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That is correct, Robert. Other than very unusual circumstances, Disney does not do theatrical bookings for any of their classic animated features, and a number of the live-action ones as well. I’ve tried for 3 years to get Mary Poppins for the Lafayette, but no dice.
A very nice article featuring the Lafayette Theatre appeared in today’s Bergen Record “Go” section centerfold. The print version includes two nice interior shots.
Here: View link
Thanks for the nice comments Irv, Richard, and Peter. See you at Godzilla this Saturday!
Director of Film Programming
Big Screen Classics at the Lafayette Theatre
Don – I don’t know. I guess it would depend on whether they were ‘laid off’ of if Clearview can temporarily put them in another location.
Jodar – I beleive the bigger theatres used to do this from time to time during the roadshow era, especially if they needed to do technical upgrades between engagements. Depending on the size of the venue, it certainly does cost more money just to open the doors for a handful of customers instead of being dark.
According to information I heard from Clearview, the plan now is for the Ziegfeld to remain dark between major first-run engagements. And expect nothing to be playing September and October.
Just a reminder to everyone that the Silent Film Festival begins tomorrow night at the Lafayette Theatre.
Complete details here: www.bigscreenclassics.com/indexlafayette.htm
See you then!
Jeff is correct about Easter Parade, it wasn’t an original Technicolor print although there were sections that did look almost as good as one. The cartoon wasn’t Technicolor, either. Just a very nicely timed LPP print.
I think our silver screen adds a certain vibrancy to the image if the print has good color. I’ve had numerous knowledgeable collectors ask where I’d gotten Technicolor prints of certain films, when I wasn’t showing a Technicolor print!
Thank you for your attendance, Robert. Please be sure to introduce yourself next time you come to a show.
To update the first post a bit, this theatre was simply called the Totowa Cinema, the “Cinema 46” (I worked there in 1982) was just down the hill where the CompUSA is now.
Also, the Totowa Cinema had Dolby Stereo as early as the 1977 release of Star Wars, I also saw the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers there and it was presented in ear-splittingly-loud stereo.
Thank you, Richard.
The Silent Film Festival schedule is now available. Three days – April 8-10, 2005 with nine programs, all accompanied by live music by orchestra, pipe organ and piano. This is the year’s biggest silent film event in the New York-metro area and you don’t want to miss it. Go here www.bigscreenclassics.com/indexlafayette.htm for information or to buy advance multi-show tickets.
The Jersey does not have mag stereo capability at this time, so a mag print – if even a runnable one still exists – of Ben-Hur wouldn’t have done them any good. Optical Dolby Stereo can sound very good when the proper care is taken transferring the mag tracks. The LJ has a bit of an echo problem, but overall the sound is good, IMO.
It certainly could be, YankeeMike. Warner just hasn’t done it yet.
From what I remember, Ben-Hur has no exit music. I think it’s probably the only one of the major epics of that era not to have exit music.
Sounds like the Ben-Hur will be a winner.
I ran one of the 1999 reissue prints of Gone with the Wind a couple of years ago at the Lafayette – the IB Technicolor image is nice, but there are some issues with the focus. The elements used to make the negative are occasionally misaligned, resulting in fringing at times. There are no newer prints of GwtW available, sad to say.
I’m sure Mitchell will do a good job vis-a-vis the presentation.
As far as I know, there are no definte plans yet. But, since they committed well over $30,000 towards the organ restoration and reinstallation, I’d assume they plan to use it. But any changes are in the future.
The organ restoration should take about a year or two before it’s reinstalled at the Paramount. Off the record, LIU has stated that they will most likely return the venue to a performance space for their theater arts, music, and other programs. In the interim, it will still be used for some of the other sports and for a practice hall.
That’s probably true for that time, Bill. But don’t you think those figures I quoted above for this weekend’s event are just slightly ridiculous?
It’s time for the unions to work with the management of these venues. Show business is a seven-day-a-week operation, I don’t understand their position of “overtime” for a Saturday afternoon on a week when they had maybe one other event. And it’s time for the management to reduce their overhead as well – many do earn some outrageous numbers not always tied to profits, I’d love to see bonuses reduced/eliminated if a venue is running at a loss (as the MH does every single year). There’s plenty of room on both sides to make these things work. My point was strictly about that one event, not the entirety of the operation.
I think your estimate is probably correct – I didn’t think to take a closer count prior to the playing.
To lower the curtain would have cost NYTOS close to $4000 – the union demanded 4 stagehands for 8 hours at overtime rate to press 4 buttons. To have a PA system would have cost another couple thousand – the union demanded at least one electrician and a soundman for 8 hours at overtime rate. Same goes for the lights. The Hall would not absorb these costs nor tell the union to get lost – which they should do immediately.
So – did anybody else from here go to the organ concert Saturday afternoon? I thought the event went pretty well – it looked like around 100-150 people attended.
The Ohio Theatre (CAPA) and the Wang Center are both non-profit organizations – they survive through donations, public monies, and tickets sales, as well as volunteer staffing. The RCMH is not, I believe, a non-profit organization. There isn’t any public money available for them, nor would volunteers be allowed to work due to union regulations.
The facility operations are no way comparable.
I don’t know of any major distributor who offers classic titles via download for digital projectors. They offer them in 35mm prints.
As for your question about a distributor who has a “license to these old movies”, there isn’t one single distributor. Each studio maintains its own repertory or classics division and you need to contact them about any films you want to show. Don’t waste time contacting the home video divisions, they have nothing to do with theatrical showings. Your best bet is to hire a film booker to inquire for you if you have no experience in this area.
Yes, some copies of Metropolis are in public domain, but not the latest restoration that Transit Film of Munich did – USA theatrical rights are controlled by Kino and that version is copyrighted.
We inquired about renting the Hall for a silent film event with live orchestra – just to walk in the door, it was approximately $60,000 a night rental. That did NOT include a stage show (other than 5 minutes of the Rockettes), film costs, or orchestra costs. We would also not get a share of any concessions sold. The Hall was not interested in partnering with us to lower the cost, nor were they willing to negotiate with the various unions to give us a break on their labor. Obviously, an outside party trying to do films at RCMH is impossible. It could never work with a new film – where you’re giving up over 75% of your ticket price back to the studio for the two weeks where the film might actually do business – but even with classics you have to give back over 35%.
Kiss Me Kate looked great when I showed it in double-system 3-D last year at the Lafayette, Vincent. There are many good depth effects and few off-screen gimmicks (other than one 30 second section). The projection angle of the Jersey might make 3-D presentations difficult down there.
I think that Kiss Me Kate did not show in 3-D at the Music Hall. I’ll ask Bob Furmanek to add his expertise about 3-D to this thread.
The organ is being repaired and will be reinstalled over the next year or so (it was severely damaged last year by a leaky roof). The New York Theatre Organ Society just announced that LIU has secured a contractor to begin the restoration work, whoch involves removing various components and taking thme to Connecticut for resorative work.
Congrtatulations on the milestone!
Big Screen Classics at the Lafayette Theatre