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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).
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.
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….
I guess I may as well post the rest of the 1970s era bookings for the Uptown from the point my list from the August 4th posting left off.
Again, this is a work-in-progress which includes some details that probably should be double-checked. I hadn’t planned to post any of it given its incomplete status, but the recent roadshow and “Circus World” questions have prompted me to reconsider. Anyway, regardless of its current state of completion, I believe enough of it to be complete and accurate so as to justify posting it here for all fans of the Uptown to enjoy. If you think any detail is incorrect, simply send me an email or make it a part of the conversation. Otherwise, enjoy the flashback if you resided or visited the area and attended any of these shows at the Uptown.
1973-11-14 … THE SERPENT (5)
1973-12-19 … MARCO (2)
1974-01-02 … PAPER MOON / ROMEO & JULIET (1)
1974-01-09 … THE GETAWAY / THE LIFE & TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN (1)
1974-01-16 … LIVE AND LET DIE / HARRY IN YOUR POCKET (1)
1974-01-23 … THE GODFATHER / LADY SINGS THE BLUES (2)
1974-02-06 … FANTASIA (1)
1974-02-13 … A TOUCH OF CLASS (2)
1974-02-27 … NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA (1)
1974-03-06 … KLUTE / MAN IN THE WILDERNESS (1)
1974-03-13 … THE CANDIDATE / BLUMEIN LOVE (1)
1974-03-20 … A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1)
1974-03-27 … CONRACK (1)
1974-06-26 … THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! (20) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1974-11-15 … EARTHQUAKE (27) Sensurround
1975-05-23 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (2) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1975-06-04 … GONE WITH THE WIND (4) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1975-07-02 … ROLLERBALL (9) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1975-09-03 … LAST TANGO IN PARIS (2)
1975-09-17 … A DELICATE BALANCE (1)
1975-09-24 … THE HOMECOMING (1)
1975-10-01 … RHINOCEROS (1)
1975-10-08 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (2) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1975-10-22 … ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE (1)
1975-10-29 … AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1)
1975-11-05 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1975-11-12 … SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (1)
1975-11-19 … YESSONGS (2) 4-Track Stereo
1975-12-03 … WHOSE CHILD AM I? (1)
1975-12-10 … HARRY & TONTO (1)
1975-12-17 … MALIZIA (1)
1975-12-24 … LUCKY LADY (5) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1976-01-28 … THE SHELTER OF YOUR ARMS (1)
1976-02-04 … HARD TIMES (1)
1976-02-11 … ALL SCREWED UP (2)
1976-02-25 … GIVE ‘EM HELL, HARRY! (1)
1976-03-03 … FAREWELL MY LOVELY / CARNAL KNOWLEDGE (1)
1976-03-10 … GONE WITH THE WIND (2) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1976-03-24 … MOSES (1) Super SpectraSound
1976-03-31 … GONE WITH THE WIND (1) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1976-04-07 … FAMILY PLOT (7)
1976-05-26 … JAWS (3)
1976-06-16 … THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT, PART II (8) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1976-08-11 … GATOR (1)
1976-08-18 … SURVIVE (1)
1976-08-25 … THE GROOVE TUBE / MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1)
1976-09-01 … CAR WASH (9)
1976-11-03 … THE PASSOVER PLOT (2)
1976-11-17 … LED ZEPPELIN: THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME (2) 4-Track Stereo
1976-12-01 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (2) 70mm 6-Track Stereo
1976-12-15 … NETWORK (9)
1977-02-16 … SCOTT JOPLIN (5)
1977-03-23 … AIRPORT ‘77 (7)
1977-05-11 … CINDERELLA 2000 (2)
1977-05-25 … STAR WARS (55) 70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo
1978-06-16 … GREASE (16) 70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo
1978-10-05 … THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL (11)
1978-12-22 … FANTASIA (7) 4-Track Stereo
1979-02-09 … RICHARD PRYOR: LIVE IN CONCERT (7)
1979-03-30 … HAIR (8) Dolby Stereo
1979-05-25 … ALIEN (19) 70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo
1979-10-03 … APOCALYPSE NOW (11) 70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo
1979-12-21 … THE BLACK HOLE (8) 70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo
NOTE: The 70mm notations on STAR WARS (1977) and GREASE (1978) represent a mid-run upgrade; both began their engagement in 35mm.
At long last, here are a few words from me regarding your (multiple) requests for comment pertaining to “Circus World” and its short run at the Uptown. I’ve rounded up all of my data on the roadshow/Cinerama engagements of “Circus World” and am presenting it here. There are a few dates that require a double-check and a missing engagement or two, but I believe it to be mostly complete. Scrolling through the list you’ll be able to compare how long the film played in each city and can draw your own conclusion as to whether or not the film’s roadshow release ought to be considered a success.
As to my take on the matter of the Uptown’s brief engagement. Washington, DC opened the movie several months into release, by which time it proved to be a commercial and critical disappointment, and so I suspect the studio lost any leverage they may have had in demanding a lengthy booking. Just a guess, though. Still, three weeks for a reserved-seat engagement is ridiculously short for a city of any size, especially a large one (and it kinda makes me wonder if I erred when I originally researched the matter).
Anyway, while there’s some risk in irking some readers that this may be somewhat off-topic, here is the roadshow booking list for the United States and Canada for “Circus World”:
1964-06-24 … Dallas, TX – Capri (11 weeks)
1964-06-25 … Boston, MA – Boston (18)
1964-06-25 … Cleveland, OH – Palace (7)
1964-06-25 … New York, NY – Loew’s Cinerama (19)
1964-06-25 … Philadelphia, PA – Boyd (9)
1964-06-26 … Atlanta, GA – Martin Cinerama (13)
1964-07-01 … Cincinnati, OH – Capitol (8)
1964-07-01 … Honolulu, HI – Cinerama (14)
1964-07-01 … Kansas City, MO – Capri (15)
1964-07-01 … New Orleans, LA – Martin Cinerama (13)
1964-07-01 … Pittsburgh, PA – Warner (8)
1964-07-03 … Milwaukee, WI – Southgate (7)
1964-07-08 … Chicago, IL – McVickers (15)
1964-07-08 … Virginia Beach (Norfolk), VA – Rosna (?)
1964-07-22 … Miami (Miami Beach), FL – Sheridan (7)
1964-07-23 … Houston, TX – Windsor (12)
1964-07-29 … Toronto, ON – Carlton (5)
1964-08-05 … Buffalo, NY – Teck (5)
1964-08-12 … Columbus, OH – Grand (9)
1964-08-12 … Louisville, KY – Rialto (8)
1964-08-20 … Charlotte, NC – Carolina (6)
1964-08-21 … Tampa, FL – Palace (8)
1964-09-23 … Albuquerque, NM – Fox Winrock (4)
1964-09-30 … Fresno, CA – Warner (10)
1964-09-30 … Rochester, NY – Monroe (4)
1964-09-30 … Syracuse, NY – Eckel (4)
1964-10-14 … Wichita, KS – Uptown (13)
1964-10-21 … Denver, CO – Cooper (8)
1964-10-22 … Portland, OR – Hollywood (11)
1964-10-28 … Salt Lake City, UT – Villa (21)
1964-10-28 … Washington, DC – Uptown (3)
1964-10-29 … Hartford, CT – Cinerama (23)
1964-11-05 … St. Louis, MO – Martin Cinerama (19)
1964-11-06 … Baltimore, MD – Town (4)
1964-12-09 … Omaha, NE – Indian Hills (15)
1964-12-14 … Newark (Montclair), NJ – Clairidge (16)
1964-12-17 … Indianapolis, IN – Indiana (12)
1964-12-18 … Los Angeles, CA – Warner Hollywood (16)
1964-12-21 … San Francisco, CA – Orpheum (13)
1964-12-24 … Providence, RI – Cinerama (?)
1965-01-13 … Las Vegas, NV – Cinerama (6)
1965-01-22 … Orlando, FL – Beacham (4)
1965-01-27 … Montreal, QC – Imperial (22)
1965-02-10 … Toledo, OH – Valentine (11)
1965-02-17 … Akron (Cuyahoga Falls), OH – Falls (?)
1965-02-17 … Dayton, OH – Dabel (7)
1965-02-17 … San Diego, CA – Center (8)
1965-02-18 … Phoenix (Scottsdale), AZ – Kachina (6)
1965-03-16 … Detroit, MI – Summit (7)
1965-03-23 … Sacramento, CA – Esquire (6)
1965-04-29 … Birmingham, AL – Eastwood Mall (?)
1965-10-27 … Minneapolis (St. Louis Park), MN – Cooper (8)
What’s up with all the comments about “The Rocketeer” posted yesterday? There were over twenty of them. Anyway, I think the sound format of the film’s 70mm prints was Dolby A, not Dolby SR. And I believe only Screen #3 (the smallest and newest of the three in service at the time) at Edwards Newport was THX certified. Did “The Rocketeer” play on screen #3 or the big screen? I didn’t see it there, so I can’t say for sure. (I saw it once at the AMC MainPlace in Santa Ana and a second time at the El Capitan in L.A.) I’d have to double check, but I think the newspaper promotion implied it played on the big screen. (A few weeks into its run it moved over across the street where it would’ve been in a THX house.)
Walt Disney’s “Mary Poppins” premiered here 50 years ago today.
Radio City Music Hall was the second theater in the United States to open “Mary Poppins.” (It opened about a month earlier at Grauman’s Chinese in Los Angeles. Also, many sources, including the IMDb, continue to cite an incorrect Radio City/NYC opening date.)
For those who might have an interest, I’d also like to mention I have prepared a “Mary Poppins” 50th anniversary retrospective article for my film & TV history column at TheDigitalBits.com. The article includes a historian Q&A and a list of many of the film’s first-run engagements. The article is also linked on the Cinema Treasures home page in the News section.
Bigjoe59… There’s a lot of great detail in the Chinese presentations timeline mentioned in the above comment, but if you don’t wish to scroll through numerous pages of data just to locate the roadshows, then I can inform you the answer you’re seeking is: “Windjammer” (1958), “Half A Sixpence” (1968) and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (1968).
Source: 70mm in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles entry in the Remembering Cinerama series of articles.
Thirty-five years ago today, the Ziegfeld was among three North American theaters to open Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” in a reserved-performance, guaranteed-seat exclusive engagement. A 35th anniversary retrospective article was posted today at The Digital Bits.
Thirty-five years ago today, the Cinerama Dome was among three North American theaters to open Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” in a reserved-performance, guaranteed-seat exclusive engagement. A 35th anniversary retrospective article was posted today at The Digital Bits.
Thirty-five years ago today, Toronto’s University was among three North American theaters to open Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” in a reserved-performance, guaranteed-seat exclusive engagement. A 35th anniversary retrospective article was posted today at The Digital Bits.
THIS IS CINERAMA
SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
SEARCH FOR PARADISE
SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE
THE BIG FISHERMAN
KING OF KINGS
JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY
THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
MY FAIR LADY
THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES
IS PARIS BURNING?
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
GONE WITH THE WIND (1967 re-issue)
THE LION IN WINTER
GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS
PAINT YOUR WAGON
NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA
THE LONGEST DAY
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
THE SAND PEBBLES
THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE
THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE
HALF A SIXPENCE
WAR AND PEACE
A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS
SONG OF NORWAY
THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN
BEN-HUR (1969 re-issue)
THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI
LAST TANGO IN PARIS
FUNNY GIRL (moveover from Ontario)
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
IN HARM’S WAY
THE BLUE MAX
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG
A few weeks ago techman707 wrote: “Upon further investigation it appears I was correct. Cheyenne Autumn did have its ‘World Premiere’ at the The Lincoln Theater, 1615 Central Avenue in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming on October 1, 1964. It opened at the Capitol on October 3, 1964.”
Referencing more credible source material reveals the world premiere of “Cheyenne Autumn” was actually held in London in mid-October 1964; the early-October event in Cheyenne, Wyoming, was simply a press preview. And, as Al Alvarez correctly pointed out, the film opened on a roadshow basis at the Capitol in New York on December 23, 1964. The first of its few roadshow bookings in the United States was in Denver (presumably because Denver was the roadshow market closest to Cheyenne), opening a week before New York.
bigjoe59… Here’s my work-in-progress listing of the time period you’re asking about. The roadshow bookings are in bold.
1956-11-01 … OKLAHOMA! <23 weeks> 70mm
1957-04-08 … AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS <51> 70mm
1958-04-01 … SOUTH PACIFIC <32> 70mm
1958-11-12 … THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA <6>
1958-12-23 … SOUTH PACIFIC <8> 70mm
1959-02-18 … SLEEPING BEAUTY <11> 70mm
1959-05-06 … SAYONARA <2>
1959-05-19 … THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK <5> stereo
1959-06-24 … AUNTIE MAME <1>
1959-07-02 … THE BIG CIRCUS <5>
1959-08-07 … THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK <1> stereo
1959-08-14 … INDISCREET <9>
1959-10-14 … PORGY AND BESS <12> 70mm
1960-01-06 … PILLOW TALK <1>
1960-01-14 … BELOVED INFIDEL <1>
1960-01-21 … A SUMMER PLACE <1>
1960-01-28 … THE LAST ANGRY MAN <1>
1960-02-04 … LIBEL <1>
1960-02-11 … ANATOMY OF A MURDER <1>
1960-02-19 … NEVER SO FEW <1>
1960-02-26 … LI’L ABNER <1>
1960-03-03 … ROOM AT THE TOP <1>
1960-03-10 … SOME LIKE IT HOT <1>
1960-03-17 … ON THE BEACH <1>
1960-03-24 … THE MOUSE THAT ROARED <1>
1960-03-31 … OPERATION PETTICOAT <2>
1960-04-13 … THE SHAGGY DOG <4 days>
1960-04-17 … DAMN YANKEES <3 days>
1960-04-20 … BELL BOOK AND CANDLE <2 days>
1960-04-22 … THE BRAMBLE BUSH <1>
1960-04-28 … WHO WAS THAT LADY? <1>
1960-05-06 … THE SWORD AND THE CROSS <1>
1960-05-13 … WILD STRAWBERRIES <2>
1960-05-25 … CAN-CAN <19> 70mm
1960-10-06 … SUNRISE AT CAMPOBELLO <8>
1960-12-01 … EMBEZZLED HEAVEN <3>
1960-12-23 … THE ALAMO <8> 70mm
1961-02-20 … EXODUS <18> 70mm
1961-06-28 … SPARTACUS moveover from Warner <11 (35)> 70mm
1961-09-15 … FANNY <6>
1961-10-25 … UPSTAIRS AND DOWNSTAIRS <1>
1961-11-03 … CAROUSEL <2> stereo
1961-11-14 … WEST SIDE STORY <42> 70mm
1962-09-04 … theater closed <9>
1962-11-07 … THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM <18> Cinerama
1963-03-14 … HOW THE WEST WAS WON <44> Cinerama
1964-02-19 … IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD <36> “Cinerama”
1964-10-28 … CIRCUS WORLD <3> “Cinerama”
1964-11-20 … LILI <5>
1964-12-25 … FATHER GOOSE <10>
1965-03-10 … THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD <19> “Cinerama”
1965-07-20 … THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL <9> “Cinerama”
1965-09-22 … MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY <6> “Cinerama”
1965-11-03 … THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY <18> 70mm
1966-03-09 … BATTLE OF THE BULGE <15> “Cinerama”
1966-06-23 … KHARTOUM <13> “Cinerama”
1966-09-21 … JOHN F. KENNEDY: YEARS OF LIGHTNING, DAY OF DRUMS <5>
1966-10-26 … THE BIBLE: IN THE BEGINNING… <29> 70mm
1967-05-24 … GRAND PRIX <21> “Cinerama”
1967-10-19 … FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD <14> 70mm
1968-01-26 … LOVE MATES <3>
1968-02-16 … GRAND SLAM <2>
1968-03-01 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO <5>
1968-04-02 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY <52> “Cinerama”
1969-04-02 … ICE STATION ZEBRA <12> “Cinerama”
1969-06-25 … SWEET CHARITY <13> 70mm
1969-09-24 … A MAN AND A WOMAN / BELLE DE JOUR <1>
1969-10-01 … JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN <1>
1969-10-10 … CAN HEIRONYMUS MERKIN EVER FORGET… <1>
1969-10-17 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO <1>
1969-10-22 … THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT <4>
1969-11-19 … DON’T DRINK THE WATER <5>
1969-12-24 … MARRY ME! MARRY ME! <2>
1970-01-07 … TRILOGY <?>
1970-??–?? … GONE WITH THE WIND <?> 70mm
1970-02-08 … MAROONED <10> 70mm
1970-04-22 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY <5> 70mm
1970-05-27 … HELLO, DOLLY! moveover from Warner <17 (40)> 70mm
1970-09-24 … TORA! TORA! TORA! <20> 70mm
1971-02-10 … THE LAST VALLEY <2> 70mm
1971-02-24 … MY FAIR LADY <6> 70mm
1971-04-07 … WATERLOO <7> 70mm
1971-05-26 … RED SKY AT MORNING <2>
1971-06-09 … DR. NO / FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE <3>
1971-06-30 … MURPHY’S WAR <3>
1971-07-21 … EVEL KNIEVEL <5>
1971-08-25 … GONE WITH THE WIND <4> 70mm
1971-09-22 … WINDJAMMER <2>
1971-10-06 … AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS / WEST SIDE STORY <5> 70mm
1971-11-10 … FIDDLER ON THE ROOF <57> 70mm
1972-12-13 … MAN OF LA MANCHA <18> 70mm
1973-04-18 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY <8> 70mm
1973-06-13 … FIDDLER ON THE ROOF <2> 70mm
1973-06-27 … JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR <14> stereo
1973-10-03 … THIS IS CINERAMA <6> 70mm
raysson’s latest comment contradicts my comment from January 2nd. Per his request, I recently sent him some information pertaining to early Dolby installations in North Carolina, but, unfortunately, it would appear he has misinterpreted that info. What I had mentioned to him in regard to this theater was that Dolby’s records suggest a timeframe of no earlier than December 1978 and no later than July 1980 as when this theater first had installed a Dolby cinema processor. If, however, he insists a Dolby unit was in place in time for “Grease” (June 1978), well, let him prove it!
(raysson: How is “Dolby” handled in the Chapel Hill newspaper ads for “Grease”? Is there explicit text indicating a Dolby presentation and/or new sound system installtion? If it’s merely the Dolby logo embedded into the ad, then I hardly think that qualifies as an indicator this theater ran “Grease” in Dolby Stereo.)
Eastwood wrote: “The first public showing of STAR WARS was at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25, 1977. We had 2 invitational (sold out) showings at 8:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday prior. We modified the showtimes to add a midnight showing on Friday and Saturday beginning 7 days later beginning on Friday, June 3rd and we continued with midnight shows the remainder of the summer.”
Thank you for that, including clarifying the situation with the midnight screenings. On this comments page way back in 2006 I couldn’t seem to convince another member that any midnight screenings of the original STAR WARS took place after the opening rather than on opening night. There was simply no way an unheard of movie would open with a midnight screening on a Tuesday night during the spring in the Mid-West.
And here are a few things that don’t quite match up with my research….
Eastwood wrote: “Our exclusive run for the state of Indiana was for 12 weeks. However, the popularity of the show blew all records and Fox added Glendale, Eastgate, Greenwood and 1 other (I forget) theatre at the 8 week mark with additional openings each week for most of the summer.”
My research shows that the expanded bookings of STAR WARS during Week #9 were actually at Lafayette Square and Regency, not the ones you cite. (Glendale played it the following summer during the saturation re-release.)
Eastwood wrote: “The original 25' by 40' screen and red traveler curtains were replaced in 1973 with a 64', 36° curved Cinerama screen for the re-issue of the original 7 Cinerama movies beginning with THIS IS CINERAMA. The Cinerama movies failed at the box office and Cinerama, Inc. abandoned the idea. That is how the giant screen and Cinerama lenses for STAR WARS came to be in the Eastwood.”
Only the first Cinerama film got re-released. There may have been plans to do more or all of them but ultimately only the first one got re-released in 1973.
Eastwood wrote: “GREASE enjoyed a 28 week run leading up to the opening of our Christmas picture that year, Disney’s BLACK HOLE.”
THE BLACK HOLE was a Christmas 1979 release, not 1978. So which film actually played the Eastwood at Christmas 1978? I know it wasn’t SUPERMAN. Maybe INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS? Or, given the Clint Eastwood connection…EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE?
Eastwood wrote: “Other great pictures followed for shorter runs leading up to our June 1979 premier of ALIEN.”
ALIEN opened May 25th, the same day as STAR WARS two years earlier.
“Return of the Jedi” played there as a twin, so 1983 was the latest it got twinned.
Mikeoaklandpark wrote: “It was twined in the late 80’s”
This theater was twinned several years earlier than the late 1980s claim.
raysson wrote: “Dobly Stereo System was installed in this theatre for the June 16,1978 opening of ‘GREASE’”
Dolby’s installation records indicate a Dolby sound system (CP50) was installed at the Manor in February 1978, not June.
Movies released with Dolby Stereo prints in the early months of 1978 ahead of “Grease” included “FM,” “Big Wednesday,” “The Manitou,” and the re-release of “American Graffiti.” As well, ‘77 Dolby productions still in release in early '78 included “Star Wars,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” Saturday Night Fever,“ and “Pete’s Dragon.” I haven’t researched it, but it’s possible one or more of those played at the Manor in a Dolby Stereo presentation before “Grease.”
dickneeds111 wrote: “"Oklahoma was shot both in Cinemascope and Todd AO at the same time.”
Yeah, but they weren’t distributed at the same time. In North America, only Todd-AO prints, distributed by Magna, were booked for the first thirteen months of the film’s release. Then the 35mm CinemaScope version, distributed by 20th Century-Fox, became available for hundreds of general-release bookings. All of the original roadshow engagements were the 70mm version (except for the final few weeks of the Detroit engagement which had been switched to the 35mm version as a test).
On a related note, some of you may recall a while ago I posted a list of the original roadshow engagements of “Oklahoma!” This info may clarify many of the points mentioned in the discussion going on here on the Astor page. Here again is the link if you wish to take a refresher look or if you missed it when first posted. The list is complete, as far as I know, up to the point in time the 35mm general release began. (There were a few more 70mm presentations that began beyond my cut-off point — plus international — but I didn’t include them because I wanted to present a concise timeline.)
Oklahoma! Roadshow Engagements