Jan 2, 2017 at 6:48 pm

What is OP, Al?

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edblank commented about Radio City Music Hall on Jan 2, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Anyone can post anything on Wikipedia, which is why in the newspaper business we were never allowed to quote or take any unverified information from there. The misinformation quotient makes it unreliable.

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edblank commented about Radio City Music Hall on Jan 2, 2017 at 10:29 am

The only one of those movies that was “C” (condemned) was “Never on Sunday.” “Psycho” and “Some Like It Hot” were “B.” “Spartacus” was A-3. Most of the “Carry On” films were A’s rather than B’s. Although I have the original ratings book, this information is readily available on the Internet. I did monitor it closely as a kid as the ratings came out every two weeks as I recall.

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edblank commented about Radio City Music Hall on Jan 1, 2017 at 4:09 pm

“The Last Temptation of Christ” also received an “O” rating, with this explanation: “Deeply flawed screen adaptation of the Nikos Kazantzakis novel probing the mystery of the human nature of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, fails because of artistic inadequacy rather than anti-religious bias. Director Martin Scorsese’s wrong-headed insistence on gore and brutality, as well as a preoccupatiuon with sexual rather than spirtual love, is compounded by screenwriter Paul Schrader’s muddled script, shallow characterizations and flat dialogue delivered woodenly by William Dafoe in the title role. Excessively graphic violence, several sexually explicit scenes and some incidental nudity.” (O) ® ( 1988 )

The “pledge” taken in Catholic churches annually for many years was a generalized agreement not to support “indecent” entertainment. It did not carry specific penalties for Catholics.

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edblank commented about Radio City Music Hall on Jan 1, 2017 at 4:05 pm

“Rosemary’s Baby” received an “O” (morally offensive)rating from the National Catholic Officer of Motion Pictures, successor to the Legion of Decency. The “C” rating (condemned) had been discarded. Here’s the official explanation: “Modern-day horror story about a young husband (John Cassavetes) who turns his wife (Mia Farrow), body and soul, over to the next-door neighbors, a coven of witches (led by Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer) so she can become the mother of Satan Incarnate. Directed by Roman Polanski, the production values are topnotch and performances completely chilling, but the movie’s inverted Christian elements denigrate religious beliefs. Brief nudity. (O) ® ( 1968 )

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edblank commented about Radio City Music Hall on Dec 31, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Not again! The Legion of Decency (LOD)is regularly cited for condemning (“C” rating) the most innocuous movies. Even the hallowed TCM runs documentaries in which some blithering idiot of another accuses the LOD of condemning some classic such as “Singin' in the Rain” or “Miracle on 34th Street” when in fact some were rated “B” (objectionable in part) for such reasons as “suggestive costuming and dance,” “reflects the acceptability of divorce” or “low moral tone.” There was no pressure on even Catholics to avoid such “B-rated” films. Period. The ratings were for Catholics and reflected the more stringent moral code of their era. It was extremely rare for a major American movie to carry a “C” rating. “Baby Doll” was one, “Kiss Me, Stupid” another. The National Catholic Office of Motion Pictures, a later identity for the LOD, rated “The Odd Couple” A-III for “some sexual references.”

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edblank commented about Loews Festival Theatre on Aug 14, 2016 at 7:03 pm

I remember now, but had forgotten, that oddity of the Festival being relatively flat for a major Manhattan first-run art house.

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edblank commented about Harris Theatre 42nd Street on Jul 30, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Interesting that the marquee for “The Untouchables” contains two lines of ad copy and billing for De Niro and Connery but nothing for top-billed Kevin Costner, who obviously means less on 42nd Street.

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edblank commented about Eastland Mall Theatre on Feb 22, 2016 at 10:09 am

According to Ross Falvo, a former manager of Eastland Mall’s theater, it closed Aug. 1, 1993.

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edblank commented about Eastland Mall Theatre on Feb 20, 2016 at 12:01 pm

The theater was thriving and in excellent condition when Ross Falvo was manager back in the day. I’ll ask if he he remembers when the theater closed, although he was not there by then.

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edblank commented about Sheridan Square Theatre on Jan 6, 2016 at 8:20 am

Gene Kelly worked there briefly in his teens, also, although I cannot specifically recall confirming that detail with him or with Gorshin. Although the Enright was the largest theater in East Liberty, the Sheridan Square was the neighborhood’s second largest and its crown jewel.

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edblank commented about Carmike Galleria 6 on Jun 17, 2015 at 9:05 am

The theater did not close in 2010 as projected in the brief introduction posted here. In 2014 the six auditoriums were renovated. The capacity was reduced in each to 97 comfortably spaced seats. Though the theater does not have stadium seating, each row is about three inches higher than the row in front of it.

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edblank commented about Carmike Galleria 6 on Jun 17, 2015 at 9:02 am

Correct. Mt. Lebanon is a suburb, about eight miles southwest of Downtown Pittsburgh.

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edblank commented about Metropolitan Theater on Sep 23, 2014 at 8:14 am

The current Starbucks building was indeed the neighborhood’s other moviehouse. It was called the Plaza, by far the nicer of the two side-by-side theaters in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood. It survived decades longer than the Metropolitan. See separate Cinema Treasures file on the Plaza.

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edblank commented about Strand Theatre on Nov 22, 2013 at 8:38 am

The Etna Theater in Etna was another locally in which you entered the theater from behind the screen. Was never in that one but was in the Strand many times. One marked disadvantage: Anyone entering or leaving the theater during a movie or anyone going to and from the concession stand (behind the screen) tended to pull one’s focus from the screen. There are auditoriums of Manhattan multiplexes like this, also.

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edblank commented about State Theatre on Oct 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm

This is a longshot, but … As a child in 1952 I visited an adult sibling in Youngstown and saw movies with her that were playing concurrently that weekend. Can anyone tell me which Downtown Youngstown theater played “Where’s Charley?” and which played “Don’t Bother to Knock” (those theaters were practically side by side) and which played the reissued double bill of “Dodge City” and “Virginia City”? That theater was less impressive than the other two and was directly across the street from “Where’s Charley?” as I recall. Many thanks for any help.

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edblank commented about Liberty Theater on Feb 27, 2013 at 9:11 am

That’s a different Liberty Theater, Charmaine. Yours was located in the beighborhood of East Liberty. This site is for the Liberty still operating in Downtown Pittsburgh, a site formerly known as the Art Cinema.

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edblank commented about Tri-State Drive-In on Dec 25, 2012 at 7:21 am

Up until perhaps the 1970s, there was an indoor theater called the Mary Ann, which I believe was in McDonald PA. There seems to be no Cinema Treasures entry for it. Can anyone help here? I’m asking on the Tri-State Drive-In forum because I think the Mary Ann and the Tri-State were rural neighbors. Thank you.

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edblank commented about Palace Theatre on Nov 6, 2012 at 9:05 am

At the risk of going too far afield from the subject of Manhattan’s Palace Theatre, the film of “The Diary of Anne Frank” opened in Pittsburgh in May 1959 at the Nixon, the city’s main legit national touring company theater and one of two Downtown theaters (the Warner being the other) that shared the roadshow (reserved seat)films.

It was the Nixon, for example, that had the roadshow film engagements of “Guys and Dolls,” “South Pacific,” “West Side Story” and “The Sound of Music,” for example.

The “Anne Frank” movie was booked to stretch from May through the summer until the 1959-60 legit season began in the fall.

“Anne Frank” drew so poorly, though (less than $5,000 in its second, third and fourth weeks) that it closed after four days of its fifth week.

My guess as to what worked against the film version is that – whether as a higher-priced roadshow engagement or not – it “sensed” to moviegoers like a long slog in a single, confined set.

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edblank commented about Liberty Theatre on Oct 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm

This Liberty Theater was, indeed, near the beginning of Frankstown Avenue in Pittsburgh’s once-thriving East Liberty neighborhood.

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edblank commented about Loews State Theatre 4 on Sep 5, 2012 at 11:41 am

I, too, found it interesting that there was almost never anyone in that subterranean quad despite a fair amount of traffic in the music store and the video store beneath that.

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edblank commented about Rivoli Theatre on Jul 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I recall an even earlier ad in Variety in which the “Cleopatra” cast consisted of Joan Collins, Stephen Boyd and Peter Finch. I’d forgotten that Collins was the first to drop out. Or perhaps, as the budget escalated, Fox opted to replace her by (famously) agreeing to pay Elizabeth Taylor the $1 million she asked for.

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edblank commented about Cinema Wexford on Apr 18, 2012 at 8:48 am

My recollection of the sequence of events is that it shifted from first-run to late-run bargain house after Showcase Cinemas North opened and, with incomparably greater corporate clout and state-of-the-art amenities, took control of first-run product.

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edblank commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Apr 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Might you be referring to the Art Greenwich, which was twinned in its final years?