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I saw “2001” in digital at Film Forum in New York last month, and was very pleasantly surprised at how good it looked. Of course that screen was about one-fourth the size of the one at the Dome, and not curved.
JSA and/or Danny: If you do go on Sunday, I’ll be eagerly looking forward to your opinion.
Thanks, RogerA. I did notice the barrel distortion the last time I saw Cleopatra, especially when King Ptolemy enters (first scene in Alexandria). In 2001, there’s at least one shot of the cockpit of the Aries shuttle (from the space station to the moon base) that has that same kind of look.
Thanks a lot, DEFG. We appreciate the hard work you’re doing to get all this great stuff posted. That picture of “Cleopatra”’s title card on the Ziegfeld screen is my new favorite photo.
DEFG: I’d never heard about “2001” using Todd-AO until this week, first in a Wikipedia article about Cinerama and now from you. Do you have any idea which scene or scenes they might have been? I know one shot of an exploding galaxy during the Star Gate sequence was shot in New York City. All the rest of it, I always assumed was shot in England. Thanks for sharing your knowledge (and your photos – they’re really amazing) with us!
I still remember the fine performance John Derek gave in “Exodus”, and millions will see him play Joshua when ABC shows DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” this Saturday night.
“2001” will be playing here in digital format on April 15th. If anyone goes, could you please report back about the show? I’m curious whether a digital picture could compare to 70mm and successfully fill that huge screen, unless they’re only using part of it. Thanks.
Thanks, Ed! I’ll be using that from now on.
Click here for a picture of the Ziegfeld console in 1969.
Ed, thanks for reposting the link to the picture. I need to learn how to do that “Click Here” thing!
For the record, that 1970 screening was my first time at the Ziegfeld. It was a double feature: “West Side Story” and “Around the World in 80 Days”. 5 ½ hours. What a great introduction to a great theater.
Several years ago, Vito posted what he thought of the console on this page. At the same time, I related an incident where the console seemed to go out of control during a 1970 screening of “West Side Story”. The soundtrack was filled with ear-splitting popping noises, which only went away when the operator turned the console off and walked away from it. The audience then applauded.
Tom: I live on Shippen St. in Weehawken (the equivalent of 24th St. in Union City) and I’d love to read the story. I didn’t know the City Theater even existed until today.
A 3-strip Cinerama print of Brothers Grimm is supposed to be shown at the Bradford, England Cinerama theater in April 2012. It is supposed to be in excellent condition too. I only hope it’ll get shown in LA or Seattle as well – a perfect way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Cinerama.
Vito: Here it is, the console!
Seeing that should bring back some (bad) memories.
Thanks to DEFG for posting the picture.
Sad to read the recent comments about poor projection at the Clairidge. Even sadder when you consider this theater, 50 years ago, was the North Jersey home of Cinerama, the ultimate film projection experience.
Except when the Chinese is the centerpiece of the TCM Classic Film Festival every year? Unless that’s over with for the Chinese as well.
Last night, this theater showed It’s a Wonderful Life, preceded by a special presentation with Oscar-winning visual effects artist Craig Barron and Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu in the film. Lots of great stories were told. The film was shown digitally and some people grumbled about that, but I have to say it never looked so good. Every tiny detail – all the signs and ads in Mr. Gower’s drugstore and the signs in the street, things posted on the wall at Mr. Potter’s bank – could be clearly seen for the first time (by me, anyway). Purists won’t like it, but I fear film may soon be dead, at least when it comes to the showing of classic movies.
Everyone who attended got a free Blu-Ray of It’s a Wonderful Life. Patrick Harrison, the Academy official who hosted the event, called it his Oprah moment.
Donna Reed’s daughter Mary was also in the audience and spoke briefly. She sat next to Zuzu – I mean, Karolyn.
Last night there was a big event at the Loew’s: the 40th anniversary screening of “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story”, the TV-movie which inspired the TV series “The Waltons”. 14 members of the movie/series cast appeared in person, including Michael Learned and Richard Thomas. Patricia Neal played Learned’s role in the movie, and there was a very nice tribute to her after the screening (she appeared on the Loew’s stage a few years ago for a showing of “The Day the Earth Stood Still”). The movie was apparently a DVD presentation, but it looked absolutely perfect up there on that big screen. I was really impressed. The stage curtains were either cleaned and repaired, or replaced, and they looked amazing. Not to mention all those people in the seats, easily more than 1,000. Taking all this into consideration, the Loew’s never looked better.
West Side Story played at the Bellevue in Upper Montclair NJ for 35 weeks, 5 days (4/13/62 through 12/19/62).
It played the Route 59 Theater in Nanuet NY for 18 weeks, 4 days (6/28/62 through 11/5/62).
It had an intermission when I saw it at the Route 3 Drive-In, Rutherford NJ in April 1963. I believe it was right between the songs “One Hand, One Heart” and “Quintet” (not really the best place for a break). The new 70mm print shown in Seattle this month had an intermission right where Ken said it was on the Blu-Ray, and the intermission card even had the Saul Bass graphic design of an abstract Manhattan as seen during the overture. It looked great.
Hey Jeff: I’m glad you posted your grandfather’s theater. I’m surprised I didn’t see this sooner. I hope someone who saw movies there will add a comment soon.
I think I’d go back to Seattle just for Ryan’s Daughter. Doctor Zhivago was considered for this year’s festival, but ultimately rejected because it was shot in 35mm Panavision and then blown up to 70mm.
There are at least two movie palaces in the New York City area: the Lafayette in Suffern NY (opened in 1924) and the Loew’s Jersey in Jersey City NJ (opened in 1929). I’m happy to say they are both still showing classic movies on a regular basis.
I also think it’d be a welcome addition to the Loew’s State page. You should post it again there. I’ve seen posts that were far longer than yours.
Dave: all I can say is that it was worth waiting for. I was only 5 when Ben-Hur opened at the Loew’s State, and I didn’t get to see it till more than a year later, in 35mm at the Loew’s Jersey City, but reading your wonderful account made me feel like I did see it at the State in its glorious 70mm presentation. You describe everything so well, it was easy to visualize what it must’ve been like. Thanks so much!