Showing 126 - 150 of 376 comments
the title of the “oldest continuously operating
theater” in North America might go to the New
Victory on 42 St. in Manhattan. it opened as
the Theater Republic in 1900 five years before
this theater. the New Victory as operated as
a theater of some sort since then -live theater,
films, burlesque, adult films and after being
beautifully renovated back to live shows.
LuisV’s statement about that few if any “big” films
open in limited release is quite true. even after
the studios discontinued the roadshow policy for their
“big” films they still would open such films in
one maybe two theaters where it would play for weeks
or months before going to neighborhood theaters.
the advent of t.v. in almost every home was the death
nell for many grand old movie theaters and the
multiplex era where a film opens in 2,000-3,000
on the same day was the death nell for many of the
grand old movie theaters that remained. i love going
to the Ziegfeld and am constantly amazed its still
to Ed S.–
i think pc is haunted,either that or i
need new glasses. yesterday when i looked i
did not see a Astor Theater listing for New
York, New York. but there it is today. no one’s
as always I thank you for your reply. I was always
under the impression that Ben-Hur opened at the Astor.
so the fact it opened at the Cohan is a perfect
reason for The Big Parade’s quite long run at the
to answer your question. since we have communicated
a great deal on this page that’s why I posted my
question on this page. also under what name is the
Astor listed. if you type in Astor Theater in the
subject search box office on the home page the theater
which existed at the nw corner of Bway & 44 St. does
not show up.
you have always been helpful so i have a
question for you- do you know of a website that
lists how long the exclusive 1st run engagements
of prominent silent films were? the reason i
ask is simple. last month in the Sunday Times
they had a review of The Big Parade blu-ray
disc. in said review they mention the initial
roadshow run at the Astor lasted almost 2 years.
but i am positive Ben-Hur which opened Dec.
1925 opened at the Astor. so how could The Big
Parade have played there almost two years.
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.
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.
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
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.
thanks for your reply of Oct.11.. while i’m guessing
a decent number of the countless upon countless grand
old movie theaters/palaces that were built in the
prime building period of 1914-1941 still exist many
don’t qualify. for instance the Castro and Balboa in
San Francisco were built from the get go as 2nd or
3rd run neighborhood theaters. i’m looking for theaters
that were built from the get go as 1st run venues
have continued to operate as such since the day they
opened. as i said in my original post the Chinese is
the only one I have found so far on this site. I did
the search you suggested on both Yahoo and Google
but it didn’t help. it would be sad if the Chinese
was the only grand old movie theater/palace built in
the prime 1914-1941 period from the get go as a 1st
run venue that as continued to operate as such since
the day it opened.
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?
what version of IAMMMMW is being shown? the general
release print or the closest approximation to the
original roadshow cut?
from reading the intro on the theaters CT’s page
and reading the Guardian article i am unsure about
a)if the Eden was built from the ground up as a
cinema or b)it was an already exiting theater
building that was used by the Lumiere Bros. to
exhibit their films. if its b) that what is the
world’s oldest still existing cinema build from
the ground up as a cinema?
Hello From NYC-
this a question I asked sometime ago so I would
appreciate any further info my fellow posters might
have. the building boom period for grand old movie
theaters/palaces was approx. 1914-1941. now many
of the theaters built during this period are alive
and well and have been in continual operation since
the day they opened- the Castro Theater in San
Francisco as an example. but that theater was built
from the get go as a 2nd/3rd run neighborhood
theater. which brings me to the Chinese. I have
been browsing this website to see how many such
theaters I could find that opened from the get go
as 1st run venues and have continued to operate as
such since the day they opened. the only one I have
found so far is the Chinese. is it really possible
that of all the grand old movie theaters/palaces
built in the boom period of 1914-1941 from the get
go as 1st run venues the Chinese is the only one in
continual operation as such since the day is opened?
i saw Gravity in the IMAX Theater this past Sat.
at the 11:15 a.m. show and thoroughly enjoyed the
sites and sounds of the film. so my question has
to do with the theater itself. I am a frequent
patron at the Lincoln Square’s regular theaters.
now the last time I was in the IMAX theater was
February of 2000 when they debuted Disney’s
Fantasia 2000. I won’t bet my next paycheck but
I am like 99.9% sure that at that visit Fantasia
2000 occupied the entire screen. yet while
watching Gravity only the middle say 60% of the
screen was being used. now I didn’t take a ruler
and measure but the amount of the screen the
film occupied seemed no bigger than the screen of
the main Loew’s auditorium downstairs or the one
at the Zeigfeld. so since it didn’t occupy the
entire screen how is it IMAX?
i will be seeing Gravity tomorrow at the
Loew’s Lincoln Square IMAX auditorium which
has reserved seating. when i purchased my
ticket and the screen comes up with the seating
plan i noticed all the seats in the middle
had been taken which was fine by me. i’m tall
and have no idea what the leg room space is
between seats. i chose an aisle seat on the
right with no seat in front of it which is
great since i have long legs. in terms of
overall size if the Lincoln Square screen is
a 10 what’s the Chinese screen?
also do theaters in L.A. still have the
discount before 5p.m. they still did when
i was last out in Spring 2004. all AMC
theaters have a discount before 12p.m. on
weekends so i got that discount plus a
senior discount so the ticket cost $15.
thanks for the info about the price for a 3-D IMAX
film at Lincoln Square. most good old regular 2-D
films aren’t worth the price theaters in Manhattan
are asking so I doubt the vast majority of 3-D IMAX
films are worth the hyped up price. “Avatar” released
Dec. of 2009 was the juggernaut for the current
stampede of 3-D films. here’s the kicker- since
“Avatar” countless 3-D films have been released
and in a grand total of exactly 2 count ‘em two films
has the 3-D actually furthed the storytelling
process- “Hugo” and “Life of Pi”.
I read in one of the first comments posted after the
theater re-opened that the people showing you to
your seats were a bit overwhelmed by the crowd. what’s
wrong with the good old fashioned first come first
served policy? good old regular 2-D movies are
rather expensive at least in Manhattan. 3-d films are
are that much more expensive and IMAX 3-D films are
additionally more expensive. so no matter how good
the film might be are reserved seat IMAX 3-D films
really worth what i’m guessing is a really expensive
how much are reserved seats for a 3-D IMAX filmat Lincoln Square?
aside from the hoopla about the Chinese re-opening
has there been much talk in the press about the 3-D
IMAX The Wizard of Oz? the film opened last Fri.9/20
at 2 of the 3 IMAX screens in Manhattan with no
as I said in my last post I haven’t been out to
L.A. in approx. 7 years so i’m intrigued by the
comments on 3-D films at the Cinerama Dome. to
which my question-what essentially is the problem?
is the large curved screen not optimum for
showing films in 3-D or are the films just not
shown correctly? when Arclight built its multiplex
adjacent to the Dome didn’t they fully restore
the Dome as well?
I haven’t been out to L.A. in approx. 7 years so
though this question might be silly to ask at this
point i’ll ask it anyway. I am assuming the reason
the new owners of the Chinese went thru the time
and expense of IMAX-ing the Chinese’s auditorium
is that there are no other IMAX theaters anywhere
close to the Chinese.
Hello to Al A.–
as always thank for the info. i have another
question that i find just as fascinating. my
parents took me to see the roadshow engagements
of both The Wonderful World of the Brothers
Grimm and How The West Was Won at this theater.
i always assumed they had healthy roadshow
runs. to which i was quite surprised to find out
TWWOTBG’s lasted only 33 weeks and HTWWW’s lasted
only 39 weeks. i can see MGM having to pull
TWWOTBG even if it was still doing good box
office to open HTWWW. but why was HTWWW pulled
after only 39 weeks? the roadshow run of HTWWW
in both L.A.and San Francisco lasted a lot
longer than 39 weeks if i am not mistaken. so
I second Chris U.’s comment. its a rather unobstrusive
sign that i’m betting most people won’t notice.
i knew Liz and Dick did not attend the premiere
at this theater but i had not known there was a
protest by an African-American church in Harlem
for casting a white actress in the title role.
the interesting part of that protest is simple-
regardless of what Cleopatra looked like physically
ethnically/culturally she was like 99% Greek.