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Great article, Michael. I remember seeing it about 3 weeks into the first run at the UA Wayne in New Jersey on a Saturday afternoon sold-out show. The place went nuts during the Ben Gardner boat sequence.
One minor correction – Jerry Goldsmith scored Spielberg’s segment from “Twilight Zone: The movie”.
On-screen ads are terrible in theatres – and the AMC in Rockaway is the worst of the lot. I saw a film there a few weeks ago that not only had a ridiculous 7 trailers (1 or 2 is more effective for the audience), it had a horrific 30+ minute pre-show commercial reel. Despicable.
Thanks bolorkay. Yes, the Horror-Thon will be returning this October.
The Robe was absolutely NOT made in 3-D. 5 minutes of research would give you the correct answer: The Robe was the first release in CinemaScope. Also, why are they wearing red/blue glasses? Almost no theatrical features were shown that way.
Nice article! I remember cutting afternoon high school classes to drive down to opening day at the RKO Route 4 Paramus. I think we ended up seeing the 5-ish show. While I was not enamored of the film – Fred Clarke’s review above mirrors my own thoughts – it was a great experience with a packed house.
Glad everyone enjoyed “It’s a Gift” yesterday – a true comedy classic. The next four shows (as was It’s a Gift) are all going to be showing in pristine studio prints: Gilda, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Lady Eve, and The Red Shoes (new restoration) so I hope to see some of you there.
We just posted a video on YouTube of a brief excerpt form a 1926 newsreel showing the front & marquee of the Lafayette Theatre and the crowd coming out of a show. View it here:
The print I ran at the Lafayette yesterday (the only currently available studio print) was from Paramount’s 1989 re-issue, where they blew up the VV image to fill CinemaScope proportions. The aspect was a little closer to 2.2:1. The sound on the film was Dolby “A” stereo with very little surround activity, none of the sound effects or dialogue are in stereo, only the music. Glad you enjoyed the show!
The LJ ran a local collector’s print, which was nice to see though the print itself was in varying degrees of condition and completeness. Sound, of course, was mono on that one.
How did the show go?
Great news – wish I could be there. Did you finally get them to spring for Academy-ratio lenses & plates? We’re running it at the Lafayette on May 8 – please take good care of the print ;)
As far as I know, there is no air conditioning at the Jersey.
Thank you for the kind words, bolorkay. Glad you had a good time at the show.
It doesn’t have the original sound mix on it.
Hope we see some of the CT regulars come to the Lafayette tomorrow morning for the Big Screen Classics spring season opening attraction – DOCTOR NO. I inspected the print last night and it looks to be in great shape and – surprise – has the re-mastered stereo soundtrack.
The digital 3-D system debuted this weekend and looks as good as it can – excellent brightness & uniformity. With nearly 1000 seats – and about 600 prime seating locations for 3-D – the Lafayette is a great place to showcase. We hope you can come out and experience it soon.
2K for now.
The Lafayette’s new digital projection system premieres on Friday 3/5 with Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”, presented in Real-D 3-D. Hope some of you come out for the historic event this weekend!
Fascinating article Michael, thanks for writing it. Somewhere in my house I have a foot-long chunk of a 70mm print of SoM, it was given to me by a projectionist I worked with at the Cinema 46 in Totowa, NJ. The reel it came from was in the booth of the Cinema 46 and was from a print that ran at the Bellevue in Upper Montclair. If I recall his discussion about it, they had two prints over the 100 weeks it played there (he was the chief projectionist) and this reel was from the second print. He took it with him and used it as his 70mm set-up reel at the Cinema 46. It was bizarre to come in early one morning at Cinema 46 and see a faded reel from the film playing just prior to our 70mm engagement of Poltergiest there.
While we don’t have any regularly scheduled classics set up for Cedar Lane, we hope to do the occasional show. Ironically, one of the problems is the theatre’s success with its regular line-up of first-run, indie, and foreign films – the studios do not like us scheduling the classic film shows at a time when we have to cancel a showing of one of the regular films.
What good is the digital IMAX when you can still clearly see the pixels on screen as you can at the AMC Rockaway?
Too bad it will be all digital as it still doesn’t look nearly as good as well-done film projection.
Here’s the final confirmed Big Screen Classics spring schedule for the Lafayette, all shows begin at 11:30am:
March 13 – DR. NO
March 20 – INHERIT THE WIND
March 27 – MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN
April 3 – THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956)
April 10 – IT’S A GIFT
April 17 – GILDA
April 24 – THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956)
May 1 – THE LADY EVE
May 8 – THE RED SHOES (new restored print)
May 15 – SABRINA
May 22 – THE APARTMENT
May 29 – CHAPLIN FESTIVAL (4 SHORTS)
June 5 – PAL JOEY
June 12 – ANATOMY OF A MURDER
June 19 – THREE STOOGES/LOONEY TUNES
We’re very happy with this line-up, a nice wide range of films. Hope to see you there!
No offense taken – thanks for your support. Yes, there are checks taken as much as possible. The auditorium had a show the night before with no incident and I was told the afternoon run-through of the print of The Godfather yesterday was fine. So whatever the problem is (the technicians are coming out today to see what’s up) happened with no advance warning. If it’s an electrical fault with the lamp mechanism, there’s no way to predict that it would happen. An issue such as that tends to happen at the worst time. I could document all the problems over the years (exploding lamps, burned out amplifiers, blown speakers, et al) that I’ve either seen as an audience member, heard about, or been a part of at all types of theatres.
Hi bolorkay –
The Godfather showing will be the concluding classic show at Cedar Lane for now. We will still have a few special events there (silents, film festivals, etc.), but no regularly scheduled classics.
Coincidence…c'mon, Bill. :)