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I take it those were the interiors; i.e., the curtains? Because I suspect the curtained wall coverings — especially if blue/green in theater #2 — might be what I’d remembered.
Wow, thanks for the write-up.
Maybe not a groundbreaking movie for you, but a groundbreaking post in How Many Ways Are There to F* Up a Presentation of a Movie. Holy crap. Glad to hear how you were able to save your audiences from that last travesty. Wow. (Oh, I already said that.)
I was 12 when we were living in Fort Lauderdale while it was playing in Miami Beach, our nearest destination for roadshow engagements. Though my family had always liked musicals, this one flew under their radar, and it would be at least another year anyway before we started going down there to attend roadshows.
In the meantime, I was a musical kid and had gotten the soundtrack album and played it to death, completely thrilled by this discovery of Leonard Bernstein. I really drove everyone nuts with it. When it opened in general release at Fort Lauderdale’s Warnor Theatre (in March 1963, according to Miami News ads), I was there, alone, on the first night, and was blown away. I could talk of nothing else. Driving everyone even crazier, I then acquired the complete score and played it at the piano every day.
The family returned to the film with me a few times as it made its eventual rounds among other theaters in the area, and they did love it, if not quite with the passion I had for it. With all of its faults, this film version has so many great things going for it it’s not even funny. Happy 50th, and many more!
David, thanks for taking the time to write that up. It’s a great read, and I agree that it should appear on the Loew’s State page, too.
And seriously, quit worrying about the length of a post. NOW. Just drop it. That’s practically a non-issue these days, anyway, ESPECIALLY on a site so magnificently redesigned as this one has been. You obviously have plenty to contribute, so just forget about length or any other restrictions… and go write some more!
I’m no expert on finding these things myself, but here’s a link that was posted earlier in this thread:
Go there and scroll way down for David’s post.
And by the way, David, thank you for a delightful read!
When was Lincoln Road malled? Sometime in the 1960s, right? But which year?
I’ll be there for at least some of this. Looking forward to it, as always.
Folks, if you haven’t yet experienced the Lafayette… GO.
Was there anything particularly unique about the design of this theater? I have only one memory of seeing anything there — “The Black Hole” in January 1980 (confirmed in the Miami News ads) — and in my mind’s eye there was something appealing about the interior…don’t ask me what…maybe nothing more than nice curtains or a particular color scheme.
David, we look forward to reading your memories about “Ben-Hur” whenever and wherever you post them. Thanks!
Looking forward to that, raysson!
In browsing the community guidelines link below, I don’t see anything about limitations to the size of a post as long as it’s relevant to the theater…and what you propose is EXACTLY what people value reading here. Please post it. If by some chance you do run up against some limit on size, just continue in another post.
Please do it!
Just uploaded a scan of the little foldout program (not the deluxe souvenir book) handed out on the night of the world premiere and presumably during the roadshow engagement of “Ben-Hur”.
I’d love to learn anything that anyone could tell us about the “Ben-Hur Bar and Cocktail Lounge”, such as what the setup actually consisted of, and whether it operated throughout the long roadshow engagement or just for a limited time.
And of course pictures would be most welcome!
Hadn’t revisited this in a while, but I’ve done some digging through the Miami News ads available through Google Newspapers, and have found that my memories were correct re the above two blockbusters playing at the Warnor as opposed to the Florida. “King of Kings” was there in March 1962, and “West Side Story” in March 1963.
I’d always known the latter had a long roadshow engagement beforehand, but was surprised at how long it took “King of Kings” to make the rounds; likewise, some other films from my early days in Fort Lauderdale. It sure wasn’t like it is now, with films opening everywhere at once. I may not have been aware of that then, but it appears we were waiting quite a long while for many films to get to local theaters.
Haven’t found the above-mentioned “Premature Burial” yet, but I’m making a load of other happy discoveries browsing those ads.
As for the Warnor’s closing date, I’ve found listings as late as June 1, 1963, with nothing by July 1, 1963.
Checking the new photos a couple times a day is so rewarding.
My contributions are a pittance in comparison to the REAL uploaders here, but I’ll have more coming as I scan more of my old snapshots and slides. It’s such a pleasure to be able to upload these, rediscovering along the way some of the stuff I’d forgotten I had, most of which I can appreciate more than ever before.
Talk about a win-win situation.
Keep up the beautiful work, everyone!
Beautiful! That’s where I first saw “Poltergeist”. Thanks, once again!
A nice article about a true haven for the movie lover. Congrats, and best wishes for continued success. We 35mm film lovers all need it!
Well deserved, of course. Congrats!
Your help is always appreciated. Thank you!
I’d love to know which roadshow films were run at this theater during the 1960s.
Is that Whole Foods a complete rebuild or did they use the original structure? I hope someone will come up with a picture of the theater back in the day. I saw a few films there in the late 1970s (“Fedora”, “Airplane”) but I’m totally blank on the way it looked.
I would doubt it too, and I don’t remember what this one looked like, but that one building looks like it might have started as a theater.
(I could be wrong about that. But at least I’m in the right place for the address. The Google map pin on this page is completely wrong. It’s the 3rd or 4th such error I’ve spotted in the past few days, and I’m not even looking for them.)
(Thanks also for your mention of the Loews Cedar-Center, the name of which I’d totally forgotten and I was having trouble finding any reference to it.)