Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Cinemas

6360 Sunset Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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RogerA
RogerA on November 1, 2013 at 9:39 pm

to bigjoe

It would be interesting to see an as close to possible roadshow version of Mad World. Stills in place of footage that is missing may annoy some people so I suppose both versions would be best. I assume the sound as well as the picture is missing. They did make some three projector prints of Mad World those should be close to road show length if any survived. As long the whole Ultra-Panavision frame is shown that is a given but the longest version available would be fine by me.

The 65mm negative for Cleopatra should be in pretty good shape. The Rivoli in New York paid a million dollars in advance to book Cleopatra. A large up front advance was required to play the film. The Rivoli did make its money back and the film had a long roadshow run at that theater. Many people traveled to New York City just to see Cleopatra. Theaters in smaller cities payed a smaller advance and many of those theaters did not make their advance back. The general audience did not appreciate the film. Cleopatra was a run away production there were huge cost over runs and producing a movie in Todd-AO was expensive prints were expensive; Fox was strapped for cash because of Cleopatra. It took years to get most of their money back. Of course Cleopatra was followed by Sound of Music and that was an instant hit and a cash cow in roadshow and in general release. What almost put Fox into bankruptcy was Star, Doctor Doolittle and Hello Dolly these three Todd-AO films did not do well at the box office. Easy Rider was shot in 16mm by anyone who could hold a camera and out grossed Hello Dolly. Viet Nam had made the country cynical. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was designed to roadshow but the public taste had changed it did not do well. While some theaters did well with a popular movie that movie may have been in four channel magnetic, or even mono optical others would get into financial trouble with a 70mm show like Chitty. The inflation of the 70’s and the increase in the cost of energy put many of these big roadshow theaters out of business. There was a roadshow theater in Boston called the Astor it was a Todd-AO theater and it lost money for years in the late 60’s and early 70’s. There now stands a multiplex run by AMC on the same site taking up the same area as the one theater once did.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on November 1, 2013 at 6:34 pm

to RogerA-

again thanks for your reply. a quick two part follow up question.

*since IAMMMMW has a direct link to this theater having been its premiere attraction I have a question for you. with the Criterion Blu-ray coming out in January would you prefer the longest version possible with actual footage approximating the original roadshow cut or do you not mind stills taking the place of lost footage.

*at the end of your last post you said-“while Cleopatra bankrupted many a theater it was a grand and glorious time”. how did Cleopatra bankrupt many a theater? in played its roadshow run in L.A. and Manhattan for just over year. I can’t imagine a premiere 1st run theater keeping a roadshow engagement for a year let alone over a year if it wasn’t doing reasonable business. also I wish people would stop referring to the film as a flop, bomb etc…… as corny
and hokey as it is its still one of the best historical epics in film history. the only reason people have referred to it as flop, bomb etc… is because it cost to frigging much for the dollar value of the day, in this case June 1963.

RogerA
RogerA on November 1, 2013 at 7:26 am

After the initial release two scenes in A Clockwork Orange were replaced in order for the X rating to be reduced to an R rating. Kubrick would not let anyone view the original version once the change was made.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 1, 2013 at 6:41 am

Bigjoe59… The decision to cut “2001” was made by Kubrick, himself, who thought that the film could use a bit of tightening, as well as one or two inserts to connect the monolith with the idea to use the animal bone as a weapon. Similarly, with “The Shining” (which came some years after the age of roadshows), Kubrick decided to excise the film’s original coda, as unecessarily explanatory. In both cases, Kubrick having complete control over the way he intended his films to be shown, the trims were either destroyed or locked away in some personal vault.

If the Kubrick Estate is in possession of this material, it is possible that these will one day find their way into the market, but, thus far, Kubrick’s curators have been very faithful to preserving the presentation of his work in strict accordance with his wishes. I don’t think longer cuts will ever be in order, but I could envision the trims making it into an “extras” feature on future DVD/Blu-Ray releases. It would also be great to see the abandoned pie-fight sequence from Dr Strangelove, while we’re at it…

RogerA
RogerA on October 31, 2013 at 8:59 pm

The cut footage was tossed in the trash like so many other things. Prints have faded. There is an an age old phrase and that was faded by Deluxe. The future use of the original negative and footage wasn’t envisioned in the twentieth century. I remember screenings in Hollywood where I met with people in control of this media and they questioned the reason for keeping these old films and negatives. Many a print has been run through a band-saw or used as slug in sound editing. Millions of feet went to be recycled. Some footage has survived and much has not. Cuts were made by the filmmakers and cuts were made by the studio.

Once a film was in general release there was little reason for the studio to cut it. The long films were a problem. Some theaters ran two shows a day some ran three but these long films couldn’t be run more than three times a day. An early show shortly after noon then a mid day show and an evening show. Managers anxious to cut theater payroll and reduce hours (union projectionists didn’t work cheap) may have trimmed some general release prints as much as possible by cutting the intermission (that takes fifteen minutes at least) but once a film was in general release I don’t know of any case where the film once in general release was officially cut by the filmmaker or the studio. Of course these films were butchered for television and could have been cut for re-release. Many a film was butchered for television. Yes, the powers that were in charge figured that once a film was televised that was the end of its useful life.

Star Wars ran almost twenty four hours a day in Los Angeles and other major cities when it was released and many a projectionist sent their kids to Harvard on the overtime pay. Managers were glad to pay the overtime. While Cleopatra bankrupted many a theater. It was a grand and glorious time.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on October 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Hello to RogerA.–

many thanks for your follow up e-mail. if I might repeat myself-when roadshow runs finished films would then go to “continuous performances at popular prices” in one of the many 1st run theaters in Manhattan.in most cases the films were shortened by simply cutting out the overture, intermission, entr'acte and exit music. then went the films went to neighborhood theaters around NYC the films themselves would be tweaked. to which i don’t understand why films would be tweaked in their roadshow runs. wasn’t the whole point of the roadshow policy to have 2 shows a day? so why did it matter how long the film was?

unfortunately IAMMMMW was one of the films that was tweaked when it was still in its quite popular road- show run. something I don’t understand since again it only had 2 shows a day anyway.

other films that opened on 2 a day roadshow run that were unfortunately tweaked shortly after they premiered were Cleopatra and Lawrence of Arabia. again something I don’t get. fortunately in the case of Cleopatra the footage that was cut within weeks from the premiere roadshow print of 4hrs. 6 mins. was properly preserved so the recently released stunning blu-ray disc is the original premiere roadshow cut. sad to say this isn’t the case with any of the home video versions released to date of IAMMMMW.

its interesting most 2001 devotees probably don’t know that Kubrick’s original cut was 20mins. longer. what i’m not sure about is if the longer cut was ever actually used in the premiere roadshow run at Loew’s Capitol. if the 20mins was cut out say the day before the film’s premiere was it preserved or just tossed?

one last thought and its about an interesting fact you point out. The Sound of Music was one of the very few roadshow films that played its second run continuous performance engagements and its neighborhood theater runs with the exact same cut that played the Rivoli for a year and a half. the only difference being the film played straight thru without an intermission.

RogerA
RogerA on October 29, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Bigjoe in the days of film it took a little effort to tweak a film. Sound and picture had to be cut separately and new prints had to be made. Or sections of the print had to be replaced. If the films were shortened for neighborhood theaters it was done by the theater owners. Do you have any examples of films that were tweaked in their roadshow run? I know Mad World was and there was a longer version of 2001. The standard release print of Sound of Music was the same as the roadshow version and it was not unusual for managers to order the projectionist to skip the intermission.

RogerA
RogerA on October 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm

to Bigjoe there was a roadshow release usually with multi channel magnetic sound then there was a 35mm print with mono optical sound sent to neighborhood theaters they didn’t do that much tweeking.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on October 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm

to RogerA-

thanks for your reply but I am still a bit confused. I understand the studio’s mindset of tweaking a film when it finished its roadshow run and went to a 2nd run theater. then when it went to the neighborhood theaters around NYC being tweaked further. but i don’t understand tweaking a film when it was still in its roadshow run. at that stage it only had 2 shows a day anyway so what was the point? making a film 15mins. shorter say seems bizarre if they still only had 2 shows a day.

RogerA
RogerA on October 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm

To answer your question Bigjoe most films that were cut were cut to allow more shows per day. A few because the filmmakers felt it was too long. A Star is Born was butchered to allow more shows. The road show version of Mad World was just too long for a comedy so it was cut. The general release prints were cut even more. It was not unusual for the general release print to be quite different from the roadshow print.

chspringer
chspringer on October 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm

The Criterion.com pages show the release date of Mad World as January 21, 2014. The set will contain 4K transfers of both the general release version and a reconstructed 197 minute version.

ChasSmith
ChasSmith on October 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm

http://www.criterion.com/films/28579-it-s-a-mad-mad-mad-mad-world

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on October 27, 2013 at 5:03 pm

to Peter A.–

thanks for the info about roadshow run of IAMMMMW. you seem quite knowledgeable so I have a question for you. in the prime roadshow period of Oct. 1955 thru Dec. 1972 it was common practice to tweak a film after it finished its initial roadshow run and opened on a popular prices continuous performance run at another theater. this was done in many cases by simply deleting the overture, intermission and exit music. then when a film went to neighborhood runs around NYC they would actually tweak the film itself to get in more performances per day. this is where my question comes in- what in God’s name was the point of tweaking a film when it was still in its quite popular roadshow run? there were only 2 shows a day anyway. this was also done to “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Cleopatra”. makes absolutely no sense to me.

also on this page a fellow poster noted that this coming January 2014 the Criterion Collection was going to release a Blu-ray of the film in the longest version available that approximates the original roadshow cut. Amazon will often list an upcoming blu-ray disc long before the release date, sometimes 3 to 4 months. but they have no listing for a Criterion Collection blu-ray disc of IAMMMMW at all let alone one with a January date.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on October 26, 2013 at 5:41 am

I still own a VHS letterboxed copy of an extended version of “IAMMMMW” from MGM/UA in 1995. It inserts deleted sequences that are now a special features supplement into the film and the running time is 182 minutes. Apparently a 70mm complete print was discovered which contained the footage. It is easy to see the difference in picture quality especially since the inserted scenes are rectified for a curved screen and not as sharp. I have not watched this in a long time and I believe this version is missing the overture. When I saw the film at the Dome’s 40th anniversary in 70mm it was the general release version but with police calls during intermission. The current Blu-Ray is exactly the same minus the calls.

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on October 25, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Also remember that the majority of the “Roadshow” runs were of the shorter version. The film only played in its longer cut for about 4 weeks in the five premiere theatres: New York, L.A., Chicago, Boston, London; as of about 12/18/63, all of those engagements began playing the new shortened version and all future Roadshow engagements also received the shortened version.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on October 25, 2013 at 2:37 pm

IAMMMMW is the general release version at 154 minutes.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm

bijoe59… the film would have been a United Artists property, if not owned by Kramer himself. MGM’s ownsership of UA (and therefore IAMMMMW) would not have occured until some 15 or 16 years after the film was edited for general release.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on October 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Hello-

it seems MGM was better at keeping their complete roadshow prints in first rate condition than other companies. my point being if the showing of IAMMMMW is the general release print which is like 40mins.? shorter than the original roadshow cut why bother?

RogerA
RogerA on October 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm

the 6 channel mix sounded better 5 behind the screen and one surround channel with no sub. That is how is was released

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Probably the 4K version of the general release that is the basis of the forthcoming Criterion Blu-Ray release, I suspect. The Blu-Ray, will evidently include a hi-def digital transfer of an even longer approximation of the roadshow cut, in a 197-minute version, assembled by Robert A Harris (natch). It is said to include scenes that have been returned to the film for the first time since its original release. I wonder if this includes an audio-and-stills-only recreation of the lost phone call between Spencer Tracy and Buster Keaton. The material for the release also says that both versions of the film will feature 5.1 surround audio.

I’ll be 3000 miles away in NYC, so, whichever version is screened at the Dome, I’ll have to settle for Criterion release in January.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on October 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Hello-

what version of IAMMMMW is being shown? the general release print or the closest approximation to the original roadshow cut?

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on October 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm

After reading dozens of comments about bookings at the Chinese, Dome and El Capitan there has been nothing about the special anniversary screenings at the Dome on Sunday October 27. At 12:40pm will be “How the West Was Won” in 3-strip Cinerama and at 5pm “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” in digital. Still plenty of good seats for “HTWWW” but “Mad World” is filling fast. I didn’t know about it until I received an email from Arclight. I have a good seat for “West”.

Cliffs
Cliffs on October 11, 2013 at 12:35 am

Ironically (as the Dome has historically been my favorite theater), if the same film was being shown at the El Cap, the Chinese, and the Dome and I was being forced to watch it in 3D at all 3 (like many blockbusters now are), the Dome would be my LAST choice. I’ve been hoping this increased competition would force Arclight to retreat back and cater more towards 2D customers (like the Village has done), but between Gravity and now Thor, that isn’t happening. But if it’s 3D only and between the Chinese or the Dome… The Chinese. 3D only and between the El Cap or the Dome… the El Cap.

Robert_G_Kelley
Robert_G_Kelley on October 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Cliffs, I know earlier this summer Arclight operating management were up in arms because They wanted Iron Man 3, just like they did last year when they couldn’t get the Avengers as well.(a friend of mine who works for in the Exhibitor relations dept at Disney mentioned that to me)

Its funny Arclight was the one who was insistant on them being the only theatre showing the movies they play,(Heck the owners of the vista had to sue because Arclight was blocking them from getting films) Now that its obvious that audiences will flock to the Chinese and that they cant exert their clout to take disney films from the El Cap they are suddenly willing to share the toys in the sand box.

Hopefully means that once and forall the outdated restrictions on films playing at Arclight cant play at any other theatre in the region will go away. Gravity if anything has shown that both the Arclight and Chinese can both thrive with the same film playing on both locations.

Cliffs
Cliffs on October 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Wow… Thor is showing at the El Capitan and the Dome now. I wonder if because of the new Chinese, Arclight Hollywood is no longer in that zone. Weird.