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From the overview… “The complex opened in November of 1980 with the world premiere of “Flash Gordon”. Italian actress Ornella Muti who played Princess Aura, attended the screening. It was covered by local and national news.”
The world premiere? Why would the world premiere of Flash Gordon have been held in Cincinnati? What was the connection? Is it possible the screening in question was actually just a regional premiere, or a sneak preview, a test or exhibitor screening or some other pre-release type of screening?
Happy 50th to “The Sound of Music,” which world premiered at the Rivoli on this day in 1965.
By the way, I’m in the process of updating this article for the film’s 50th anniversary, so please contact me (or post here) if you note anything that ought to be added, deleted, updated, corrected, etc. Thank you.
On a related note, some longtime Cinema Treasures readers might recall a Sound of Music 45th anniversary retrospective article I posted here five years ago. I’m in the process of updating it for the 50th anniversary, so please contact me (or post here or on the article’s page) if you note anything that ought to be added, deleted, updated, corrected, etc. Thank you.
UATC08… What movies ran here in a 70mm presentation?
patryan6019… What does that have to do with “Gone With the Wind” or the Sheridan?
Seventy-five years ago today the Boyd opened “Gone With the Wind.“ The opening was preceded by a premiere the day before, and the engagement was concurrent with a booking at the Earle.
Seventy-five years ago today the Sheridan premiered “Gone With the Wind.” (The Sheridan was the only theater where the film opened on that date despite erroneous Internet claims of a nationwide release commencing on that date.)
EnnisCAdkins on August 12, 2008, wrote: “According to several articles I’ve read regarding Houston theatres, GONE WITH THE WIND opened at the Loew’s State in early 1940 and played for over a year in that one theatre. It then moved over to the Kirby for several more months.”
Which articles are making that outrageous claim?
The Barstow Station Cinema opened with four screens on August 2, 1985. The debut bookings were “Back to the Future,” “Mad Mad Beyond Thunderdome,” “Pale Rider” and “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.”
“Gone With the Wind”… Happy 75th! Premiered here this day in 1939.
Thank you, NYer.
What booking followed the roadshow of “My Fair Lady”? Was “My Fair Lady” the longest-running engagement at this theater?
Happy 50th! The Century 21 opened this day in 1964.
To celebrate, here’s a list of the Century 21’s bookings during its first decade as researched from their original newspaper promotion.
1964-11-24 … IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (19 weeks)
1965-04-06 … MY FAIR LADY (33)
1965-11-24 … THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES (15)
1966-03-09 … THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (14)
1966-06-15 … BATTLE OF THE BULGE (9)
1966-08-17 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (58)
1967-09-26 … GRAND PRIX (43)
1968-07-23 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (87)
Michelemichaels430…. “2001: A Space Odyssey” has indeed been mentioned “here” both in a comment posted on March 18, 2008 and in a related article linked under News About This Theater (located on the right margin of this page underneath the map and nearby theaters).
It’s been documented that “Hello, Dolly!” was the first movie to play at the UA Cinema 150. What was the second movie to play there?
Here’s an article from a few days ago published in the Toronto Star that some may find of interest. The Glendale and other Toronto cinemas are mentioned (and some might recognize a Cinema Treasures contributor quoted in the piece).
Find Toronto’s favourite movies
We Torontonians like to think of ourselves as visionary sophisticates, the kind of people who would prefer to boldly reach for the stars, rather than doggedly climb every mountain.
Our choice of favourite movies suggests otherwise.
I thought I was on safe ground last week when I declared 2001: A Space Odyssey to be T.O.’s all-time most popular cinematic experience, going by what two sources (and personal memory) indicated was a four-year run at the old Glendale theatre on Avenue Rd. I believed that to be the longest a movie has ever played in one theatre in the city for a continuous run.
Tim Elliott, a Toronto movie buff and collector, contacted me with a contrary assertion: The Sound of Music edged 2001for popularity honours. The Sound of Music, a musical in which Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer climb every mountain that love, geography and the Nazis hurl at them, played for 144 weeks at the Eglinton Theatre, which still stands but no longer operates as a movie house. The film made toes tap and tugged at heartstrings at the Eglinton from March 10, 1965 to Dec. 21, 1967.
A few months after The Sound of Music closed, 2001: A Space Odyssey opened at the Glendale theatre on Avenue Rd. The outer space adventure billed as “the ultimate trip” seared eyeballs and dazzled brains there for a total of 127 weeks, roughly 2.5 years, from May 30, 1968 to Nov. 3, 1970 — and it screened in the widescreen marvel known as Cinerama, no less. The Glendale no longer exists, sadly, having been demolished in the 1970s and replaced by a car dealership.
“These were both the longest single engagements in the city, as far as I know,” Elliott, 62, told me via email.
He bases this on his study of movie ads in the Toronto Star and other newspapers, “a hobby of mine since seeing my first grown-up film Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961 as a kid and falling in love with Audrey Hepburn and the movies and movie theatres.
“In my basement I have file drawers filled with the movie ads from all of the Toronto newspapers from the ’60s on. I also used to keep lists of most of the theatres of Toronto and write down each movie that played in each one and how long they played. Unfortunately, I misplaced those lists during a move and haven’t seen them in years.”
But he managed to keep a lot of stats on movie engagements, including these other long runs in Toronto:
Ben-Hur (77 weeks): Dec. 23, 1959 to May 4, 1961 at the University.
Funny Girl (68 weeks): Oct. 3, 1968 to Jan. 22, 1970 at the Odeon Fairlawn.
Doctor Zhivago (61 weeks): Oct. 16, 1966 to Dec. 21, 1967 at the Nortown (it followed a 28-week run at the University, for a total of 89 weeks).
My Fair Lady (60 weeks): Oct. 28, 1964 to Dec. 21, 1965 at the University (it moved to the Nortown on Dec. 25 for a seven-week run that continued to Feb. 9, 1966).
Fiddler on the Roof (57 weeks): Nov. 10, 1971 until Dec. 12, 1972 at the University.
MAS*H (53 weeks): March 27, 1970 to April 8, 1971 at the Hollywood.
There have also been long engagements of close to a year or more for the original Star Wars, Oliver!, Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, The Gods Must Be Crazy and La Cage Aux Folles, among others. Note that these achievements were all notched mainly during the 1960s and ’70s, before the widespread adoption of colour TV, multiplex theatres and home video. Then came the Internet and VOD (video on demand), which changed things further still. Most of these records also precede the blockbuster era, where it became commonplace to open a movie at many theatres at once, rather than have it take up residence in a single prestigious theatre for a “road show” run. It’s almost impossible now to think of movies having a lengthy run in a single Toronto theatre, although there are exceptions. Avatar ran in the Scotiabank theatre for nearly six months, from Dec. 18, 2009 to May 27, 2010, and it remained in the Toronto market at least until June of that year, says Cineplex spokesman Mike Langdon. He adds there’s nothing to stop a film from setting a record. “For us, we will leave a film on screen as long as there is demand from the guests to see it. Our guests determine how long a run actually is.” I recall that Titanic also had a very lengthy run in Toronto, perhaps as long as Avatar, both films having been directed by Ontario-born James Cameron. Cineplex doesn’t have ready access to screening stats, and neither does Paramount, the studio that released Titanic. But the intrepid Astrid Lange in the Star’s library found that it played at the Uptown theatre from Dec. 19, 1997 to June 30, 1998. It moved from the Uptown to the Uptown Backstage on July 1 for another few weeks. Sad to think that most of the single-screen theatres where records were set are now demolished or otherwise unavailable: Uptown, University, Odeon Fairlawn, Nortown, Hollywood, Eglinton. All gone. It comes as no surprise that all of these movies are mainstream crowd-pleasers, although 2001: A Space Odyssey also qualifies as an art house head-scratcher. But three of Toronto’s all-time favourites are space movies: 2001, Avatar and Stars Wars. So maybe we’re visionaries after all.
Here’s an article from a few days ago published in the Toronto Star that some may find of interest. The University and other Toronto cinemas are mentioned (and some might recognize a Cinema Treasures contributor quoted in the piece).
Here’s an article from a few days ago published in the Toronto Star that some may find of interest. The Eglinton and other Toronto cinemas are mentioned (and some might recognize a Cinema Treasures contributor quoted in the piece).
Happy 50th! “My Fair Lady” opened at the Coronet on this day in 1964 (and went on to become one of the theater’s longest-running engagements).
Happy 50th! “My Fair Lady” opened at the Egyptian on this day in 1964 (with a benefit premiere the previous night) and went on to become the theater’s second-longest-running engagement.
Happy 50th! “My Fair Lady” had its world premiere at the Criterion on this day in 1964 (and went on to become the theater’s longest-running engagement).
Note: there are some inconsistencies between the two lists I linked to in the previous comment. The former includes some titles that in the other list are tagged as unconfirmed (i.e. some sources claim 70mm print availability but no corroborating evidence could be found). The latter list identifies such unconfirmed titles. The latter list, also, since it focuses on the blow-up titles, omits the few titles shot in large-format during the 1976-present period. But…if all you’re interested in is learning which titles were baby boom and which were split surround, then the details highlighted in this comment might not matter to you (but I felt compelled to point them out).
See: Presented in 70mm and six track magnetic Dolby Stereo and a more-detailed year-by-year breakdown beginning with the year 1976. As you’ll see, most of the titles listed were of the “baby boom” variety; any “split surround” mixes are listed as “SS”.
“The Rocketeer” would’ve played here in mono. The theater was not Dolby-equipped at the time.
Chief Jensen…. Thank you. I’m pleased at least one person enjoyed the article. I never know what readers think since so few people take the time to comment anymore. It was just a few years ago that articles such as these would routinely generate 30, 40, even 50 comments, with readers expressing their appreciation for the research, asking questions, pointing out items they believed to be in error, reminiscing about seeing these films when they were new, and so forth. I’m not sure why these things no longer seem to generate much feedback. Anyway, as to the Norfolk vs Virginia Beach thing…lately my preferred approach to identifying exclusive engagements on these historical projects is to cite according to what I would consider the “anchor city” of a region. Norfolk, as you know, is among a cluster of cities that comprise the Tidewater (or Hampton Roads) region of Virginia. Population-wise, Virginia Beach is the largest of the bunch and so I listed the “Mary Poppins” engagement according to that locale. I still made sure to include Norfolk in parenthesis, though, to alert the reader to the fact the theater where it played was actually located there. Scan through the list and you’ll see some other similar examples. Call it a quirk if you want. Or a form of watermarking….