Comments from bigjoe59

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bigjoe59 commented about Palace Theatre on Nov 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Hello Again-

thanks for the info. said info prompts another question. i always assumed when a film had a decent run in its original exclusive reserved seat engagement that said decent run was prompted by box office returns rather than any contractual obligation to run the film for x number of months regardless of the box office. therefore i’m hoping that the film’s 6 month run in its original reserved seat engagement was prompted by the box office.

the reason i asked the question is simple. assuming i correctly understood what i read online it appears the film’s sole exclusive first run engagement in San Francisco wasn’t even an reserved seat engagement but a two week run at the S.F.Fox.

bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on Oct 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Hello From New York City-

its interesting reading the various comments about the Cinerama Dome’s reserving seats policy. my question is exactly how does it work? one of comments makes it seem as if you can reserve a particular seat you like forever and ever. but i don’t suppose you can actually do that. so if you find a particular seat just right for you how can you make sure you get it for every film you want to see at the Dome? that’s the part i’m a bit fuzzy about.

also since i;m sure the being able to reserve a seat costs more how do people feel about that? regular movies in Manhattan cost $13.50-$14 which is already way to high so who would want to pay extra?

also do people who use the Dome’s reserved seating policy do so for every film or only for films they know will have a line around the block?

bigjoe59 commented about Regent Theatre on Oct 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm

in regards to AL A.’s comment of 11/15/10. the info in the intro at top is no mistake. the film “Pandora’s Box” which opened the Regent starred John Bunny and co-starred Lillian Walker as the person the title refers to.

bigjoe59 commented about Sutton Theater on Oct 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Hello to AL A.–

you certainly make a good point in your last e-mail. i’m sure for sometime after it opened at the Loew’s Capitol many screenings of the original 1968 “Plane of the Apes” especially showings on Fri.,Sat. and Sun. were close to sold out if not sold out. this relates to the point in your last e-mail~ i always wondered how the staff of the Capitol got the old audience out, cleaned the theater then got the new audience in before the next screening all in 18mins.

bigjoe59 commented about Sutton Theater on Oct 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm

to AL A.–

thanks for your reply to my post. interesting way of looking at the scheduling of showings.

now the lack of a concession stand in smaller art houses could certainly have accommodated faster turnover hence more showings a day. but the policy was also used in the larger movie theaters in the Times Square area. for instance on the photos page for the Loew’s Capitol there is a newspaper ad for premiere engagement of the original “Planet of the Apes” from 1968. the film is say 1hr.42mins? and the ad states the showings were scheduled every two hours starting at 10a.m.

also when “The Godfather” opened March of 1972 at the Loew’s State I and II is was scheduled every three hours and the film had a running time of 2hrs.50mins.

bigjoe59 commented about Sutton Theater on Oct 12, 2012 at 4:57 pm


in the photos section i was looking at the newspaper ads for “Marty” when it first opened in 1955. i noticed something quite interesting. nowadays theater owners or exhibitors to use the correct trade term seem to schedule an inordinately large amount of times between the showings of a film. thereby getting fewer shows a day. whereas in the “Marty” ads from 1955 it appears the manager of the Sutton scheduled showings of the film with as little time between showings as he figured the staff could get he old audience out and the new audience in.

bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on Oct 8, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Hello To C.S.Walczak-

thanks for the info. after posting the note a thought occurred to me. from its Nov.‘63 opening to the release of the last “in Cinerama” film “Krakatoa East of Java” the only theater in the
Hollywood area other than the Dome capable of showing films “in Cinerama” would have been the Warner/Pacific up on Hollywood Blvd. so with the 9? single lens Cinerama films released from '63 thru '69 plus re-issues of the original 3-strip films i figured the Dome didn’t have the time to host any other reserved seat engagements. this is especially true since when first built the Dome could only show single lens “Cinerama” films. but apparently it did find the time. interesting.

also do you know of a website that lists all the reserved seat engagements in the L.A. area from the Oct. 1955 opening of “Oklahoma” to the Dec. 1972 opening of “Man of La Mancha” after which the studios dropped the policy regardless of what the film was in(Cinerama,70MM,Panavision,35mm etc.)? thanks in advance.

bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on Oct 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Hello Again From NYC-

i thank my fellow posters in L.A. for replying to my posts. i have a new question for you.

the studios dropped the use of the two a day reserved seat engagement policy after the Dec. 1972 release of “Man of La Mancha”. now the Dome opened Nov. of 1963 with “Its A Mad Mad Mad Mad World”. so in the 9 years the Dome existed while the studios were still using the policy did the theater host any reserved seat engagements of films other than those presented “in Cinerama”?

bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on Oct 2, 2012 at 11:48 am

Hello to J. Sittig-

i just watched the blu-ray disc of the restored remastered “This Is Cinerama”. i quite enjoyed it
and i have two questions- thing i liked about the restored remastered blu-ray disc released Sept. of ‘08 of “How The West Was Won"was that the lines between the panels were virtually eliminated. yet with TIC that was not done. might i ask why?

2.after watching the film first without the commentary i wondered why the Long Island church choir segment was in sepia rather than Technicolor as was the rest of the film. when i watched the film again with the commentary my question was answered by the fact this scene was not shot for TIC but was a test scene shot by Waller to get backing for TIC. of course the sepia isn’t changeable but couldn’t that scene have been restored/remastered a bit more so it had the sharp crisp crystal clear image of the rest of the film?

bigjoe59 commented about Update on The Ziegfeld: 'The Master' doesn't help on Sep 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Hello- the and i mean “the problem” is that the Ziegfeld was built when they still held exclusive runs of new “big” films either or a reserved seat or continuous performance basis in one theater. i can remember many “big” films opening exclusive at the Ziegfeld with resulting lines around the blocks for weeks. but once the ear of the multiplex came about the Ziegfeld has been in a rather dicey situation. i have everything works out well in the end.

bigjoe59 commented about Loew's Capitol Theatre on Sep 19, 2012 at 11:20 am


i certainly agree with the sentiment of Paul L.’s post but and there always a but. as much as NYC’s long gone movie palaces are beloved by film buffs the majority of said film buffs don’t seem to want to acknowledge one very simple fact. that fact being that by the late 50s said movie palaces the Roxy especially because of its huge size had become just plain economically un-viable as a single screen movie theater. in fact i bet the Roxy because of its size had become economically un-viable as a single screen movie theater yearssssss before it was decided to demolish it.

bigjoe59 commented about City of Aurora seeks citizen about what should happen to the Century 16 on Sep 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm

not to sound uncaring but why not just reopen it? i don’t understand why it should be abandoned as a movie theater?

bigjoe59 commented about Hammerstein's Victoria Theatre on Sep 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm


i love books about NYC theaters stage or film. one of my favorite’s is Mary C. Henderson’s “42 St.” the book contains 12 chapters or bios one might say for each of the theaters built on 42 st. between 7th and 8th Avenues. the 1st theater built on the block was the American which was on the southside closer to 8th in i believe 1895?

the chapter on the American begins with this statement-“the American has the dubious distinction of being the 1st theater built on the block and the first torn down”. to which i reacted ??????? the 2nd theater built on the block Hammerstein’s Victoria opened in 1899 and was torn down the end of 1915 to built the Rialto the 1st “movie palace” in Times Square which opened in 1916. now the American which was boarded up after a fire in 1930 wasn’t torn down until the spring of 1931 i believe. this being the case how can Henderson say the American was the 1st of the 12 theaters on the block torn down if the Victoria was torn at the end of 1915 a good 16 years before the American. this is where my question comes in.

there seems to be a wide range of opinions as to whether Hammerstein’s Victoria was a)completely torn down/demolished as we would use the term today or if it was b)simply gutted to the bare skeletal structure and the Rialto built within said skeletal frame. so which is it? if its b) that would certainly give some credence to Henderson’s statement about the American.

bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Aug 31, 2012 at 5:00 pm


i have been going to the Ziegfeld since it opened Dec. 1969 with the reserved seat engagement of “Marooned”. which brings me to my question. recently the theater has had special quick exclusive engagements like the 2 week run of “The Princess and The Frog” before it opened wide. to which does anyone remember what the theater’s last exclusive regular open ended 1st run engagement was?

the last one i can think of is Oct. 1996
release of the Katz/Harris restoration of

bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on Aug 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm

to Howard B.–

thanks for your reply. eventhough i live in NYC i am quite aware of Grauman’s Chinese and the El Capitan(Paramount)theaters. i last visited L.A. the spring of 2004. to which i know these two theaters held many exclusive first run engagements in their heyday so if you lived in L.A. you had to go to these theaters. but in the 1955 – 1972 period i mentioned in my original post i wasn’t aware these two theaters held reserved seat engagements as did the other 4 theaters mentioned in said post.

bigjoe59 commented about TCL Chinese Theatre on Aug 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Hello From NYC-

i last visited L.A. the spring of 2004 and its nice to see that this theater is still alive and well. a question- as i understand it its still a 1st run theater so how does it host the classic films showings if its hosting a new film? or are the classic films showings at the 6-plex next door?

bigjoe59 commented about AMC Loews Uptown 1 on Aug 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Hello From NYC-

i have only been to the Uptown once. it was April of 1963 and i was on a family vacation during which we took in a showing of “How The West Was Won”.

now i discovered Cinema Treasures the last week of January 2011. so i decided to create a project for myself. said project was simple. using CT i was wondering how many of the grand old movie theaters/palaces built in the 1913-1941 heyday of such building were still single screen and still operating as 1st run theaters since the day they opened. after much browsing of CT of all the grand old movie theaters/palaces built in the U.S. in the 1913-1941 period i could find only 2 count ‘em 2 still single screen and were still operating as 1st run theaters since the day they opened. one is the Uptown and the other is Grauman’s Chinese in Hollywood. certainly an accomplishment.

bigjoe59 commented about Pacific 1-2-3 on Aug 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Hello From-

i first traveled out to L.A. in the spring of 1980 and did so for the next several years. to which my question- the first several years i went to the Pacific on a handful of occasions. by the luck of the draw the film i chose was always playing in the main auditorium. when i first went came out to L.A. in 1980 i could
swear in fact i’m 99% certain they still had the curved Cinerama screen up in the main auditorium. so did they keep it up from the early 80s to when the theater closed in August of ‘94 or was it replaced with a regular flat screen at some point?

bigjoe59 commented about Pantages Theatre on Aug 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Hello From NYC-

i read above that the theater closed up as a movie house in Jan. of ‘77. to which a question- the last reserved seat engagement was “Tora Tora Tora” which opened the fall of '70. so i was wondering what was the decor of the theater’s interior at that point as opposed to today?

bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Aug 21, 2012 at 4:44 pm

corny and hokey as it might be the film has always been a favorite of mine. i wondered how long it ran at the Ziegfeld so its nice to know it still holds the long run title. i’m guessing the main reason for the long run was that the film was released when studios still did exclusive engagements at one theater for “big” films. so if you wanted to see “Ryan’s Daughter” you had to go to the Ziegfeld. this was some years before studios started opening their “big” films in 2,000 to 3,000 theaters across the country on the same day.

bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on Aug 20, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Hello from NYC-

i thank my fellow posters from L.A.for info about the Dome’s single lens “Cinerama” engagements. i have a new question for you.

as i see it the heyday so to speak of reserved seat or to use the proper term roadshow engagements was the Oct. 1955 opening of “Oklahoma” thru the Dec. 1972 opening of “Man of La Mancha” after which the studios dropped the use of said policy. now in the immediate Hollywood area there was the Cinerama Dome and up on Hollywood Blvd. the Pantages, the Warmer Hollywood known on this site as the Pacific 1,2,3 and the Egyptian for a total of four theaters. but during the aforementioned approx. 17 year period the studios released a number of their “big” films on roadshow engagements so i should think more than four theaters were needed.

so this is my question- during the 17 year period mentioned above what other theaters in the L.A. area were regularly used by the studios for exclusive roadshow engagements other than the four in the immediate Hollywood area?

bigjoe59 commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Aug 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm


in recent years the Ziegfeld has had an occasional exclusive engagement. for instance the two week limited engagement of “The Princess and the Frog” with an accompanying show at Roseland. but discounting such special engagements what was the last time this theater had a regular open ended exclusive engagement of a new film?

bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on Aug 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Hello Again From NYC To My Fellow Posters
In L.A..–

i thank my fellow posters in L.A. for answering my many inquiries about the Cinerama Dome. a new two part question-

*since the Dome was rather technologically advanced for 1963 i assumed the period from groundbreaking to the opening night of “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World” was at the least a year if not more. yet a fellow poster replied that the period of time from the ground breaking to the opening night of IAMMMMW was only 18 weeks. is that true? it seems like an awfully short period of time in which to build a fairly large theater. the reason i bring up how long it took to build the theater is simple. i am trying to determine if the decision to abandon the 3-Strip Cinerama process in favor of the single lens version was made before the groundbreaking or after construction of the theater had begun.

*now if my count is correct there were 10 single lens Cinerama films. “Its A Mad Mad Mad Mad World” from Nov.‘63 being the 1st and “Krakatoa-East of Java” from July'69 being the last. to which a question- did all 10 single lens Cinerama films play the Dome or did some play whatever old time movie palace in the Hollywood area that had been converted to show the original 3-Strip process?

bigjoe59 commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on Aug 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Hello From NYC-

i thank my fellow movie buffs in L.A. for
answering my questions about L.A. movie going.
i have a new question that i’m betting has
an interesting answer.

the Cinerama Dome opened Nov.‘63 with the premiere of the 1st single lens Cinerama film “Its A Mad Mad Mad Mad World”. now considering how technologically advanced the theater was for Nov.'63 i’m guessing the groundbreaking for the theater was at least 1 year maybe 2 years? before the opening night. which is where my question comes in. when the groundbreaking took place the 1st narrative 3-Strip Cinerama film “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” hadn’t even opened yet. so does that mean before “…..Grimm” and the 2nd narrative 3-Strip film “How The West Was Won” even opened the powers that be knew in 1961 that the 3-Strip process would go the way of the dodo bird and built the Dome from the get go as a single lens Cinerama house?

bigjoe59 commented about Roxy Theatre on Aug 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Hello Again-

as i mentioned in previous posts in the late 50s Hollywood was still operating on the A movie and B movie production level. now just because a film is a A level picture doesn’t mean its going to any good or receive critical acclaim or be a hit at the box office. to which what was the last A level picture to play the Roxy that was both critically well received and had a healthy run?