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Jerry: I got them from newspapers on microfilm at the Jersey City Public Library. I love looking for the old movie ads – hours and hours go by without even noticing them. And it’s only 10 cents a page.
RobertR: Isn’t it strange that, in 1960, a small town like Montclair, NJ had two 3-strip giant screen theaters at the same time, and now you have to go as far as L.A. or Seattle because they’re the only ones left in the whole country. The good old days …
Stepale2: I believe “The Song of Bernadette” (1943) was the first Fox film not to use the fanfare. It had a great Alfred Newman score, so maybe Herrmann’s “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” was the first non-Newman-scored feature not to use it.
Here’s a picture of the Capitol’s Cinerama screen, taken right before the opening of “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” in 1962:
This ad is from August 1960, when they were showing another all-time movie classic:
This is an ad from the Jersey Journal dated August 1960, when the Clairidge first started running Cinerama. Remember – it’s “worth the trip to Montclair”. And it certainly was …
Here’s a New York Times ad from April 1968 for the Capitol’s last feature. If this beautiful theater had to go under, at least it went out on top.:
Here’s an original ad for the Rt. 3 Drive-In from April 1963, when they played one of the best movies ever made:
John: I’ve heard talk that HOW THE WEST WAS WON in 3-strip Cinerama is coming back to the Cinerama Dome sometime this fall. It’s worth the trip from anywhere!
One other thing about Alfred Newman’s excellent score for GREATEST STORY – for many years I thought the music heard while Max Von Sydow was carrying the cross on the way to Calvary was some of the most beautiful film music I’d ever heard. Years later I found out that it was not part of the original score at all, but the opening music to Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem”. It still fits that scene perfectly. I envy you getting to see that movie on that screen.
If you take the Stanley tour on the same day as a Loew’s Jersey show, you’ll feel like you died and went to movie palace heaven.
Jerry: I also loved it when we passed the drive-in when I was a kid and I got to see movie scenes from the highway. I remember seeing Charlton Heston getting sprayed with a firehose in “Planet of the Apes” in 1968.
“The Great Escape” and “Patton” were each a sight to behold on the big screen at the Loew’s yesterday. One funny thing: at one point the sound on “The Great Escape” dropped out. To get the attention of the projectionist, someone started whistling Elmer Bernstein’s memorable “Great Escape” theme, and many more of us joined in!
Actually, this drive-in was located in Rutherford, not East Rutherford. A small area of the Meadowlands fell within the Rutherford city limits (actually borough limits), and that’s where the Route 3 Drive-In once stood. East Rutherford can claim everything else in the area (Giants Stadium, the arena, the race track) but not the Route 3 Drive-In.
I can confirm that the orchestra screen showed the 1982 remake of “The Thing” in 70mm, but I don’t know about the upstairs. The most memorable part of that trip to the theater was when I discovered a plaque on a wall dedicated to Robert Wise and his long-running films that played the Rivoli. It must have been put up at the opening of “Star!”, even though that one didn’t play quite as long as the other three.
The Star Wars faithful will begin lining up outside the Ziegfeld on April 30th. This is a line for the best seats only – tickets have already been sold for the first show at midnight 5/19 (I got mine today).
Vincent: “Nicholas and Alexandra” was a 70mm blowup at the Criterion:
I saw it there on a high school class trip and thought it looked incredible. I can remember how certain shots looked on that screen even now. It’s a very good movie, even on TV. If you still don’t like it, take a look at today’s movie section in the paper and see what junk is playing nowadays. It’ll make you appreciate “Nicholas” that much more. Maybe you should see “Fiddler” again also – it’s a great movie. That was a 70mm blowup as well, but I only got to see it in 35mm in Rutherford, NJ.
Hardbop, I was at the Ziegfeld’s first public screening of “Last Temptation” with the cops stationed at the exits and at the sides of the screen, and I too thought a bomb or some kind of big disruption was going to happen in the theater near the end of the movie.
You’re welcome, CC. The show will be on CBS June 21st (I think), and I hope the Moses quote makes the final cut.
Rhett: If you turn right after leaving the Loew’s and keep walking down Kennedy Boulevard a few blocks, you’ll come to a nice park called Lincoln Park. As for parking, use the parking facility described below and you can get a half-price-off voucher inside the theater:
Paid parking is available at “Square Ramp Parking Garage”, located directly behind the Loew’s on Magnolia Avenue. Traveling south on Kennedy Boulevard, continue past the Loew’s to the third traffic light. This is the intersection of Kennedy Boulevard and Tonnelle Avenue. (It is the first opportunity past the Loew’s to make a right turn.) Turn right onto Tonnelle Avenue from Kennedy Boulevard. Less than a quarter of a block down Tonnelle, make the first right turn you can onto Magnolia Avenue. This is a somewhat narrow, two-way street that appears to be a dead end. In fact, you will be looking at the side wall of the Loew’s at the end of the street. Travel down Magnolia until you reach the Theatre; turn left into Square Ramp Parking Garage. After parking, follow the red pavement and “Walkway” markings alongside the Theatre; continue on the walkway as it narrows to Kennedy Boulevard. Turn left onto Kennedy and the Loew’s entrance is a few paces away, next to the “J.C. Police” station.
About the V.I.P. Diner:
Not really a restaurant, but right next door is a great little hot dog place called Boulevard Drinks. It’s been there at least as long as the Loew’s itself (1929), maybe even longer. Their hot dogs are excellent, and they make a great soft drink called a lime rickey. It’s located to the left of the Loew’s, and it’s very small (only about 6 or 7 stools), but you can always take the food out.
And of course about 3 or 4 blocks north on Kennedy Blvd. is the beloved White Castle. There’s a good diner in the neighborhood too, called the V.I.P. Diner. It’s a short walk from the Loew’s, off Kennedy Blvd. going south.
Here’s an ad from a local Jersey City newspaper in July 1960 announcing an upcoming show at the Stanley: Hitchcock’s “Psycho”.
This link might yield a better close-up view of the ad for the Amboys (in the bottom right corner).
Another sister drive-in to the Amboys was the Newark Drive-In, near the Pulaski Skyway on Route 1. They always had side-by-side ads in the Jersey Journal. Here is a copy of one from July 1960. Newark’s show was “Hercules Unchained” and “Terror Is a Man”, with a special midnight showing of “Attack of the Crab Monsters”. The Amboys had “The Last Days of Pompeii” and “Macumba Love” with “Conquest of Space” at midnight. Both theaters had “giant free playgrounds”.
Last night was one of the best revival house experiences I’ve ever had: THE HAUNTING at the Loew’s Jersey. The theater looks a little bit like the house in the movie, what with the huge open spaces, the heavy curtains, the mirrors, the sculpted faces and heads all over the place, etc., and the way the soundtrack echoed and boomed throughout the place – I tell ya, I’ve seen the movie countless times on video and even a few times in 35mm, but nothing compared to how frightening the movie became in a theater like the Loew’s.
They did have one, in the old Film Forum. I think it was 1987 or 1988. They called it “Gimmick-O-Rama” and they showed all the Castle gimmick movies with the gimmicks re-created (including “Mr. Sardonicus” and the Punishment Poll). There were other gimmick movies included too, like “Wicked, Wicked” in Duo-Vision. This festival went on for several weeks!
At the first night’s screening of “13 Ghosts” (in Illusion-O), William Castle’s wife and daughter were sitting in the row behind me.