Comments from Coate

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Coate
Coate commented about Belle Meade Theatre on Apr 6, 2006 at 2:44 pm

OK, so the projected image is disappointing, but I bet the sound was good. The Belle Meade ran lots of 70mm six-track mag over the years.

A distorted image on giant, curved screens has long been the chief complaint for places like the Cinerama Dome in L.A. and other venues with a similar set-up. I’m not much of a fan of curved screens unless the film being shown was intended for a curved-screen presentation (and not that many were).

Coate
Coate commented about Virginia Theatre on Apr 6, 2006 at 2:38 pm

From VARIETY (July 20, 1966):

‘MUSIC’ PROBABLE FINALE FOR ATLANTIC CITY SITE BEFORE URBAN RENEWAL

“Sound of Music” (20th Century-Fox) continues to draw remarkable crowds to the Virginia Theatre where it shortly will go into its 900th consecutive showing, the longest run of any single motion picture in the history of the resort.

It opened last season on May 27, 1965 and played throughout the summer. George A. Hamid Jr., theatre operator, decided that it would draw during the winter months also, and kept the house open when all others on the boardwalk closed.

In fact, it may be the last motion picture to ever play there, as the theatre is due to be razed in the resort’s massive urban renewal program which will clear 10 city blocks bordering on the boardwalk.


So did this theatre not actually close in late ‘66 as the article suggested?

Coate
Coate commented about Loew's Lefrak on Mar 31, 2006 at 6:17 pm

Opened in August 1965.

The grand opening included a Dimension-150 demonstration. I’m not sure if they ever actually ran anything in D-150 or any other deluxe format. They did run some roadshow titles but apparently not on a roadshow basis. Someone told me that he thinks the place at some point had a 70mm Bollywood festival.

Coate
Coate commented about Cine Capri Theatre on Mar 25, 2006 at 7:36 pm

It seems reasonable that a non-Dolby-encoded mag stereo print could have been what the Cine Capri ran during the initial weeks of the film’s release…except that I am not aware of any such prints being made, at least for distribution in the U.S. “Star Wars,” if you’ll recall, was the first attempt at a “wide” release in Dolby Stereo. To support that, I believe all of the prints struck for distribution during the initial limited-market launch (43 engagements; May 25-27, 1977) were Dolby-encoded, whether or not they actually got played in that format. (From mid-June ‘77 onward, the majority of the 35mm prints in circulation were genuine Academy mono prints. With this in mind, what else besides a Dolby-encode could’ve been on the optical track of those early prints? And if they were mag-striped, the optical track would have been compromised since half of it would have been covered by one of the mag stripes.)

Only about 2/3rds of the inital-wave theatres actually had a Dolby System installed in time for the release, so I suppose it is possible that, to give those theatres an opportunity to show off the film’s stereophonic mix, special mag prints were provided until those theeatres had a Dolby unit installed. But I don’t buy that, at least not for every situation, since none of those theatres in question were promoting any presentation format in their newspaper advertising, and I really don’t believe Dolby (the company) had any clout at that time to dictate advertising and promotional terms.

In my mind, with perhaps an occasional exception, “No Advertising = Monaural Sound Presentation.”

One other possibility: Phoenix did start out with a 70mm print. I do believe at one time Phoenix was considered for a 70 since that market’s advance advertising mentions 70mm and Dolby. But by the day before the film’s release, those tags disappeared and would not return until four months later. And the month in which those notations re-appeared coincides with the Dolby CP100 install date…

But we’re going in circles because if they started out with a stereo presentation, no matter what the exact format, why wouldn’t it have been promoted???

I’m not sure anyone really knows for sure, and this event was so many years ago that folks' memories, even if they’re correct, can and should be questioned. As for my reasons for researching this stuff, I hope the readers here understand where I’m coming from. That is, as a journalist or historian, if I’m writing an article or a book or whatever, by necessity I’m forced (no pun intended) to take a serious, research-oriented approach, and I much prefer to acquire information via documentation and published info rather than someone’s memory.

Coate
Coate commented about Eastland 5 Theatres on Mar 25, 2006 at 5:35 pm

Also, the company name change —– from Sanborn to SoCal —– took place during 1984, at least as far as newspaper advertising is concerned.

Coate
Coate commented about Eastland 5 Theatres on Mar 22, 2006 at 1:12 pm

The passage from my post above regarding the installation of Dolby Stereo should be revised as:

Eastland did not install Dolby Stereo in 1977 for “Star Wars.” The original first-run of that film in West Covina was at Wescove. Dolby was installed in the fall of ‘77 in anticipation of “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.”

Coate
Coate commented about Eastland 5 Theatres on Mar 21, 2006 at 9:31 pm

You know, I love this website and enjoy reading everyone’s contributions to the theater entries. But along with the satisfaction comes on occasion a great deal of frustration when people make postings featuring information culled from memory without identifying memory as the source. This page is a good example of what can go terribly wrong when one relies too much on one’s memory. This page is riddled with errors that I feel compelled to attempt to correct…if the page is to have any significant value to serious enthusiasts. I know if someone caught me making an error, I would appreciate and expect a correction to be offered. That’s the beauty of ongoing Internet threads; eventually, hopefully, someone might come along and offer a correction or initiate a stimulating debate.

I don’t believe ANY of the movies mentioned in the intro played at Eastland in 70mm six-track Dolby as claimed. It appears the writer is confusing the six-track magnetic flavor of Dolby Stereo with the optical four-channel type found on 35mm prints, which is what the Eastland, with a few exceptions, ran on a regular basis in the ‘80s.

Eastland did not install Dolby Stereo in 1977 for “Star Wars.” The original first-run of that film in West Covina was at Wescove.

The “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” engagement took place a year earlier than stated.

And on the topic of lost theaters… Here are a couple of pages of photos (both vintage and contemporary) of the two theaters in question. These are from the newly-reconfigured “70mm In Los Angeles” web article posted on the FromScriptToDVD.com website. (If you enjoy these pages, seek out the article’s main page and you’ll discover there’s a whole lot more posted than just a couple of pages!)

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Coate
Coate commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Mar 21, 2006 at 9:06 pm

I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s postings regarding the Ziegfeld’s festival. It’s about time New York City had one of these! We on the west coast have been rather spoiled the past few years with an amazing array of screenings of films, especially those of the Cinerama and 70mm variety that until recently I figured I’d never get to see in my lifetime in their original form. I always thought it was a bit weird that New York, given its size and importance, did not seem have nearly as many film festivals as in L.A.

What do you guys think of this: If anyone who has attended the Ziegfeld fest wishes to do a write-up — could be something similar to the postings here, or perhaps even a full article — Bill Kallay and I will consider posting it on our website, FromScriptToDVD.com. Perhaps this could help spread the word and encourage the Ziegfeld and other venues to consider more classic film festivals in the future. If interested, give me or Bill a shout.

Coate
Coate commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Mar 21, 2006 at 8:57 pm

It has been mentioned here that this “Definitive Director’s Edition” of “Close Encounters” is a third version of the film. I consider it a fourth version, with the third version being the network television edition since it, like this new cut, was essentially a combination of the ‘77 & '80 theatrical cuts. (There was also the Criterion laserdisc edition which, I believe, allowed some user programming to include/exclude certain scenes.)

Which version is your favorite?

Coate
Coate commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Mar 21, 2006 at 8:52 pm

RE the world premiere of “Close Encounters” at the Ziegfeld:

The film opened to the public on Nov. 16, 1977; the world premiere event was held the previous night.

View link

Coate
Coate commented about Eastwood Theatre on Mar 18, 2006 at 6:27 pm

Joker1,
You’re right, you never said the midnight show in question was on opening day…but that is what you meant! And I resent being called a “know it all.” In this scenario, as with most of my Cinema Treasures posts, I’m just a “messenger.”

So tell me, if there was a midnight screening of “Star Wars” at the Eastwood, how would the good citizens of the Indianapolis area have known about it considering such a screening was not promoted in the local newspaper?

Coate
Coate commented about Eastwood Theatre on Mar 17, 2006 at 6:16 pm

“I saw Star Wars there at 12:01 in May of 1977.”

I think that is doubtful considering the Eastwood’s opening day showtimes were 12:45, 3:00, 5:15, 7:30 & 9:45.

Coate
Coate commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Mar 8, 2006 at 2:55 pm

Are those horizontal screen measurements for a CURVE or a CHORD?

Coate
Coate commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on Mar 7, 2006 at 7:08 pm

The Columbia Pictures 75th Anniversary festival was held during February 1999.

As to the comment re “the Dome was never designed to house a true Cinerama screen” — I don’t believe this comment is correct. The Dome WAS designed to be a 3-strip Cinerama house. It wasn’t until very close to its completion that a decision was made to install the non-slatted screen and only 70mm projection. United Artists, the studio that produced the Dome’s debut attraction, “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World,” wrestled throughout its production as to how best to release it, and this is well-documented in the industry trades. UA’s original plan was to release the film in 3-strip.

And to say the Dome doesn’t have a tall enough screen — come on! The screen is huge.

Coate
Coate commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Mar 5, 2006 at 9:33 pm

GREASE was a moveover from either the Loew’s Astor Plaza or the Loew’s State where it originally opened. But of course it was better at the Ziegfeld.

posted by Bill Huelbig on Jan 28, 2006 at 11:51am

“Grease” was better at the Ziegfeld because it was a 70mm presentation! The initial run (at the State) was 35mm and began about two months earlier.

Al,
Nice list of Ziegfeld engagements! But what’s up with the approximate dates?

Coate
Coate commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Mar 5, 2006 at 9:25 pm

Bill: Tsk Tsk. Come on, man! From Script To DVD… :–)

That ‘82 Ziegfeld run of “Raiders” began July 16, the start of the film’s '82 re-issue. Its Astor Plaza run ended quite a bit earlier.

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Coate
Coate commented about National Theatre on Mar 3, 2006 at 9:22 am

Hopefully the theater will not be closed and this is nothing more than a tactic to negotiate a better lease. The National, amazingly, has survived threats of being plexed and having stadium-seating installed.

For Westwood, most folks I know seem to like the Village the best. Me, I always preferred the National.

Some of the movies I remember seeing at the National:
Christmas Vacation
Clueless
Empire Of The Sun (70mm)
The Hunt For Red October (70mm)
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (70mm)
Interview With The Vampire
Lost In Space
Pretty In Pink
Some Kind Of Wonderful
Top Gun (70mm)
Star Trek: First Contact
The Untouchables (70mm)
Young Sherlock Holmes (70mm)

I think the last thing I saw there was a press screening of “Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace.” I remember Jay Leno and a few of his “Tonight Show” colleagues sitting in the row behind me. They seemed to enjoy the movie…but that didn’t stop him from bashing it on his show the next night!

Coate
Coate commented about Curtain May Fall on Mann National on Mar 3, 2006 at 9:19 am

Hopefully the theater will not be closed and this is nothing more than a tactic to negotiate a better lease. The National, amazingly, has survived threats of being plexed and having stadium-seating installed.

For Westwood, most folks I know seem to like the Village the best. Me, I always preferred the National.

Some of the movies I remember seeing at the National:
Christmas Vacation
Clueless
Empire Of The Sun (70mm)
The Hunt For Red October (70mm)
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (70mm)
Interview With The Vampire
Lost In Space
Pretty In Pink
Some Kind Of Wonderful
Top Gun (70mm)
Star Trek: First Contact
The Untouchables (70mm)
Young Sherlcok Holmes (70mm)

I think the last thing I saw there was a press screening of “Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace.” I remember Jay Leno and a few of his “Tonight Show” colleagues sitting in the row behind me. They seemed to enjoy the movie…but that didn’t stop him from bashing it on his show the next night!

Coate
Coate commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 24, 2006 at 9:04 am

And it looks like I need to restore an “e” to “restoration”! :–)

Coate
Coate commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 24, 2006 at 8:59 am

Peter,
70mm-DTS was used on “Vertigo.” In fact, it had been developed earlier than that and was tested on the Harris/Katz rstoration of “My Fair Lady” a couple years prior to the “Vertigo” restoration.

Coate
Coate commented about Gary Theatre on Feb 23, 2006 at 6:01 am

When I w

Coate
Coate commented about Gary Theatre on Feb 20, 2006 at 2:02 pm

I just reviewed some of my notes on the subject and came across a reference to a benefit screening of “The Sound of Music” held at the Music Hall in Boston about a week prior to the Gary engagement. Is this what was referred to on in70mm.com? Either way, that was just a single screening; the actual reserved-seat engagement was at the Gary.

Coate
Coate commented about Gary Theatre on Feb 20, 2006 at 1:54 pm

“Now, here’s another riddle – according to the .in70mm website [The Sound of Music] orginally opened at another theatre with TODD-AO (The Saxon?). The Gary theatre run may have been a move-over.”

posted by MIchael21046 on Nov 18, 2004 at 10:49am

Where, may I ask, on the in70mm.com site is there a reference to “The Sound of Music” playing the Saxon in its Boston roadshow engagement?

Anyway, I can confirm that the Gary Theatre indeed hosted the original Boston roadshow run of “The Sound of Music,” where it ran for a very successful 83 weeks. The film then played at the Paris. (The Fitchburg, Massachusetts roadshow run, by the way, was at a Saxon Theatre.)

For more on the subject, I encourage you to check out:
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Coate
Coate commented about Camelot Cinemas on Nov 8, 2005 at 10:03 pm

Last I heard, yes and yes.

Coate
Coate commented about Camelot Cinemas on Nov 3, 2005 at 10:54 pm

It looks like the Camelot will be showing “Chicken Little” in DLP Digital Projection, the theater’s first digital show since “Star Wars: Episode III.”

Other Digital Locations for “Chicken Little” (including those showing it in 3-D):
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