Comments from bigjoe59

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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?

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?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Aug 3, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Hello to Al A.–

you have always been kind to answer my inquiries so here’s a good one that I have not been able to find the answer to but I bet you know it. even after studios abandoned the reserved seat exhibition policy they still opened their “big” films in one maybe two theaters in Manhattan. so do you know the last exclusive engagement this theater hosted? I’m speaking of new films so the Oct. 1996 exclusive run of the restored “Vertigo” doesn’t count.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jul 29, 2014 at 8:51 pm

to Bill H.–

thanks for the other titles from when the studios still used the Ziegfeld for exclusive 1st run engagements. since this theater is the place to see widescreen films that’s why it was frequently sold out years ago. it was the only theater in Manhattan if the not the city playing a film.

which prompts two additional questions-

*as I stated in my post if people had no trouble finding and getting to the theater 20-25 years ago how is it “off the beaten path” today?

*what was in fact the last exclusive 1st run engagement of a studio film at the Ziegfeld? the special 2 week runs of Dreamgirls and The Princess and the Frog before hey opened wide don’t count.:–)

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jul 29, 2014 at 7:58 pm

to AL A.–

after posting my query I looked up on Amazon and both a vhs and dvd of CAGS have been released. I am surprised I never came across either when home video stores were all over Manhattan.

also a new question you’re going to need to put your thinking cap on for. in the NYC metropolitan area countless theaters were designed by premiere movie theater architects Thomas Lamb and John Ebberson. so many I figured how did either one have time to eat or sleep. and this isn’t even counting other theaters they designed across the country. now rather recently I read that after their careers were up and running both created firms that had architects other than them. so that many of the movie theaters attributed to “Thomas Lamb” per se may have actually been designed by someone else in the firm. this sounded reasonable to me since I can’t imagine how either Lamb or Ebberson could possibly have designed and coordinated construction all the theater attributed to them.

to which my question- how can one find out how many theaters attributed to either Lamb or Ebberson were actually personally designed by them? much in the same vein as how many buildings, monuments etc… attributed to the firm of McKim/Meade/White were actually designed by McKim, Meade or White?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jul 29, 2014 at 7:40 pm

to robboehm-

I suppose we all have different takes on what’s “off the beaten path”. being a native life long New Yorker nothing is off the beaten path for me.

per you comment the Ziegfeld is only two blocks from Radio City Music Hall. also when the Ziegfeld was still used by the studios for exclusive 1st run engagement people had no trouble finding it. you should have seen the block long lines for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The Rose among others. likewise the restored Lawrence of Arabia, My Fair Lady & Vertigo.

so if people had no trouble finding/getting to the theater 25 or 20 years ago they shouldn’t have any trouble today.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jul 28, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Hello-

I was thinking about all the roadshow engagements this theater hosted in the prime Oct. 1955 to Dec. 1972 period. one in particular came to mind “Cast A Giant Shadow” released by United Artists and starring Kirk Douglas which opened here the Spring of 1966.

to which my question- of all the films which played this theater on a roadshow engagement CAGS is the only one I have never seen on home video vhs let alone dvd or blu-ray. I have always wanted to see the film to judge it for myself. could there be some legal hold up as to why its never been out on any home video format.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Jul 28, 2014 at 8:50 pm

to CConnolly1-

like you I always like going to the Ziegfeld for the quality of the projection and sound. plus like you I am surprised the theater is still in operation. the overhead most be sizable. I’m guessing the reason the theater is still open as a 1st run venue is that Bow Tie Cinemas would have a revolt on their hands if it was twinned, demolished or converted to other use.

also no matter how well reviewed a film is and no matter how popular the film might be with the public there’s a very simple reason why the Ziegfeld is rarely if ever at capacity. any film it shows is also playing at probably 12 other theaters in Manhattan.

and might I be so bold as to ask you a question- you are not the first person to refer to the Ziegfeld via “its location is well off the beaten track”. how is a theater on 54th St. off 6th Ave. off the beaten track?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about AMC announces massive reseating project on Jul 17, 2014 at 7:19 pm

i live in NYC and the price for first run films is already WAY TO EXPENSIVE. so like 3-D this is simply a way to soak more $$$ out of the audience. this is especially true since at the Bway & 84 St. multiplex you’re forced to pay for a “reserved seat” even if there’s only 10 people in the theater.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jul 8, 2014 at 12:37 am

Hello to my fellow posters-

there are a number of roadshow engagements that had souvenir programs but I do not have in my collection. hence my question. other than EBay does anyone know of a website that sells movie memorabilia? of the handful of sites selling movie memorabilia that I’ve seen the only programs listed are the ones I already have.

I recently read “Movie Roadshows” by Kim Rolston and I was amazed at the number of such films that had souvenir programs I have never come across. any help would be appreciated.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jul 6, 2014 at 9:26 pm

to techman 707-

the not sending out of messages noting someone has responded to a comment is happening again. I did not receive a note in my inbox that my entry on souvenir programs had been replied to by you..

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jul 1, 2014 at 10:16 pm

to Ed S.–

the prime roadshow era was from the Oct. 1955 opening of Oklahoma to the Dec. 1972 opening of Man of La Mancha after which the studios discontinued the policy. I have 137 souvenir programs in my collection. I have to admit a dozen or so of that number are not actual souvenir programs sold in the theater lobby but fancy brochures the studio released to publicize the film.

of the 125 souvenir programs in my collection
13 are hardcover.other than the hardcovers in my collection the only other one I know of is for Porgy and Bess which played the Warner.

of the 13 I own two are from films which opened when this theater was the Demille a prime roadshow house. namely Spartacus and Hawaii.

the other 11 are-

The Alamo Around the World in 80 Days Ben-Hur(1959) El Cid The Greatest Story Ever Told How The West Was Won King of Kings(1961) Mutiny on the Bounty(1962) My Fair Lady South Pacific The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

a bit of info on just how elaborate these hardcover programs could get. both the Ben-Hur and Spartacus programs had a fold out with several watercolor paintings of scenes from the film. and to top that the King of Kings program included a sealed package of 8x10 color photo portraits of the main actors in the film.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Capitol Theatre on Jul 1, 2014 at 1:26 am

to William-

thanks for the info. as you state the 179min. cut was just used in previews and was cut to 158mins. for the premiere roadshow runs like the one at the Capitol. so however long the film’s roadshow run was at the Capitol the Dodge City sequence was intact the entire run and was only cut for the general release prints which went to neighborhood theaters around NYC.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jul 1, 2014 at 1:16 am

to techman 707-

I asked around so to speak and Cheyenne Autumn’s premiere engagement at the Loew’s Capitol was a traditional roadshow engagement with 2 shows during the week and 3 on the weekend. unfortunately it didn’t have a healthy or long run. still since it was a traditional premiere roadshow engagement I just can’t imagine it not having a souvenir program regardless of the length of said engagement.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Capitol Theatre on Jun 30, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Hello-

a further question about Cheyenne Autumn. was the engagement of the film which opened Dec. 1964 a traditional 2 shows during the week and 3 on the weekend roadshow engagement?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 27, 2014 at 7:40 pm

to techman 707-

thanks for your reply about roadshow engagements having souvenir programs. the reason I ask is simple. I have approx. 135 souvenir programs in my collection starting with the one for the 1925 silent version of Ben-Hur. most I bought at the theater when I saw the film others at memorabilia shops in Manhattan and L.A..to which with all the memorabilia shops I’ve been too and all the online sites selling such stuff I have never come across souvenir programs for such prominent roadshow engagements as The Diary of Anne Frank(RKO Palace),Cheyenne Autumn (Loew’s Capitol)and Gigi which played the Royal which was normally a legit theater. these are just a few of the prominent roadshow engagements in the 17 year period mentioned for which I have never come across a souvenir program. so I wondered if quite possibly they didn’t have one hence my question.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Embassy 1,2,3 Theatre on Jun 27, 2014 at 12:08 am

Hello-

my fellow posters have always been most kind in answering my questions. this time I have a good one on a subject that I find interesting.the prime roadshow period was the Oct. 1955 opening of “Oklahoma” at the Rivoli thru the Dec.1972 opening of “The Man of La Mancha” also at the Rivoli. now in this a bit over 17 year period the studios heavily used 7 Times Square theaters for their roadshow engagements(Criterion, Loew’s State, RKO Palace,Demille,Warner, Rivoli and the Loew’s Capitol). which is where my question comes in. Regardless of how good a film turned out to be if a film played at one of these 7 theaters it can be classified as a prominent release. so can anyone think of a prominent roadshow engagement at any of the 7 theaters named above that did not have a souvenir program? every roadshow engagement I ever went to had a souvenir program so I can’t imagine a prominent roadshow run not having one.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 with IMAX on Jun 22, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Hello-

I can’t stand the reclining seats the 84th multiplex has. for one if you a big person and I don’t mean overweight just big your leg is constantly pressing up against the button with opens the chair. its almost impossible if you are a big person to just sit in the chair in a regular fashion comfortably.

also the pricing at 84th St. is highway robbery. ticket prices for 1st run theaters in Manhattan are already to high. yet the 84 St. forces you to pay more for a “reserved seat” even if there are only 5 people in the theater.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Capitol Theatre on Jun 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Hello-

thanks for the info on Cheyenne Autumn. another question. from when i went with my parents to when i started going by myself one thing i always liked about reserved seat engagements was buying the souvenir program in the lobby during intermission. i have approx. 135 in my collection most of which i bought at theaters. others were purchased in memorabilia stores. which is where my question comes in. did Cheyenne Autumn have a souvenir program? i can’t imagine a big epic like CA with a big director and big stars released on a reserved seat engagement not having a souvenir program. yet in all memorabilia stores i have been to and all the online memorabilia sites i have looked at i have never seen one. in fact there are a few others big even award winning reserved seat films i have never come across a souvenir program for. i always thought roadshow engagements and souvenir programs were inseparable like peanut butter and jelly.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Strand Theatre on Jun 17, 2014 at 1:50 am

to William-

thanks for the info. just to be sure another question or two. i assume Stevens longest cut at 4 hrs. 20 mins. like Mankiewicz’s 5 hr. 20 min. cut of Cleopatra was never theatrically shown . now was the 238 min. cut you refer to used just
for the World Premiere night screening or was it used for the entire roadshow run the Warner. in other words how long was the 238min. cut used at the Warner and at what point did they switch to the 3hr. 19 min. cut used on the blu-ray. i am wondering if the premiere 238min cut actually shows Sal Mineo’s being killed. to have him walking in the crowd at the Temple than the next time you see him he’s dead lying on the altar steps you just know something was cut.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Capitol Theatre on Jun 16, 2014 at 10:31 pm

to AL A-

you are always quite helpful with my questions. to which could you please go to the Strand/Warner Cinerama page and see if with your font of knowledge you can answer my question about The Greatest Story Ever Told which opened at that theater Feb. of 1965. thank you.:–)

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Strand Theatre on Jun 16, 2014 at 1:24 am

Hello-

i recently bought the blu-ray disc of The Greatest Story Ever Told. the running time of the disc is 3 hrs. 19 mins.. which is where my question comes in. the liner
notes on the back cover say-“restored to its theatrical brilliance with Overture and Intermission”. now i saw TGSET twice during its Cinerama reserved seat engagement but can’t remember what the running time was. now i recently found out the original running time of the roadshow run print was 3 hrs. 45 mins. but did the Warner Cinerama ever play that print or did it only play the 3 hr. 19 min. print?

a case in point. there’s the scene towards the end where Jesus is talking at night time to a large crows at the Temple. you see Roman soldiers pushing in then it switches to another scene. the next time see Jesus he’s entering the house where the Last Supper takes place. but then there’s a quick cut back to the Temple we see are a few dead bodies scattered around including the young former cripple (Sal Mineo)lying across the altar steps. what happened to the scene of the Roman soldiers aggressively dispursing the crowd resulting in the dead bodies we see?

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Capitol Theatre on Jun 16, 2014 at 12:54 am

Hello-

thanks to William for the tech info. a additional question. I don’t know what the dimensions of the screen was when How The West Was Won played here starting April 1963. to which my question- when Cheyenne Autumn opened here Dec. 1964 how much of the screen that the HTWWW projection covered was covered by CA projection?

also I wanted to ask a question about The Greatest Story Ever Told so anyone who is knowledgeable about the Warner Cinerama please take a look at that page. thank you.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 commented about Capitol Theatre on Jun 14, 2014 at 1:54 am

Hello-

its nice to know the sending of messages has returned. i guess the disruption will remain a mystery.

now a few weeks back i mentioned i was 99% sure that Cheyenne Autumn which opened here Dec.1964 was a single lens Cinerama film or as the ads would said- “presented in Cinerama”. i had no newspaper ads or mail order forms to back my 99% certainty. now my fellow posters have stated in reply that this was not the case. so trying to figure a reason for my 99% certainty maybe i read an ad that said something like “see it on the giant Cinerama screen” since the Cinerama was still up maybe they figured lets use it as a selling point.