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On this date (7/17/63) the Totowa was playing one of my favorite low-budget horror movies:
This ad is from 1963, when the Totowa Drive-In was showing one of the best movies ever made:
I was wrong about the year “The Sound of Music” played the Rivoli for many months. It was 1967, not 1966. Here’s a Bergen Record ad announcing the engagement:
Thanks Vito, for pumping up the volume on “Journey”. Those lucky theater patrons (and the ghost of Bernard Herrmann) are grateful to you.
Vito: Did you actually project “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (with the fader up 2 or 3 DBs)? If so, I’d like to shake your hand! :)
“The Best of Everything” DVD features a Fox newsreel from the big premiere at the Paramount. Arlene Dahl attended with her husband Fernando Lamas, so they even managed to get in a plug for “Journey to the Center of the Earth”! (and what I wouldn’t give to have seen THAT at the Paramount).
Vito: Remember when 20th Century-Fox stopped using their logo at the beginning of their movies in 1970? Having a silent logo without the fanfare (“The Sound of Music”, “The Bible”) was bad enough, but to do any with it completely – what were those Fox executives thinking? I guess they were trying to be trendy and with-it, and the logo and fanfare were perceived as old-fashioned. I remember seeing “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” at Loew’s State 2 start off with the words “Twentieth Century-Fox Presents” over the opening shot, and thinking the projectionist had made a mistake. I think only a few movies fell into this category before somebody reversed this bad decision, but “Patton” was one of them.
What a beautiful theater! Did “Patton” play here in Dimension 150? It must have looked great in a place like this. Ditto “Oliver”.
Test image of “Airport” program – hopefully it will look better than the earlier images I posted:
An important scene in the horror classic “Rosemary’s Baby” was shot across the street from Radio City Music Hall during the run of “The Happiest Millionaire”. You can see Tommy Steele’s name on the marquee. Sad that such a dud movie was the last one Walt Disney personally produced before his death.
“ … whereas 1.85 more closely approximates the way the human eye really sees …”
Heck, I thought Cinerama did that the best.
I think Spielberg chose flat to emphasize the height of the alien war machines. At least that’s the reason he gave for shooting “Jurassic Park” in flat: the height of the dinosaurs.
Dennis: If you check this site periodically, you may soon be lucky enough to see 70mm again …
Most of the theaters seem to be in Europe, but you never know. At least 70mm is not completely dead, and most likely never will be.
Thanks, Robert. I wish “Becket” would get released on DVD someday. What a good movie.
Another memorable event at this theater was “The Last Temptation of Christ” in 1988. It was my second time seeing it. The first was at the Ziegfeld where at least 100 fundamentalist Christians marched on the theater in protest. At the Route 17 a week later, there were about 3 people outside the theater picketing the movie.
I saw “Rocky III” here in 70mm in 1982. The screen image was nothing special – it wasn’t even a Scope film anyway – but the opening song “Eye of the Tiger” and the whole rest of the movie did sound great in 6-channel sound.
Whenever “Wilson” was shown on TV, my dad always talked about how great it was seeing it at the Roxy. He said there were American flags draped all over the theater.
I think “Airport” in 1970 may have been the last really big hit to
play the Hall. I believe “Scrooge” did really well there too, later that year.
Thanks BOB for the “Barefoot in the Park” program. I saw it there in 1967 also, but I lost my program over the years. Do you have the one for “The Odd Couple” as well?
I saw “War of the Worlds” there last night. I had some problems with the humans in the movie – some of the scenes just didn’t make any sense – but the alien war machines are a truly awesome sight. And the Ziegfeld’s sound system came through spectacularly with some of the loudest and most frightening sound effects I’ve ever heard.
Thank you, Dave and Shade – the Beekman will never be 100% dead and gone as long as we can look at your pictures.
Vincent: I saw it at the Capitol on a Saturday afternoon in June 1968, two months after it opened, and the hippie types had not discovered it yet. My dad and I sat in the front row of the upstairs (what the Capitol called the “divans”) and there was a huge balcony above us filled with people. The audience was very quiet throughout the film, but there was lots of laughter when HAL was trying to prevent Dave from disconnecting him (“I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and think things over.”) There was no pot smoking and no one sat on the floor in front of the screen, but my dad did suggest we move down to the front rows during intermission. We chickened out, though, because we had reserved assigned seats and we figured the ushers would object if we tried to change seats. Now I wish we had moved – Cinerama is always more impressive the closer to the screen you sit.
The last film I saw in the actual Cinema 46 was “Star Trek First Contact”, but it was in one of the smaller side theaters. When I think of Cinema 46 I always think of the main auditorium with the art gallery in the corridor, and that big screen. I think the last movie I saw in there was either “Poltergeist” or “Prince of the City”.
I had lots of great times at the Cinema 46. It was such a classy theater. I have no proof that they showed the 70mm versions of “Patton” and “Hello, Dolly”, but they both sure looked and sounded like it. I believe they had the exclusive North Jersey showing of “Earthquake” in Sensurround. I even saw “Eraserhead” here at a midnight show. Here are two local newspaper ads from back in the theater’s glory days, including the ad for “Tommy” which Rhett describes above:
I too would love to see pictures of the actual theater. It was really a special place.
The Route 17 Triplex in Paramus NJ only posts one word from each movie title on their marquee. It’s usually a pretty funny sight. Last week it said TENSION PANTS LAW YARD. I had to look up LAW in the paper – I couldn’t figure out that it was “Monster-in-Law”.